Countdown Credit Cards

Updated 14 August 2019

As New Zealand’s leading supermarket brand, Countdown has 180 supermarkets across the country, serving more than 3 million customers every week. However, Countdown has much more to offer New Zealanders than just their weekly groceries. Extending its reach into the financial sphere, Countdown introduced a range of insurance options – and one very enticing credit card, allowing cardholders to earn more points within Countdown’s Onecard loyalty programme.

Countdown

What do you need to know about Countdown before you apply for one of its credit cards?

Countdown: A Little History

Known as Countdown within New Zealand, the supermarket chain forms part of Woolworths New Zealand, a subsidiary of the publicly-listed Australian company, Woolworths Limited. But how did this huge chain get to where it is today?

Let’s start with the establishment of the three main components of what is now Countdown. Woolworths opened its first store in Wellington in 1929, Foodtown opened its first supermarket in Auckland in 1958, and Countdown opened its first supermarket in Christchurch in 1981. From there, the Countdown and Foodtown businesses were all brought together under Woolworths New Zealand in 1993.

While these stores continued under their own branding for some time, in 2008, the landmark Greenlane Foodtown was converted into the first 'New Generation' Countdown. This store continued the Countdown tradition of low prices in a modern store environment, with a wider range of products and a larger area devoted to fresh foods.

It was at this point the successful Onecard programme was extended to all Countdown stores, complementing the ongoing success of Onecard in Woolworths and Foodtown. By 2011, the rebrand was complete, as the last Foodtown and Woolworths stores were finally updated to become new generation Countdown supermarkets.

Moving Forward

Over the years, the various supermarket groups that now make up Countdown introduced a variety of initiatives to benefit their customers and the community as a whole. In 1996, Woolworths introduced online shopping. Then in 2013, Countdown introduced a ‘price lockdown’, saving New Zealanders $70 million in its first year.

In 2015, Countdown launched ‘Free Fruit for Kids', a New Zealand first that became so popular, the chain now gives away 50,000 pieces of free fruit to kids across the country every week. In 2017, Countdown became the first national retailer to commit to going cage-free in its on-shelf eggs, and in 2018, all Countdown stores went single-use plastic carrier bag free.

Helping Out

Going further in its bid to help out those who need it, Countdown supports a range of charitable organisations across New Zealand. Two major projects include the annual Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, which has raised $9.3 million since its launch in 2007, and Countdown's Food Rescue programme, launched in partnership with The Salvation Army in 2011 to supply food to families in need.

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Countdown Onecard Visa Credit Card

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Onecard

What about the Onecard programme? The Foodtown Woolworths Onecard was initially launched in 2003. It was designed to work as an all-in-one savings card, offering Foodtown shoppers the opportunity to get something back on their shop, with additional rewards benefits also on offer. With a simple premise, it allowed members to earn points on their shop, which could then be accumulated and turned into vouchers to be spent in-store.

Over time, the Onecard programme grew and developed, becoming the loyalty programme of the new generation Countdown stores as they rolled out across the country. In 2013, Countdown launched the Onecard Visa, helping Onecard members to boost their points earning day to day, and then in 2016, the Onecard relaunched to include a partnership with AA Smartfuel. This allowed customers to choose to be rewarded with AA Smartfuel discounts or Onecard points at Countdown.

Onecard Visa

So, what does the Onecard Visa offer exactly? As a rewards card with a very specific focus, the Onecard Visa is a no frills option that keeps features to a minimum. Aside from offering the basics in security and payment features, the Onecard Visa provides the following drawcards to keen Onecard members.

Earn Points On Everyday Spending: Instead of only earning Onecard points on your Countdown shop, you can boost your points earning as you earn Onecard points on all eligible card spending.

Earn Double Points At Countdown: When you shop at Countdown, you will earn points twice: once on your Onecard Visa and once as a Onecard member.

Vouchers Provided Quarterly: Onecard rewards vouchers are sent out four times a year, in February, May, August and November. These vouchers can be spent in-store, helping you to save as you shop.

Free Delivery On Countdown Online: You can enjoy free delivery with your Countdown shop when you spend $200 or more online (free delivery is not available in some areas).

Want to find out more? Check out the Onecard Visa to check fees and features, and our handy review.

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Brian Biggs

Brian Biggs

6 November 2019
Hi my wife received a letter fom visa saying it is no longer going to be a countdown partner and the visa card finnishes on december the 1st .As all of my transactions are paid by visa Power,Phone bills .It would have been good to have more time to reorganize these payments .Why have Countdown not let there customers Know my wife is Fumeing not to have been told earlier espesualy not by Countdown inconsiderate is what i call it Regards Brian
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