Finance Finance News Vaccine freebies: $207,000 in deals and prizes up for grabs

Vaccine freebies: $207,000 in deals and prizes up for grabs

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A German man is being investigated after having 90 COVID shots to sell forged vaccination cards. Photo: Getty
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Some of Australia’s biggest brands are giving away thousands of dollars’ worth of freebies and prizes to customers who get a COVID-19 vaccine.

As officials race to vaccinate more than 80 per cent of the adult population, dozens of companies have offered more than $200,000 worth of deals, lotteries and straight-up free goods.

You are unlikely to gain access to every one of these offers, as many are chance prizes that will draw winners from hundreds of thousands of Australians.

But fear not.

Comparison site One Big Switch is tracking each deal – from free beer at pubs across the country, to a frequent flyer giveaway at Qantas, and even a $120,000 lottery for two electric vehicles by Transurban.

One Big Switch savings expert Joel Gibson has analysed the terms and conditions and says plenty of accessible freebies are on offer.

“Businesses are doing everything in their power to encourage Australia to hit its vaccination targets,” Mr Gibson said.

“It’s an existential crisis for them.”

It goes without saying, but these offers are only available to people who can prove they have received at least one (and often two) vaccine doses.

There are two broad categories: Offers for everyone who is vaccinated, and much bigger prize draws that only dish out benefits to the winning entrants.

Most offers are also only available to either existing customers or people who are willing to sign up and hand over their email to the brand overseeing the offer.

“Many are using their existing rewards programs,” Mr Gibson said.

“They’ve got the infrastructure, and it helps them build their database.”

Telstra, Qantas and Virgin are offering rewards points to vaccinated customers that can be redeemed for flights, vouchers or other services.

Pubs in South Australia, Victoria and NSW will give vaccinated people a free beer on arrival, though there are conditions around dates and times.

The Windsor Hotel in Perth, for example, will give you a beer but only on the day of your vaccination appointment.

Experts advise against heavy drinking straight after a vaccine dose.

Although you need to be a customer to access many of the incentives, Mr Gibson said many Australians are already doing business with the household names in question.

“There are millions of frequent flyers and Telstra customers,” he said.

“If you’re in those buckets, it’s a no-brainer to just chuck your vaccination status in.”

Although Australian governments have so far steered clear of vaccine incentives, they have been popular in other countries, including the US.

Some states in the US have rolled out $US100 ($138) vouchers for government workers that receive vaccines, after US President Joe Biden encouraged financial incentives for inoculations in July.

Incentives have also proved popular in Europe, where Greece offered a €150 ($243) entertainment and travel credit to everyone under 26 who got vaccinated.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Australia should give each fully vaccinated Australian $300 earlier this year, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was a bad idea and an “insult” to Australians.