I am Velocity Gold and will be Platinum early next year.

8 replies

bsh3p

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Nov 2013

Total posts 4

I am Velocity Gold and will be Platinum early next year. I only plan to use points towards International business class upgrades on Etihad really as I don't like Virgin Business class. I have a contact at Etihad who can status match me but I can't seem to work out if there is a benefit to me switching. From what I can find out, if I am Etihad guest I can earn points from Virgin easily but redeem points across a wider range of airlines. Any thoughts? Cheers

Southland

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 31 Jan 2012

Total posts 57

I would go with EY if you only intend to use points for upgrades on long haul only.

PLATY

Member since 19 Jan 2012

Total posts 138

Hi Brendan - how are you earning your points? If you are travelling in Virgin business class or higher cost economy fares domestically you may be better off in Virgin Velocity since as Platinum you'll earn 10 points per dollar based on the money you spend on your domestic flights rather than earn per the distance flown with Etihad Guest. 

If you ever want to redeem points for domestic travel onto VA, again you may be better off with Velocity than Etihad Guest.

Of course you can also redeem Velocity points for other airlines (e.g. Singapore) not visible on the Velocity booking engine by ringing the customer service number, if that helps to use up your Velocity points.

Others may be able to provide insights on the availability and ease of upgrades on Etihad.

In conclusion, the cost-benefit really depends on your own individual detailed travel patterns and preferred earn and burn strategy... 

PLATY

Member since 19 Jan 2012

Total posts 138

...and as Southland has pointed out, if you sole aim is an Etihad upgrade, then stick with Etihad - optimal value may lie elsewhere...

bsh3p

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Nov 2013

Total posts 4

Thanks for your prompt replies.  

A little more info below for you PLATY:

With Virgin Australia I have mainly been travelling saver class for leisure travel but have booked the occasional Business class (I flew Brisbane-Darwin earlier this year and early next year I am flying BNE-DPS return in Business also which would take me to Platinum status with Velocity).  

As stated, I would prefer to use my points to upgrade on long-haul Etihad - I don't want to use points to travel on Virgin Australia I would rather just pay.  

I do tend to book my travel well in advance so being with Velocity trying to upgrade with Etihad may not be a problem?  My thought process - which I suppose goes with what Southland said is that it may be beneficial to be with the airline I wish to upgrade with - but on the flipside as PLATY points out I may not earn the same points on Etihad guest flying Virgin as I would being with Velocity....  This is confusing!

sdwylie

Qantas - Platinum

Member since 18 Jan 2011

Total posts 27

I don't follow Velocity that closely, but my understanding is that it is impossible to upgrade an Etihad flight using Virgin Velocity points.

From the Velocity website:

http://www.velocityrewards.com.au/content/Status/Benefitsat-a-glance/

"UpgradeMe Points - international flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi:

  • Only available on flights marketed and operated by Virgin Australia."

sdwylie

Qantas - Platinum

Member since 18 Jan 2011

Total posts 27

So, just to be clear, by my understanding, it's not possible to do as the OP states: 

"I do tend to book my travel well in advance so being with Velocity trying to upgrade with Etihad may not be a problem"

PLATY

Member since 19 Jan 2012

Total posts 138

If you want to upgrade on Etihad you'll need to go the Etihad guest route for both earning points and using points, since you can't use Velocity points to upgrade on Etihad.

That said, when you reach Platinum with Virgin you'll get four upgrade vouchers for business class upgraded from flexible economy domestic flights on Virgin - might as well use these anyway since you'll get status credits at the business earn (due to an ongoing glitch in Virgin's booking system) - if you use these for longer flights (e.g. SYD-PER) you'll be almost halfway back to requalify for Platinum again (4 by 80 = 320), which takes 800 credits. So perhaps keep with Velocity until you have requalified for Platinum and then switch to Etihad (?).

Have you got an Amex gold or platinum charge card with access to "membership rewards"? These allow you to build points up which you can then direct to an airline of your chocie (out of 9) and offer a substantial application bonus (80,000 pts for Platinum) and opportunity to earn lots of points for hotel bookings (through hotelclub amex 10 pt per dollar offer) whilst giving you the flexibility to transfer you points either to Velocity or Etihad.

Best bet is to estimate your flights , hotels, credit card spend for the next 12 months and then try to calculate how many points you'd earn to either Etihard or Virgin and then see if that helps reach you travel goals. You may find that by including potential credit card spend as well as flight points earned you could end up with a free fight on Etihad via Virgin anyway.

The bottom line is I can't provide a definitive answer - you have to do the maths!

 

bsh3p

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Nov 2013

Total posts 4

Thanks PLATY, I'm very thankful for your contribution.  

I really need to sit down as you say and do the Maths.  I have looked at charge cards, It is a matter of figuring out what annual fee and free points is worth it based on my annual spend.  I am eligible for Platinum AMEX  but unsure if the annual fee would work with my spend....  I was hoping for an easy out but guess I'll be spreadsheeting this weekend ;) I really appreciate the assistance.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on I am Velocity Gold and will be Platinum early next year.

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