Is the Coles my5 offer worth the hype?

If you've been watching the telly lately, you would most certainly have heard British comedian Dawn French spruiking Coles' revamped flybuys loyalty card and its 'world first' my5 offer. But is it just another marketing stunt? Or is this a genuine cause for savings celebration? To find out, we headed to the supermarket aisles.

What the heck is a my5?

In short, Coles is giving flybuys customers 10% off FIVE products of their choice whenever they spend over $50. So not only will your everyday purchases go towards your next holiday, but you'll also be able to trim your weekly grocery budget.

How does it work?

Coles is posting its new flybuys card to 8 million Aussie households, so chances are, one will arrive at your doorstep shortly. Once you receive your shiny and new card, simply activate it on the Coles website and you're ready to start racking up flybuys points.

However, things get tricky if you want the Coles my5 discounts to kick in. First, you'll need to nominate 5 product groups. Think of these as separate shopping aisles based on product type, size, brand or weight. Keep in mind that you can't change product groups once your card has been activated, so choose carefully.

Next, you'll need to select 5 individual items for each product group, potentially giving you a pool of 25 items that can be discounted whenever you shop at Coles. The my5 program covers a fairly comprehensive list of everyday goods but you must purchase the exact product to receive the 10% discount. For example, Coca Cola 1.5L varieties are covered under the my5 program but 1.25L varieties aren't. Also note that gift cards, iTunes vouchers and tobacco purchases aren't covered under the Coles my5 scheme.

How are Coles my5 discounts calculated?

Discounts only apply when you spend at least $50 in one transaction, after any savings and discounts have been added. You can shave 10% off 5 items within a single product group, or 5 items spread across the 5 product groups. If you purchase more than five items from a single product group, the discount will apply to the five highest value items. But remember, multiples of the same product are considered as separate items.
How much will I save?

We put together 2 separate shopping baskets to see if you'll save more on common goods or on fresh food. The baskets are based on the weekly requirements for a typical Aussie family of 4.

Household goods list

Huggies Jumbo Nappies 64 – 108 packs
Finish Quantum Dishwasher Tablets 20 packs
Omo Small & Mighty 2X Concentrate Laundry Powder 5kg packs
Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner 350mL packs
Kleenex Toilet Paper Cottonelle 12 packs


Food list

Berri Juice 2.4 L
Bulla Ice Cream 2L packs
Coles Beef Porterhouse Steak (approx 500g)
Coles Chicken Breast Stir Fry (approx 550g)
Helgas Continental Bakehouse Wholemeal Grain Loaf 850g


So how much will you save? Not much in actual fact. If you buy most of your household items at Coles, you'll save $3.36 each week. You'll save marginally more if you purchase fresh produce, which will see an extra $3.92 in your wallet every week. But remember, the Coles my5 offer ends on 31st October 2012, so the savings will only last 6 months. With our baskets we managed to save $87.33 over 6 months on our household goods and $101.89 for fresh food.

Is the Coles my5 offer worth the hype?

Probably not. The savings are real, but given most shoppers will unconsciously put more items in their trolleys every week, knowing that they'll save 10% on 5 items, the Coles my5 offer will only work if you maintain your shopping habits. Buying more to reach the $50 cut-off on a mid-week shop is a fast-track to disaster (and big profits for Coles).

Given that my5 considers multiples of the same product as separate items, you're better off purchasing expensive items that you don't buy often, rather than smaller products that you buy on a regular basis. You'll see the biggest savings for bulk items, but remember, there are only so many rolls of toilet paper you can fit in the cupboard.

Also in this issue: Find out how to make the most of the rate cut.