Enrolling in Qantas' Frequent Flyer program via the Woolworths Everyday Rewards scheme is, as we've pointed out before, a good way of avoiding the Qantas sign-up fee. However, make sure you check the details carefully, or you might find your points automatically converted into Woolworths vouchers rather than flights.
Friend of Lifehacker (and Australian editor of The Register) Simon Sharwood took advantage of the free enrolment option for his kids ahead of a recent family trip to Europe. Signing up wasn't a problem, but there was an unexpected consequence, as he explains:
Imagine our surprise when the kids got emails today detailing a 3000 point deduction, and the promise of a $20 Woolworths voucher on the way.
It turns out there's an AutoRewards program that looks at your balance four times a year and sucks out some points to send you vouchers.
If you have no intention of flying, then the shopping vouchers might be welcome. However, they don't represent particularly good value. 3000 points gets you a $20 voucher. While the cheapest flight reward is 8000 points, a single flight is invariably worth more than the $54-odd dollars that the gift voucher valuation implies. Getting the voucher unexpectedly could also prove a nuisance if an automatic deduction leaves you just short of a points target.
I've never had this happen with my linked accounts, but I was a Frequent Flyer member before linking them — it seems new sign-ups might automatically get the AutoRewards option. You can opt out of the AutoRewards scheme on the Qantas site. If you have linked your Frequent Flyer and Everyday Rewards, it's worth double-checking to make sure you're not going to get a voucher and a points deduction. Thanks Simon