Ve­loc­ity speeds up loy­alty war

Pilbara News - - News - Sean Smith

Millions of Coles shop­pers are now able to re­deem fre­quent flyer points for flights with Vir­gin Aus­tralia un­der a new part­ner­ship that has es­ca­lated the war for cus­tomer loy­al­ties.

The deal teams up two of the coun­try’s big­gest loy­alty pro­grams — the Coles-pow­ered Fly­buys scheme and Vir­gin’s Ve­loc­ity Fre­quent Flyer, while open­ing a uni­fied front against the com­pa­nies’ arch ri­vals, Wool­worths and Qan­tas, which are al­ready in part­ner­ship.

Shop­pers are now able to re­deem fre­quent flyer points for flights with Vir­gin Aus­tralia.

How­ever, it also re­flects a de­mand from loy­alty pro­gram mem­bers for more choice in how they earn and re­deem points.

By link­ing their mem­ber­ships, users of the Coles and Vir­gin loy­alty pro­grams will also be able to earn sta­tus cred­its, ac­cel­er­at­ing their pas­sage into higher mem­ber­ship tiers of the Ve­loc­ity scheme, and gain­ing added ben­e­fits such as ex­tra bag­gage en­ti­tle­ments and ac­cess to the air­line’s lounges.

The num­ber of loy­alty pro­grams has bal­looned in re­cent years, with a sur­vey last month by Roy Mor­gan Re­search re­veal­ing nearly three-quar­ters of Aus­tralians are mem­bers of at least one store loy­alty pro­gram.

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