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With so many ways to redeem your Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points, working out what each point is actually worth is a tough nut to crack.
Believe it or not, your points take on a value of just half a cent each when redeeming for a gift card, but can be over 13 times more valuable when swapped for a business class flight!
Book a business class ticket from Sydney to Perth or Los Angeles and you’re looking at 5-7c a pop.
Take them shopping in the Velocity Rewards Store and they fetch as low as 0.54c each.
We compare the cash price of a number of goods and flights against how many frequent flyer points you’ll need for the same: determining exactly how much each Virgin Australia Velocity point is worth.
Redeeming points in the Velocity Rewards Store
Redeeming Velocity points in the airline’s own Velocity Rewards Store isn’t the greatest way to squeeze value from your points, but it’s a start.
A $100 gift voucher with the likes of Myer, Target, David Jones and Westfield sets you back 18,000 Velocity points, giving them a value of just 0.55c each.
Similarly, a Russell Hobbs Heritage four slice toaster can be had for 17,500 Velocity points – but with the same product available for $94.95 through Harvey Norman including delivery, you’re getting only 0.54c back from each point.
Going for something more expensive, Bose SoundLink on-ear headphones retail for $349 or can be grabbed for 51,300 points at 0.64c per point.
It’s a slightly-higher 0.65c on paper for those redeeming a single-entry pass to Virgin Australia’s domestic lounges: yours for 10,000 points online or $65 at the door.
But when the same 10,000 points can buy an upgrade from Saver economy to business class on a Sydney-Melbourne flight or just 9,900 points moves you from Flexi economy to business class on a Sydney-Perth journey, those points are better spent on an upgrade which gives free lounge access as a by-product.
Want the latest iPhone or iPad? You can swap points for those too – 109,000 points nabs an iPad Air 2 64GB WiFi model (RRP A$739), while a very precise 145,300 points is enough for an iPhone 6 Plus 16GB (RRP $1,149).
In that instance you’d be looking at 0.677c per point on the iPad and 0.79c per point on the iPhone: a vast improvement over what you’d get from a gift card to stores that sell the same products.
Redeeming points for 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 6,900 points + $21.11 in taxes and fees, while a real ticket can be had for around $149 all-inclusive. With an actual cash saving of $127.89, your points take on a value of 1.85c each.
On longer flights from Sydney to Perth – often for sale at $299 each way – you’ll burn 16,900 points plus $17.47 in taxes and fees, squeezing a return of 1.67c from every point.
That climbs even higher on a Sydney-Los Angeles trek where 47,000 points and $105 buy the same seat as a $997.92 one-way airfare for an impressive 1.90c per point.
Redeeming points for Virgin Australia business class
There’s clearly a second reason business class is often dubbed ‘the pointy end’ – while paid business class fares are often four to six times the cost of an economy ticket, business class award seats command just twice the number of frequent flyer points as in economy.
Take a Sydney-Melbourne flight in business class, for example. A seat that normally retails for $699 is yours for 13,800 Velocity points plus $21.11 in taxes and fees, jumping the value per point to a staggering 4.91c – that’s over nine times the value you’d get from a gift card.
The value grows even higher from Sydney to Perth where 33,800 Velocity points and $17.47 get you the same business class seat as a $1,899 one-way airfare: here it’s 5.56c per point.
Maxing out the charts is a one-way business class ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles: selling for $7,112.92 this month or yours for 94,000 points + $105. Crunching the numbers, that’s 7.45c of value for each and every point you redeem.
So wherever your travels take you, you’ll still get much better value from your frequent flyer points by using them to fly than to shop.
Also read: What is a Qantas frequent flyer point worth?
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