Virgin Australia frequent flyers can now earn Velocity points and status credits through Coles' Flybuys scheme, in a direct shot across the bow of the Qantas-Woolworths alliance.
Under the partnership, which launches today at Flybuys outlets across Australia, shoppers will be able to convert Flybuys points into Velocity Frequent Flyer points.
The ‘exchange rate’ sees 2,000 Flybuys points equal to 870 Velocity points – the exact same transfer rate for turning Woolworths Points (via a cumbersome ‘Woolworths Dollars’ detour) into Qantas points.
However, the wider network of Flybuys partners will make it easier for Velocity members to collect points – up to a maximum of 138,000 Flybuys points (equivalent to just over 60,000 Velocity points) per year.
This not only includes Coles, First Choice Liquor and Liquorland but Telstra, Medibank, NAB, AGL and Budget rentals.
Virgin Australia is also certain to make hay on the reduced number of Velocity points – and the lower ‘taxes and surcharges’ payment – to snare a free seat, compared to Qantas.
Flybuys members can convert their existing hoard of points into Velocity points from today, with Virgin Australia tempting such transfers by offering a 15% point bonus through to November 30, 2016.
After each transfer those newly-minted Velocity points are expected to arrive into your account the next day.
Earn status credits at the checkout
Shoppers will also be able to earn Velocity status credits by swiping their Flybuys card at Coles (including Coles Online orders), Liquorland and First Choice Liquor outlets.
Each $100 spent in total will earn 1 Velocity status credit, in addition to counting towards your overall Flybuys balance, capped at 10 status credits per month.
While that maximum haul of 120 status credits per year won’t see you zoom from no-status zero to a Platinum hero, it’s intended to help frequent flyers bridge the gap between tiers – or just get across the line for retaining their existing status – without jumping onto a plane.
Of course, you’ll still need to make some Virgin Australia flights to tick those ‘eligible sector’ boxes on a yearly basis.
Frequent flyers will need to link their Flybuys and Velocity accounts at Flybuys.com.au/Velocity in order to start earning status credits.
Shoppers will also be able to double-dip on the existing alliance between Etihad and Flybuys by continuing to collect one Etihad Guest tier mile for every $1 spent at Coles Supermarkets and selected partners, on top of their Velocity status credit earn.