What is a Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer point worth?

From headphones to iPhones plus flights and upgrades, here are some of the best (and worst) ways to spend Velocity Points.

By Chris Chamberlin, April 28 2021
What is a Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer point worth?

With a number of ways to spend your Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points, finding the path that provides the best value can be a tough nut to crack.

Depending on how those points are used, you could find each one valued from as little as 0.42c: yes, less than half a cent each.

When using your points in more rewarding ways, however, you could instead find them worth up to 6.1c.

Here's a look at how your points stack up when using them towards gift cards and merchandise from the Velocity Rewards Store, on flight bookings, and on upgrades to business class. 

Spending points in the Velocity Rewards Store

Burning Velocity Points in the program's own Velocity Rewards Store isn’t the greatest way to squeeze value from your points, but it’s a start.

For a $100 gift card, you're looking at 18,000 to 21,800 Velocity Points, valuing each point at 0.55c to 0.45c each.

The precise number of points required depends on the specific gift card you're buying, with the most flexible cards – namely 'Coles Group & Myer' and Westfield gift cards – costing more points than others.

(Handy hint: If you're planning to shop at Myer, a Myer-only $100 gift card costs 19,500 Velocity Points, while those broader Coles Group & Myer gift cards command a higher 21,800 Velocity Points.)

Around that same price point, a Breville 'The Bit More' four-slice toaster can be had for 18,590 Velocity Points, versus $110.95 ($99.95 + $11 delivery) purchased direct from Breville online.

Spending your Qantas Points on a toaster is one of the worst ways to go.
Spending your Qantas Points on a toaster is one of the worst ways to go.

Crunch the numbers, and you're getting slightly better value at 0.59c per Velocity Point, but that still isn't much of an improvement.

Ironically, choosing items more popular with travellers may even see you worse off.

Fancy getting your hands on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700?

With a sticker price of $439 at some online retailers and an asking price of 102,812 Velocity Points, you'd be getting just 0.42c per point.

That's even poorer value than using your points to buy a gift card, and using the gift card to make the same buy!

How about an iPhone or iPad? You can swap points for those too – 309,547 Velocity Points nabs an 11-inch iPad Pro WiFi + Cellular 128GB, while 469,109 Velocity Points nabs an iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB.

Apple products are among the most popular items in the Qantas Store, but provide similar value to gift cards.
Apple products are among the most popular items in the Qantas Store, but provide similar value to gift cards.

In that instance you’d be looking at 0.51c per point on the iPad and 0.5c per point on the iPhone.

At those rates, you'd be better off buying a toaster: but, we can still do better.

Spending Velocity Points on Virgin Australia economy flights

Being a frequent flyer program, you’re sure to get better value from your points when taking to the skies.

A simple Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy comes in at 7,800 Velocity Points + $34.39 in taxes, fees and charges, while a paid ticket can often be had for $99 all-inclusive (outside of promotion periods).

With a total cash saving of $64.61, your points take on a value of 0.82c each.

On longer flights from Sydney to Perth – often for sale at up to $329 each way, when reward seats are otherwise available – you’ll burn 17,800 Velocity Points + $30.75 in taxes, fees and charges: squeezing a return of 1.675c from every point.

That's roughly double the value as spending your points on a shorter domestic flight, and 3-4x as valuable as burning points through the Velocity Rewards Store. 

Spending Velocity Points on Virgin Australia business class

Often dubbed the 'pointy end', business class travel is regularly considered the best way to spend your Velocity Points, although the appeal (and value) will depend on which flight you book.

Take a Sydney-Melbourne hop in business class, for example.

A seat that's now regularly $299 can be yours for 15,500 Velocity Points + $34.39 in taxes, fees and charges.

That gives your points a value of 1.7c each: more than twice the value you'd get back from flying economy on the same route.

Don't burn your points on an iPad: save them for a business class seat!
Don't burn your points on an iPad: save them for a business class seat!

However, Sydney-Melbourne flights were previously one of the best ways to spend your points, unlocking values of 4-5c each when cash fares were high, and points and fees for reward bookings were low.

With regular airfares now significantly discounted – particularly following Rex's entry into the market – the value of using points to book this route isn't what it once was: but still beats buying a toaster.

Longer flights like Sydney-Perth are where you'll now find the best value.

With one-way business class fares selling for $999 right now – or for 35,500 Velocity Points plus $30.75 – those bookings get you a solid 2.72c per point.

That's more than six times the value per point as using your points for a pair of Bose headphones, or almost a 40% improvement on value versus booking economy on Australia's longest domestic routes.

Using Velocity Points for business class upgrades

Have an economy class booking, but fancy a seat in business class instead?

Velocity members can once again use their points for a business class upgrade – but whether this makes sense will depend on the ticket you've booked.

Here's how the figures shape up on a typical Sydney-Melbourne flight:

Fare type

Ticket price

Business class fare

Upgrade value

Upgrade cost

Value per point

Getaway

$99

$299

$200

10,000 points

2c

Elevate

$205

$299

$94

10,000 points

0.94c

Freedom

$439

$599

$160

4,900 points

3.26c

Interestingly, while travellers booking the cheapest Getaway tickets can expect 2c in value per point on these upgrades, those spending more on Elevate fares are worse off.

That's because Velocity Frequent Flyer applies the same points upgrade rate to both Getaway and Elevate fares, and doesn't dial down the points needed to upgrade when you part with more cash.

On paper, travellers upgrading from Freedom fares are best-rewarded.

However, we should point out that right now, Virgin Australia economy Freedom fares on the route start at $439, while buying business class outright costs only $299.

That means it's cheaper to simply buy a business class ticket, than it is to book flexible economy, without touching your points stash!

Unless you're travelling on employer-sponsored tickets (and thus, upgrading from flexible economy to flexible business class for just 4,900 points), right now, it makes the most sense just to buy a seat.

A similar pattern emerges on Sydney-Perth flights, albeit with flexible economy priced lower than lead-in business class:

Fare type

Ticket price

Business class fare

Upgrade value

Upgrade cost

Value per point

Getaway

$329

$999

$670

30,000 points

2.23c

Elevate

$379

$999

$620

30,000 points

2.06c

Freedom

$689

$1,299

$610

9,900 points

6.16c

Once again, upgrades on Freedom fares are great value if you're already going to be booked on that fare type and need flexibility – thus our comparison above with flexible business class.

Otherwise, using points to upgrade on Sydney-Perth flights gives worse value per point than booking business class outright using those same points.

In part, that's because the number of points needed for most upgrades (30,000) isn't far below what you'd need to simply book the flight outright (35,500), with much less cash spent on the side.

But wherever your travels take you, one thing's for sure: whether you book flights using points, or use them to upgrade, you're still getting better value than anything at the Rewards Store!

Also read: What is a Qantas frequent flyer point worth?

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.