Virgin Australia Velocity ends partnership with four hotel chains

By Chris Chamberlin, August 23 2017

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members will no longer be able to earn Velocity points on hotel stays with Jumeirah International; Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces; Meritus Hotels and Resorts; and Hotel Urban Group from September 2017.

That means no more Velocity points at some of the world’s most iconic hotels, including Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab in Dubai (below) and Taj’s Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. Singapore’s Mandarin Orchard and Marina Mandarin hotels – and Sydney and Brisbane’s Hotel Urban properties – will also be axed from the Velocity program.

Jumeirah International will depart Velocity first, with no points awarded on stays completed after September 7 2017. Stays prior to this date will continue to earn one Velocity point per US$1 spent.

Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces and Meritus Hotels and Resorts follow one week later on September 15 2017 – awarding a fixed 1,000 Velocity points per eligible stay until that date.

Hotel Urban Group is also exiting as of September 15 2017, bringing an end to earning three Velocity points per $1 spent on eligible room rates.

Virgin Australia Velocity remains a frequent flyer partner to other major hotel chains including Accor, Hilton, InterContinental, Shangri-La and Starwood, among others, with these partnerships continuing unaffected.

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!

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 327

Reading the headline, I thought they were removing their status match with Hilton and IHG at Gold and Platinum. That would have broken the value proposition of Platinum for mine...

flubberghusted

flubberghusted

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Mar 2012

Total posts 6

It's already useless. Hilton doesn't recognise the ongoing Platinum status. It's a one off upgrade at the beginning and up to you to maintain the Diamond status. 

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

They had a really good deal when they had agoda as a booking partner for 3-6 points per $ depending on status.  Last night I went to make a booking on their new virgin holidays websites and noticed that they have a ridiculous number of exorbitant fees for everything.  Ended up booking via SQ's tie up with agoda.  Less points but it's free to change booking online, free cancellation up to a day before the stay and no credit card fees.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

Indeed: can't say I'm a fan of the 2.8% AMEX surcharge that pops up on the last page of the VA Hotels portal (when most other OTAs have no credit card surcharges, including rival Qantas Hotels).

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 250

You should've booked through Agoda and got Velocity PointsMax. I've got a 7 night Gold Coast stay booked and I'm getting over 5000 points for it.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

How many velocity points per dollar is that?

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 250

It's not per dollar, it's just based on bookings. But my booking converts to 4.5 per $.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

Thanks...im currently in the process of booking 11 hotels across japan and trying to maximise the potential krisflyer miles i can squeeze out of hotels

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 250

Krisflyer isn't one of the airline mileage programs available, but you could easily credit to VFF then transfer. And points don't take too long to come through after the stay is complete.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2947

Just a friendly note to highlight that with PointsMax, the room rates you're paying are usually higher than through 'normal' booking channels to cover the cost of buying those extra points - so while it could make sense if you use those points well (such as to fly business or first class), the extra cost may not be 'worth it' if you tend to book economy flights with those points instead. :)

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 250

I'm finding that at the moment (looking for accomm in Europe), though for some hotels it's only a few dollars extra per night, not 10's or 100's.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

SQ has their own separate portal for agoda giving you 2 points per USD spent.  My first point of call is usually booking.com as I prefer their interface to actually narrow down the list, then I go to agoda to check if better points are available for similar/same cost and as a final check I look at the hotel's own website to make sure i'm not getting ripped off.  And I only use my points for SQ J redemptions/upgrades to europe so I always figure out the equivalent points in krisflyer miles.  It's better to earn Velocity to avoid expiry.

Chris_PER

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Well, if you can afford to stay at the Burj Al Arab, then the loss of Velocity points is probably the least of your worries.

stredinnick

stredinnick

30 Jun 2011

Total posts 50

Yes true about generally slightly higher booking rates with PointsMax.  Some good earns to be found if you search though - I had a recent $140 one-night booking that delivered 1,000 VA points.

elchriss0

elchriss0

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 581

I just did a search and found 2 nights at $140 for 1900 points which is almost as good.  Price is extra $10 vs the $130/night for 400 points. 

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