Flybuys offers Virgin Australia Gold perks for up to 15 months

By Chris Chamberlin , November 16 2016
Flybuys offers Virgin Australia Gold perks for up to 15 months

Selected members of Coles’ Flybuys loyalty program can now fast-track their journey to Virgin Australia Velocity Gold frequent flyer status under a new ‘status challenge’ promotion, open to travellers with Qantas Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairmans Lounge status.

The deal delivers perks like priority check-in, airport lounge access and priority boarding for three months when flying with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines – including Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others – with an easy path to a further 12 months of perks.

But it’s not as simple as registering your details and relaxing the lounge: here’s what you need to do, and the rules you’ll need to navigate.

  1. Check your inbox over the coming days for an email direct from Flybuys inviting you to participate in this new ‘Explore Gold’ promotion. Unfortunately, if you don’t receive this targeted email there’s no way to manually opt-in, and if you do receive the email but don’t act on it within 10 days, you’ll lose your eligibility.

  2. Follow the link in that email and upload a colour photograph of your current Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card (Silver or above). Frequent flyer cards of other airlines, including Qantas partners like Cathay Pacific and Emirates, are not accepted. The name shown on your Qantas card must also match your Velocity account.
  3. Once approved, your Velocity account will be upgraded to ‘Explore Gold’ status for three months, giving you access to most of the perks normally offered to full Velocity Gold members, except for complimentary hotel/car hire status, annual family trip rewards and parental pauses.

Earn at least 80 status credits and notch up at least one eligible sector during that trial period and you’ll then receive a further 12 months of ‘real’ Velocity Gold status with all benefits included.

How to earn 80 status credits and one eligible sector

How you amass those all-important status credits is up to you, but here are a few different ways it can be done under Velocity’s current frequent flyer earning rates:

  • Fly Sydney-Melbourne or Sydney-Brisbane return just once in business class, twice on flexible economy tickets or four times on discount economy fares.
  • Take a one-way business class flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth, or take a return trip in economy with at least one of the flights booked as a flexible fare.
  • Jet from Sydney or Brisbane to Los Angeles on any Virgin Australia fare type, including the lowest-priced economy tickets which get you over the line from a return trip.

All those scenarios net at least one eligible sector, too – that is, a flight taken on a Virgin Australia VA flight number – and don’t forget: you can also earn status credits from Virgin Australia’s partner airlines, via family pooling and now at supermarkets and bottle shops through Flybuys.

If you don’t meet that target by the end of your Explore Gold trial period, you’ll instead be given Velocity Silver status for 12 months, Australian Business Traveller has confirmed with Virgin Australia.

Velocity Silver comes with two complimentary airport lounge visits, a discount on year-round lounge membership, an extra checked bag on many Virgin Australia fares, priority check-in access when travelling internationally and up to 50% more points when flying with Virgin Australia.

What happens after your final 12-month period

Whether you qualified for a year-long Velocity Gold membership or enjoyed the comforts of Velocity Silver status, you’ll then have to retain your status in the same way as all other members.

To keep Velocity Gold, you’ll need to have earned at least 400 status credits and flown at least four eligible sectors during your 12 month gratis period to continue as a Gold member for a further year – anything less and you’ll slip down to Velocity Silver for the next 12 months.

If you instead received Velocity Silver from the promotion, you’d need a lower 200 status credits and two eligible sectors to keep it, else you’ll drop to the standard Red level.

Connect with other business travellers in our Virgin Australia discussion group

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

Just what those who actually earn status need... The VA lounges and priority boarding lanes are packed enough as it!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 34

Completely agree with Boof, already feels like a bus station these days. Too many people! If anything they should make it harder to get Gold and Platinum.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Let's say you get silver from this promo what are the requirements to then reach gold?

Hi Henrus, everybody targeted by this promotion (and who holds an eligible Qantas card) receives 'Explore Gold' status for three months. Earning 80 status credits and 1 eligible sector within that three months will then give you full Velocity Gold for a year from the conclusion of that three-month period.

If you don't earn 80+1 during the three month period, you'll instead be dropped to (normal) Velocity Silver. From there, all normal rules and rates apply for earning and retaining status (so to move from Silver to Gold, it's 500SC + 4 eligible sectors).

Much easier to attain Gold during the Explore Gold promo. ;)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

They're all about cramming the numbers in. The frequent flyer program seems to be kicking goals but the airline itself is lost and distracted. A platinum friend of mine travelling from Sydney to Melbourne on Monday was stung $70 for a second checked bag. One at 12kg and one at 28kg. (the plat allowance is for 3 bags.) Despite his protesting, they still charged. A platinum! What a totally devalued program it has become. They're all about jamming new members into the funnel, at whatever the cost is.

It has been my experience that VA counter staff are helpful and conciliatory. If you are over the limit they do their best to help you through the process (swapping form one bag to another). I am guessing that your friend was travelling on a ticket that allows 23kg bags rather than 32kg ones.  Perhaps he might not have been able to swap some things over.  .................AND NO........... I am nothing to do with Virgin other than Platinum member.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2015

Total posts 17

I was wondering how Virgin knew what my status is with QF ?

29 Apr 2014

Total posts 22

Good question. I was wondering as well. My wife and I both received the email. I am just a Qantas Red but she is a Silver so will be taking this up. 

13 Jun 2014

Total posts 1

Good offer but they should extend it to Australian based frequent flyers who have status with airlines other than Qantas....

09 Feb 2012

Total posts 23

Any idea how this is being targetted? I'd really like to do this given I am QF gold (for another 2 months anyway), but have just started flying with VA.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2016

Total posts 5

I've just linked my accounts, I wonder how it's going to be targeted?

17 Nov 2016

Total posts 1

Well done Flybuys, Gold.

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 3

A nice way to try Virgin given the devaluing happening over at QFF.  


Is there an error in post or maybe I missed something.  Sydney - Melbourne is 40 status points in business and one needs 80 for the promotion so that makes a return trip needed - or is there a status promtoion also? 

Hi oztalker, the post reads: "Fly Sydney-Melbourne or Sydney-Brisbane return just once in business class, twice on flexible economy tickets or four times on discount economy fares."

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 3

Thanks Chris, not sure how I missed the 'return' part.  Appreicate the reply.

No dramas at all. Happy Friday!

I got one of these this week but I didn't have to provide any of my Qantas status details

04 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

I am already a VA Gold member and received this offer. My understanding is if I obtain 80 status credits within the 3 month period that they will give me another 1 years Gold membership privileges. Does this 1 year commence from the anniversary date of my original membership which is Jan 2018, or commence from late August ( end of 3 month promotion period in which to obtain 80 status credits ? )

04 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

After calling Fly buys I was advised that about 1 month after clicking on the 3 month Gold offer received by e mail , I will receive notification that the 3 month Gold membership is activated. I will also receive a new VA member card ( regardless of my current level ). I have 3 months from the time of activation to acquire 80 status credits - the I will receive 1 year of Gold membership. So currently my review date is Feb 2018 , if I get 80 status credits within the 3 month period , my new review date will be approximately Aug or Sep 2018.  Anyway for $1000 take 2 short haul business class flights and you have already got 80 status credits. If you fly a bit remember in Gold you can access lounges both before and after your flight and take a couple of guests in free with you. Also you get extra luggage allowance as well as other benefits. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jun 2017

Total posts 1

So got the Gold Explore deal and am now awaiting new VA member card!  What constitutes the eligible sector required to upgrade from the 3mths Explore Gold to the full 1 year Gold Velocity? I will be accruing 110 status points in the 3mth window (already booked) and one of those flights is on VA (AKL-MEL).  Will the VA flight suffice to cover me for the 'eligible VA sector'?  Or does it need to be a newly booked flight? Anyone able to shine some light on this for me?


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