With Virgin Australia now out of administration, the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program is gearing up to welcome travellers back to the skies, with offers of bonus points, and even status credits, for transferring points to Velocity.
Depending on where those points come from and how many are converted, travellers can earn up to 40% bonus Velocity Points when they transfer their reward points until the end of November.
As well, there are 50 status credits on the table for those who convert at least 50,000 Velocity Points across from a participating program.
However, with many features of Velocity remaining suspended, service levels in Virgin Australia business class being “under review”, and almost half the airline’s lounges now permanently closed – is now the right time to convert points to Velocity?
Executive Traveller takes a look at Velocity’s current points transfer offers, to see where it makes sense to transfer points to Velocity right now, and where keeping those points put is a better strategy.
Transfer to earn 15-40% bonus Velocity Points
For those who earn points via credit card rewards programs, hotel loyalty schemes or the Flybuys program of Coles supermarkets, transferring those points to Velocity before the end of November may attract a bonus of 15-40%, as below.
15% bonus: Convert Flybuys points to Velocity
Transferring any amount of Flybuys points to Velocity by November 30 attracts a 15% bonus on the lot.
Normally, every 2,000 Flybuys points converted nets 870 Velocity Points, but under this deal, the reward becomes 1,000 Velocity Points.
Conversions from Flybuys to Velocity were previously capped each year, but that cap has now been permanently removed: so whether you’re sitting on 2,000 Flybuys points, or two million, they can all be converted to Velocity with a bonus attached.
Also read: Your complete guide to Flybuys rewards
20% bonus: Convert CBA, Westpac, hotel reward points to Velocity
Until the end of November, all Velocity Points conversions from CBA Awards and Westpac Altitude Rewards attract a 20% bonus.
So too, do all Velocity Points transfers from Accor Live Limitless (ALL), Choice Privileges Rewards, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and Shangri-La Golden Circle.
Each of these programs applies its own points transfer rate to Velocity, and minimum conversion amounts and conversion increments may apply. The 20% bonus simply applies to the number of Velocity Points that land in your account from each of these programs.
Up to 40% bonus: Convert other credit card points to Velocity
Members of other selected credit card rewards programs can pocket a bonus between 15% and 40% on points transferred to Velocity by November 30.
This offer is available to members of American Express Membership Rewards, Bank of Queensland Q Rewards, CardServices Rewards, Citi Rewards, Diners Club Rewards, NAB Rewards and Suncorp Rewards.
Here’s how your bonus is calculated, based on the number of points converted across in a single transfer:
Velocity Points transferred
Bonus Velocity Points earned
1 to 100,000 Velocity Points
100,001 to 250,000 Velocity Points
250,001 to 500,000 Velocity Points
500,001 to 750,000 Velocity Points
750,001+ Velocity Points
For example, transfer 250,000 Velocity Points and you’d earn a 20% bonus, being 50,000 extra Velocity Points – but, transfer just one more Velocity Point (250,001), and you’d trigger the higher 25% bonus, netting a bonus of 62,500 Velocity Points instead.
Unfortunately, there’s no Velocity bonus offer currently available for members of Amplify Rewards (via Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George).
As well, points conversions to Velocity from ANZ Rewards and HSBC Rewards Plus remain suspended, so these cardholders equally miss out.
An ANZ spokesperson confirmed to Executive Traveller this week that the bank "is in conversations with Velocity around switching back on points transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer," but could not provide a timeline for this.
Earn 50 status credits on eligible transfers
As well as any bonus points you may earn as above, Velocity has another card on the table: earn 50 bonus status credits when you convert 50,000 Velocity Points or more in a single transfer before the end of November.
This offer is available once per partner from the list above (Amplify Rewards, ANZ Rewards and HSBC Rewards Plus again being excluded) – so if you’re sitting on multiple stashes of points, your Velocity status credits could get a similar boost.
For example, a member who transfers at least 50,000 Velocity Points across from AMEX Membership Rewards will pocket 50 status credits.
If that same member also converts 50,000 Velocity Points or more from another participating program, such as NAB Rewards, a second helping of 50 status credits will come their way.
Sitting on even more points, in a third program like Flybuys? Transfer at least 50,000 Velocity Points in a single transaction, for a third serving of 50 status credits – and so on.
Should you convert your reward points to Velocity?
With some great incentives on the table to convert your Velocity Points, pulling that trigger certainly makes sense for some travellers, but may not be the best path for others.
Why you might convert your points now
Those who regularly travel with Virgin Australia and expect to continue doing so may jump at the opportunity to breathe some life back into their Velocity balance, and get their Velocity account soaring for their next well-earned holiday.
Similarly, travellers who are close to reaching the next Velocity tier may also consider making a transfer based on the status credit bonus alone.
(If that’s the case, be aware that these bonus status credits may take up to 60 days to appear from the end of the promotion, so may land in your account any time throughout December or January.)
As well, those with points sitting in programs that don’t provide a comparable alternative – such as Flybuys, where the next-best reward after Velocity is saving money on shopping – may decide that Velocity transfers still provide value, with the bonus offer sweetening the deal.
Why you might not convert your points
Although Virgin Australia now has a more certain future being out of administration, a number of Velocity features are still suspended.
For starters, points conversions between Velocity and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer were halted in April, and continue sitting idle.
As well, all points-based bookings on Virgin Australia’s suite of partner airlines continue to be suspended, with no indication from Velocity as to when they'd return.
Those who prefer to travel in business class with Virgin Australia will also be eagerly awaiting the results of Virgin Australia’s business class “review”, where the scope of the product going forward is up for internal debate, the results of which won’t be laid down until 2021.
As many credit card rewards programs offer alternatives to Velocity, cardholders may also prefer to hold onto their bank points for now.
When international travel eventually resumes from Australia, they’d then be in a position to convert their points to a rival frequent flyer program instead – rather than having their points locked in Velocity, where future international travel options are less clear.
Finally, when it comes to hotel points, the best way to spend these is normally on hotel stays, not on airline frequent flyer conversions.
By moving those points to Velocity to save money on flights, you may be sacrificing more generous savings on your accommodation bill, had you kept those points in your hotel’s program.
Will you be taking advantage of Velocity’s current transfer offers, or will you be keeping your points where they are for the time being? Share your strategy with fellow readers via the comment box below.