Friday, April 04, 2008

What a waste of effort

I got my latest FlyBuys statement in the post (or in my inbox at least), and was duly impressed to see that it had passed the 12000 mark. I registered for one almost as soon as I arrived in Australia, some 2.5 years ago. Apparently, with that 12000 points, I can redeem them all for a $100 gift card.

Well colour me excited.

A few months after arriving and with a job lined up, I was able to apply for a credit card, and in one of my more astute moves, I got a NAB VISA card which was linked to the Velocity reward program, and came with 20000 points out-of-the-box. Velocity is the reward system used by Virgin Blue and its friends, so when we went to Japan last year with Malaysian Airlines, I was able to convert all those miles into points, and with next week's trip to England with Virgin, I'll be able to convert all those miles to points; oh yes, and our car rentals during that holiday are with Europcar, and guess which reward scheme they subscribe to.

On top of that, all of the improvements that have been done to our house in the past year (flooring, solar heating, decking, new bedroom, laundry renovation) are all being paid for on the credit card, which adds yet more points to the pot. Those points just keep flooding in.

And these points can be traded in for something more useful then a lousy gift card - I've already used some for a rather nice Audi hire car while my Saab was in the garage, and a bunch more to send a group of church friends to a conference in Tasmania (although not to bring them back again, *grin*).

Just think how much marketing data FlyBuys is getting every time you swipe that card, and after two years of populating their datawarehouses, what do you get? One of the most pathetic rewards I've ever seen.


the vampire's dream said...

well, colour me cynical - of your blog! ever tried having a look at the rewards section on flybuys - there's a lot more than giftcards there!

David Keaveny said...

You're right - for those 2.5 years of providing market data, I could alternatively get a Tefal Toaster and Kettle.

Be still my beating heart.

the vampire's dream said...

why not link your credit card (nab ant card) and then see how many points you get with flybuys and see what you can get with that... that would be a comparison... compare apples with oranges and then say one tastes like a cirtus fruit is hardly a comparison, its more a whinge!

Damana Madden said...

You are right, David. It's about collecting data and using that to market to you without giving much in return.

Chuck your flybuys card! It's citrus but not sweet orange.

Phil Hawkins said...

Agree with mr kudu's apples and oranges. How much does your Velocity Visa card cost each year? $65, or $150 for gold. FlyBuys? FREE. So for starters take at least $65 each year off your Velocity benefits before you even start to compare it with FlyBuys. And FlyBuys has never claimed to be be a frequent flyer program. I'd like to see a comparison between a combined FlyBuys/Qantas frequent flyer benefit and the land of milk & honey you claim from Velocity. Another factor worthy of consideration: Virgin admitted recently it's losing money on Velocity. Your card won't be worth much if the program gets canned!