If anyone had any doubts about what Coles Myer thought about the intelligence of their customers, those doubts should be dispelled by the company’s latest petrol “discount” offer. Under the plan, Coles Myer shoppers can choose to trade 1,000 Fly Buys points for a 10 cent per litre fuel discount.

Considering the offer in more detail, to earn 1,000 Fly Buys points, you need to spend $2,500 at a Coles Myer store. Assuming that the average person would fill up their vehicle with about 40 litres of petrol at a time, the 10 cent discount will end up saving those loyal Coles Myer customers $4.00 for every $2,500 spent. That amounts to a not-so generous 0.16% discount off the initial price. To compare, shareholders used to receive a 10% discount on all purchases at Myer (and 5% at Coles) before John Fletcher took an axe to the scheme. In effect, the fuel discount is equal to around 1/60th of the old shareholders discount.

So if you were tossing up between buying that leather couch at Myer for $2,500 or say Harvey Norman for $2,000, you probably shouldn’t be basing your decision on any potential fuel discounts – the couch at Coles Myer would still be $496 more expensive even after the fuel discount.

One hopes that consumers are smarter than Coles Myer gives them credit for. On the numbers it seems that Coles Myer’s latest loyalty discount scheme requires a lot of loyalty but doesn’t give all that much of a discount.