Spending Velocity Points on domestic flights just got a little sweeter for many Velocity Gold and Platinum members, with 2021 shaping up to be a great time to travel on points.
No, Virgin Australia isn’t giving away status credits on reward tickets: but for those who qualified for the program’s generous 18-month status extension, there’s no need to earn extra status credits right now – which makes the coming months the perfect time to take off on points.
It’s down to a quirk in the status extension itself, with those eligible currently enjoying a ‘half year’ of status, being the first six months of the 18-month extension.
While these members’ accounts currently show a status expiry in late March 2022, come late September 2021, their membership year will prematurely reset and restart: beginning a new membership year with a fresh expiry in September 2022, representing those remaining 12 months of the extension.
When that reset takes place, any status credits the member has earned towards retaining their current status will be wiped.
This means there’s no reason to earn any more status credits before that happens – making the months ahead the perfect time to travel on points-based bookings, on which status credits aren’t earned.
Who qualified for Velocity’s 18-month status extension?
Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers who simply booked one Virgin Australia flight between December 7 2020 and March 28 2021 were granted an extension of their status until September 30 2022.
The first stage of that extension was unlocked in late March 2021, with these eligible members beginning a new Velocity ‘membership year’.
Despite the March 2022 status expiry date currently showing on these very accounts, come September 30 2021 – being six months into the 18-month deal – these travellers will once again start a new membership year, to fill out the remaining 12 months of the offer.
That’s what makes right now a terrific time to travel on points, as any status credits earned before September 30 are effectively ‘wasted’ for these members: meaning there’s no disadvantage in taking flights that don’t earn any status credits, such as reward bookings.
More reasons to fly on Velocity Points right now
As well as avoiding the full out-of-pocket cost of purchasing paid airfares, Velocity reward flights have other advantages, too.
Most noticeably, Velocity reward tickets are eligible for ‘Fly Ahead’ – through which Velocity Gold and Platinum travellers can switch to an earlier flight at no cost on the day of departure – whereas this is not available on paid economy Getaway fares.
Velocity members sitting on a large pile of points also have little else to spend them on right now.
With all reward bookings on Velocity’s partner airlines remaining suspended and Virgin Australia showing little rush to resume New Zealand flights, domestic travel is currently the best way to spend those points.
Even if points are used to fly economy, that still provides much better value than buying appliances or gift cards at the Velocity Frequent Flyer Store.
Top up your Velocity balance this month for even more rewards
Savvy spenders who can access Velocity Points through their credit card’s rewards program may also have quite an incentive to shift those bank points to Velocity this month, with bonuses of 15-30% available on many credit card points transfers.
At the upper end, ANZ Rewards and ANZ Business Rewards members get the full 30% boost: a fitting reward, given ANZ had previously blocked Velocity Points transfers for over a year, before finally restoring these in May 2021.
American Express cardholders at the Ascent Premium tier of Membership Rewards get a 20% gain on transfers this May, benefiting holders of the Platinum Charge Card and the Centurion Card.
Transfers from most other bank partners instead attract a 15% bonus.
This covers AMEX Membership Rewards members at the program’s other tiers (such as Ascent and Gateway); as well as Amplify Rewards members of Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George; Westpac’s Altitude Rewards members; NAB Rewards cardholders; and HSBC Rewards Plus members.
Also included are Citi’s broad portfolio of brands and rewards programs including Citi Rewards, Diners Club Rewards, Suncorp Rewards (for Platinum and Business cards), Bank of Queensland Q Rewards, and Card Services Rewards.
Notably, Flybuys and the Commonwealth Bank’s CBA Awards program are the only manual transfer partners excluded from this offer.
Of course, the offer isn’t available on ‘direct earning’ cards either, where the reward points earned are automatically deposited into the member’s Velocity account every month.