Why right now is the best time to book flights with Velocity Points

With an 18-month status extension locked in, there's never been a better time to take reward flights which earn no status credits.

By Chris Chamberlin, May 14 2021
Why right now is the best time to book flights with Velocity Points

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.

Read: What is a Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer point worth?

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.

Read: Best Virgin Australia Velocity credit card sign-up offers

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.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 617

Hopefully (I'm wishing) Jayne and the crew do something special for those of us hitting the status credits hard, in 6 weeks I've earned 416 status credits, I should go for Qantas Gold until September and then move over to VA? 

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 160

That's what I would do, as those VA status credits are almost worthless. I'd actually take my VA status to Qantas and ask for the Fast Track Gold status match they were offering, so you would immediately get QF Gold status, and then you'd be able to lock that away for another year with just a few flights. Then any other QF flights you do might be enough to get you to QF Platinum by the time you resume VA flying in September.

QF Plat

14 Jul 2014

Total posts 27

Makes sense to do that, I agree that would be a good outcome

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jun 2020

Total posts 8

So according to my email from velocity there is no mention of a status credit reset on any date. My review date is currently 31/3/22 So come September my review date will change to September 2022 and I will have 12 months from September 2021-September 2022 to gain platinum again as my status credits will reset to 0. This really sucks as I thought I had 18 months to earn enough status credits.

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 52

Status credits expire every 12 months, nothing changed in that regards.

It's a poor setup because it will reduce Virgin's income as there is no point paying for a fare to retain status until 1st Ocbtober 2021.

So it's either burn points or test out the competition until then.

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 4

Mine says exp 1/05/2022

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 617

@Chris Chamberlin 

Hey Chris so Platinums with 4 free upgrades into business will these reset as well and will we get another 4 free upgrades in September? If so will unused upgrades be add to the September allocation?


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Why right now is the best time to book flights with Velocity Points