Virgin Australia inks points partnership with Starwood

By David Flynn, February 17 2014
Virgin Australia inks points partnership with Starwood

Members of Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer program can now count a new and prestigious partner in Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Travellers will be able to earn Velocity points for their stays at Starwood properties including Sheraton, St Regis, Le Meridien, Westin and W Hotels by transferring points from their Starwood Preferred Guest account over to Velocity.

The exchange rate is 1 Starpoint for 1 Velocity point, although transferring 20,000 Starpoints or more in a single transaction nets you an extra 5,000 Velocity points.

Read: New Sheraton Melbourne Hotel to open in March

"We have talked to many airlines around the world, we have 30 airline partners globally and Qantas isn't one of them," Starwood's regional vice-president Sean Hunt told The Australian. "Virgin, frankly, were faster to the table."

Hunt calls the Virgin partnership "a major milestone" and both companies see it as part of their shared play for business travellers.

"This is a partnership with Starwood and Virgin to drive more corporate and leisure guests into our Australian and Pacific hotels" Hunt said.

Velocity chief executive Neil Thompson echoed Hunt's remarks, adding that "Starwood's loyalty program is one that corporate travellers love.

"It speaks well to the corporate market that has been growing very strongly and it complements the international network that we have been building with our alliance members."

Platinum-grade members of Velocity are currently entitled to free top-tier Hilton HHonors Diamond or IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status.

Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer program now has close to four million members, while Qantas expects to sign up its 10 millionth frequent flyer in the next few months.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 735

Hmm, not terrible. 

For most of us, who don't travel enough to earn top-tier status with any single hotel chain (especially in this country where there are only a few hotels from any of the big American chains) I think has the best deal though. Their "free nights" promotion basically comes back as a 10% kickback on pretty much any hotel in the world, which works out better than any of the big chains.


Oh, also you can get AA points from Starwood points at the same rate as VA points and I know which I'd rather have.


Still, this is better than a poke in the eye.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

If you're booking SPG hotels (2 SPG points per USD $1 for entry status ; 3 SPG points per USD $1 for Gold/Platinum) for the purpose of earning Velocity points only, you're probably better of booking these SPG hotels through Agoda which offers 3 Velocity points per AUD $1 (currently below parity with the USD, so more points) and then a bonus on top of that for Velocity Silver/Gold/Platinum members.

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