CBA, Westpac restore Velocity credit card points transfers

Australia’s two biggest banks bring back Virgin Australia Velocity credit card points, following earlier moves from AMEX and NAB.

By Chris Chamberlin, September 25 2020
CBA, Westpac restore Velocity credit card points transfers

Customers of the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac can once again convert their hard-earned credit card points into Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points.

Bringing welcome news for members of CommBank Awards and Westpac Altitude Rewards, eligible cardholders from St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA also see Velocity Points conversions restored from their Amplify Rewards program – these banks being subsidiaries of Westpac.

With the freeze initially triggered by Virgin Australia’s entry into voluntary administration back in April, it’s the first time in five months that these cardholders have been able to manually convert their bank reward points into Velocity Points.

Conversions to Velocity Frequent Flyer once again take place at the following rates:

Program

Conversion rate

Example

CommBank Awards
(Classic & Gold cards)

2.5:1

100,000 CBA points = 40,000 Velocity Points

CommBank Awards
(Platinum, Diamond & Ultimate cards)

2:1

100,000 CBA points = 50,000 Velocity Points

Westpac Altitude Rewards

3:1

100,000 Altitude Points = 33,333 Velocity Points

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Rewards

2:1

100,000 Amplify Points = 50,000 Velocity Points

BankSA Amplify Rewards

2:1

100,000 Amplify Points = 50,000 Velocity Points

St.George Amplify Rewards

2:1

100,000 Amplify Points = 50,000 Velocity Points

However, while Velocity Points conversions have been restored in Westpac’s Altitude Rewards program, the bank has not currently returned the separate ‘Altitude Velocity’ card loyalty option, as had also been offered prior to the shutdown.

Unlike Altitude Rewards, through which points are earned in the bank’s program and converted to Velocity at will, Altitude Velocity enabled the direct earning of Velocity Points (without the need to convert points manually), alongside some Virgin Australia travel perks.

This latest move from CBA and Westpac follows the earlier restoration of Velocity Points transfers from both American Express Membership Rewards and NAB Rewards.

Credit card points transfers from ANZ Rewards to Velocity remain unavailable at the time of publishing: making ANZ the only ‘Big Four Bank’ to continue blocking its customers’ access to Velocity Points.

Velocity Points conversions also remain off the cards for members of HSBC Rewards Plus, and those with Citigroup cards attached to the Citibank Rewards, Diners Club Rewards, BOQ Rewards, CardServices Rewards and Suncorp Rewards platforms.

In related news, Virgin Money, which had halted new applications for its Velocity High Flyer and Velocity High Flyer credit cards back in April, has this month reopened those cards to new customers.

However, the American Express Velocity Escape and AMEX Velocity Platinum cards remain off the market for now.

Existing AMEX Velocity cardholders can continuing earning Velocity Points as usual, with Membership Rewards cardholders able to convert their rewards into Velocity Points.

Also read: Your guide to the Westpac Altitude Rewards program

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.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

19 Mar 2018

Total posts 53

Velocity must surely be the program that KrisFlyer needs right now. 

KrisFlyer would be second to MileagePlus if it retained all its members, but it has an extremely high turnover rate because it pretty much offers no incentive to the Economy Class passenger, especially in Asia. Unlike the West, the system is just too varied to entice the customer to sign up for a card, and airlines don't seem to understand what customers want, too.

Lounge access? With your ride-hailing app, with every debit and credit card, there is some airport lounge provider, be it LoungeKey, PriorityPass etc, and Asians dont value priority access because airports are too damn efficient.

I'm guessing Velocity will be the foundation on which Singapore Airlines will build their competitor to Cathay Pacific's AsiaMiles. Velocity may be better suited to allow members across Asia Pacific because it will give them more familiar partners.

21 Jul 2020

Total posts 7

Still no answer on the auto 2:1 rate i had that they turned off randomly in jan, pre COVID.


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