Earlier this week, Velocity Frequent Flyer launched its latest offer of 15% bonus points for transfers from a range of partner points programs until 31 May.
Now, holders of the American Express Platinum Charge, Business Platinum Charge and Centurion cards can get an extra 10% bonus, raising the transfer rate of Amex Membership Rewards points to Velocity from 1:1 to 1:1.25.
This time around, there’s a cap of 1 billion bonus points applied across the promotion period to get Velocity members transferring early.
This is a good deal for those who had a specific Virgin Australia flight redemption in mind, and for those with large points balances outside of Velocity who know they will want to redeem Velocity points some time in the future, it could be worth transferring speculatively.
The ins and outs of the May 2017 Velocity transfer promotion
This time around, most of the major bank rewards programs are included, along with flybuys.
ANZ Rewards are running a massive 50% bonus (as a 35% booster on top of the standard 15%), but Altitude Rewards and Amplify Rewards require opt-in in to auto-redemption to pick up the 15%.
The 1 billion point cap on bonuses is noted in the terms and conditions, and it’s hard to know how when the available 1 billion bonus points will run out as this is a first for Velocity. There’s also no indication of how customers will know if the cap has been reached before they transfer.
Here’s the full list of included partners:
- Amex Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion cards: 15% bonus plus 10% booster for a total of 25% bonus
- ANZ Rewards and ANZ Business Rewards: 15% bonus plus 35% booster from ANZ for a total of 50% bonus
- Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St. George Amplify Rewards: 15% bonus, auto-redemption opt-in only
- Westpac Altitude Rewards: 15% bonus, auto-redemption opt-in only
And then all others running at the standard 15% bonus:
- American Express Membership Rewards
- Commonwealth Bank Awards
- NAB Rewards
- Citi Rewards
- HSBC Rewards
- Diners Club Rewards
- Card Services
- Suncorp Bank
- Bank of Queensland
When it comes to the auto-redemption requirement for Altitude and Amplify Rewards you’ll need to ensure you are opted-in to auto-redemption between 1 May and 31 May 2017. The terms note that “if you set up Auto-Redemption after your statement cycle in May 2017, you will receive a 15% Velocity Points bonus on points transferred in June 2017. If you set-up Auto-Redemption before your statement cycle in May 2017, you will receive a 15% Velocity Points bonus on points transferred in May and June 2017.”
In conclusion, it’s good to see this bonus back again, but be aware of the 1 billion Velocity Point cap and get your transfers in early. Hopefully Velocity will communicate appropriately to members once the cap has been reached to avoid members transferring their points, thinking they would receive a bonus, only to have none available.
General tips and hints for Velocity’s transfer and redemption promotions
I’m a big fan of the bonus points for transfers from partner programs, and redemption discount promotions from Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, which run around twice per year.
The transfer bonus points are usually credited alongside the main stash of points you transfer over, so you don’t have to wait around for them to show up.
If you’re planning on making a transfer to empty out one of your credit card program or flybuys accounts, then you’ll probably want to wait as late as possible in the promo period to ensure you can transfer the most possible points.
They have previously offered double promotions – encouraging those of you with stockpiled credit card program points an incentive to move them over to Velocity, whilst also rewarding those with points in their accounts already – although 15% seems to be the norm.
Any discount on redemptions is usually for around 12 months from the date of booking, so if you hold on until the end of the promotion it opens up the calendar for you. The redemption discount is applicable to any Virgin-operated flight, both domestic and international.
Other ways to take advantage of redemption deals for future travel on Virgin Australia
You can also book travel and change the date after the discount promotion ends, copping a change fee ($60 change fee on international flights) but additional points will be charged if this is done outside the promotional period.
This is a significant boost to the value of Velocity points during the promotional period, so well worth considering a redemption if you have upcoming travel in mind for the promo period.
Sometimes knowing how Virgin has run this offer in the past may help you to decide if you should take advantage of it now. Here’s the offer history:
- May 2017: 15% transfer bonus from a range of partners, with 50% bonus for ANZ Rewards and 25% bonus for American Express Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion cardholders
- March 2017: 15% transfer bonus from flybuys
- November-December 2016: 15% transfer bonus for Amex and flybuys with 30% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge
- May 2016: 15% transfer bonus with 25% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge & tiered bonuses for ANZ Rewards
- November 2015: 15% transfer bonus
- May 2015: 15% transfer bonus, 15% discount
- November 2014: 15% transfer bonus
- May 2014: 10% transfer bonus, 10% discount
- October 2013: 15% transfer bonus, 15% discount
- April 2013: 15% transfer bonus
- October 2012: 15% transfer bonus
- February 2012: 30% discount on domestic redemptions
- September 2011: 20% bonus
Is this a good deal?
These Velocity promotions are a usually great deal if you have stash of credit card program points you know you want to transfer over to Velocity.
The 15% bonus is becoming common now, running at the same times each year – it makes a great benefit for those who can plan ahead and hold cards from one of the included credit card rewards program partners that usually benefit.
If you have no short term plans to redeem points with Velocity, then it’s probably not worth making the transfer though – the loss in flexibility of your points (because they then can’t be transferred to be used anywhere else) is not usually going to be worth picking up the bonus.
There are two exceptions to this: primarily, if you have card in a credit card rewards program that has few transfer partners, like Commbank Awards – and know you won’t be cashing them out for gift cards or other merchandise and want frequent flyer points instead, then you might as well transfer now and pick up the bonus.
Secondly, if you have a large points balance outside of Velocity and a low Velocity balance, then it could make sense to move some points over speculatively in advance of redeeming them in future.
What about Velocity to KrisFlyer transfers?
Another transfer option/incentive to note is if you have plans to redeem KrisFlyer miles.
If you have a card which has a lower transfer rate to KrisFlyer than to Velocity, then the 15% bonus may be enough to take the maths over the edge where transferring to KrisFlyer via Velocity during a bonus period gives you more KrisFlyer miles than if you transferred direct to KrisFlyer.
In short – it’s complex, but there’s room for some marginal gains for those cards moving points to KrisFlyer Miles via Velocity during these promo periods.