How to buy Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points

By Chris Chamberlin, January 21 2016

Virgin Australia’s Velocity members can now purchase frequent flyer points directly from Virgin Australia to top-up their Velocity balance.

Handy if you’re a few points short of a ‘free’ flight or upgrade to business class, members can buy up to 20% of the points needed for their desired award, provided they already have at least 80% of the points they require.

Sold in blocks of 500 points up to a maximum of 50,000 points per purchase, members of all tiers can buy Velocity points up to twice per calendar year with the cost varying based on the quantity obtained.

Buying a mere 500 Velocity points sets you back $18 – or 3.6c per point – while the full 50,000 points costs $1,172, or 2.34c each. You’ll find the exact price at each increment on the Virgin Australia website.

Virgin Australia Velocity: topping up your points

Let’s say you wanted to book a return trip from Sydney or Brisbane to Los Angeles in Virgin Australia business class, normally 188,000 Velocity points plus taxes and fees, but only have 155,000 points in your account.

You could then buy the difference of 33,000 Velocity points outright for $852 and secure your return trip, allowing you to use the points you’ve already saved up while still securing a flight at much less than the usual sticker price.

Naturally, Velocity members who have specific travel dates in mind would do well to find a suitable reward flight before buying frequent flyer points, otherwise buying a regular ticket may be needed this time around to fly when you need to.

Buying Velocity points: how it compares

Until now the only cost-effective way of buying Velocity points was through Starwood Preferred Guest, where Starpoints convert to Velocity points on a 1:1 basis with a bonus 5,000 Velocity points for every 20,000 Starpoints converted.

At the current prices, SPG members could buy 20,000 Starpoints for US$700 (A$1,008) and convert them into 25,000 Velocity points, whereas now those same 25,000 points can be bought directly from Virgin Australia for A$677 – a $331 saving.

Even with Starwood's frequent 25% off promotions, buying the same for US$525 (A$755) on sale is still more expensive than from Virgin Australia direct, making the Starwood path only valuable in rare circumstances.

These days, buying 25,000 Velocity points straight from Virgin Australia comes at a cost of 2.7c per point, and provided you redeem your points well – such as to Los Angeles in business class – you could easily fetch 5-7c of value from each and every one.

To buy Velocity points, call Virgin Australia on 13 18 75 between 8am and 8pm, Sydney time, Monday to Friday.

Also read: How to buy Qantas Frequent Flyer points

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

The Evil Muppet

The Evil Muppet

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Dec 2015

Total posts 41

Given the current issues with Award Seat availability on Long Haul routes, Award Seats and Gold/Platinum upgrades coming out of the same pool and no preferential treatment being given to members with higher status, this is arguably the last thing Virgin needs.

Even a basic calendar view for fares and Awards (actual award seats, not Any Seat redemptions) would be infinitely more useful than this development for the vast majority of members.

andyf

andyf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 122

100% agree. Points that can't be redeemed for desirable rewards (which for a large number of people are long haul business class) are useless.

AndrewYes

AndrewYes

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2012

Total posts 150

This is a lovely ad for Virgin Australia.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

This isn't an ad, Andrew, it's independent editorial content on a topic relevant to our readership (loyalty points) and which we cover extensively across a broad range of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Boof

Boof

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

Let me get this straight in my head:

I'm platinum and spend $1172 on domestic airfares I get 11,720 points. Or fly SYD-LAX return for $1172 (rough return in discount Y) and get 14990, based on 0.5 per mile over 7495 miles and 100% bonus.

But I can spend $1172 and get 50,000 points?? Even with the 80% of the total rule that is in place that is one hell of deal.

I like this little gem from the T's & C's: 9.8.2 The purchase of Points in accordance with this clause 9.8.1 does not guarantee the availability of the desired Reward.

There is hardly any long haul availability as it is...

SoftBedPlease

SoftBedPlease

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 33

Some things are not entirely clear on the Points Booster details on the VA website, a bit which seems to be either 'confirmed' or assumed in this article.

For example, this article mentions that you can use Points Booster if you are just short of a 'free' flight (reward flight) or an upgrade to Business (upgrades, in general, I guess). The VA website doesn't make it clear that you can use this for upgrades as well. Although, with a bit of gymnastics on the T&Cs, you could argue it could be used for upgrades as well (i.e. via UpgradeMe Points).

I guess while we're kind of at it, although a bit far-fetched, could you also use Points Booster for Any Seat rewards?

It is mentioned that you must use Points Booster in conjunction with an intended Reward. How I understand this is you are wanting to book an reward which you are just short of points for. You call Velocity and tell them you want this reward. If there's no availability, you don't proceed. If there is, you pay the difference via Points Booster, the reward is redeemed and the points are deducted. I take it you just can't tell them you want to purchase points with Points Booster, they give you the points and then you decide, "nah, second thoughts, I don't want the reward," essentially just purchasing the points.

If you cancel a reward booked with the help of Points Booster, I assume you get the full points back to the value of the reward, not a combination of the points you did use and cash for the Points Booster. That could be a way to "purchase" points if you really wanted to (i.e. book "dummy" rewards then cancel them, plus paying the cancellation fee).

I assume that you can't use Points Booster if you actually have enough points currently to redeem the intended reward?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

Hi SoftBedPlease, you don't need to book your reward when you buy the points. Virgin Australia has confirmed to us that purchased points can be used towards all air and non-air rewards, you simply need to provide the details of the reward you are wanting to book so that the 80%/20% figures can be appropriately calculated, much as happens when you buy Qantas points.

Boof

Boof

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

One assumes that the desired reward is recorded?

Otherwise I'm 80% to a J class seat to Sydney, then I'm 80% of a J class seat to NAN, then I'm 80% to a J class seat to LAX...

If it's not recorded then I can't see the point of the 80% rule if you don't have to book at the time of buying.

 


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