In this guide, I show you how to stack two current Velocity and Starwood Preferred Guest promotions to save 35-60% on Virgin Australia cash fares.
The two deals below are useful 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 sometime in the future, it could be worth transferring speculatively.
Offer 1: 20% bonus on transfers from hotel loyalty programs
Until 30 June, you’ll get a 20% bonus on transfers to Velocity from six hotel loyalty programs:
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Hilton Honors
- IHG Rewards
- Choice Privileges
- Shangri-La Golden Circle
- Le Club AccorHotels
Here are the full terms and conditions of the offer.
How to fly Virgin Australia Business Class coast-to-coast for $750 using two promotions
While you can buy a one-way Business Class ticket between Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane and Perth for $1,000, that’s for the inferior Boeing 737 cabin with recliner seats in a 2-2 configuration.
Flights on the more modern Airbus A330 with lie-flat seats and direct-aisle access for everyone start at $1,200, meaning that taking advantage of these two promotions together will get you a discount of more than 35% compared to the cash fare.
Plus, if you want to fly anytime up to a month from now, flights jump up to more than $2,000, which increases the value of this deal.
Given Velocity release a generous amount of seats on these routes last-minute, this represents one of the best uses of Velocity Points.
- If you haven’t already, sign up for a Starwood Preferred Guest account, as accounts must be 12 days old before purchasing points
- Take advantage of SPG’s most generous buy points promotion ever by purchasing exactly 25,000 Starpoints for $568.75 USD (= ~$747 AUD) before 30 June
- Transfer those 25,000 Starpoints to Velocity before 30 June to obtain the 20% Velocity transfer bonus as well as the regular 5,000 Starpoints bonus for every transfer of 20,000 or more Starpoints
- You’ll now have 36,000 Velocity Points in your account, with a one-way Business Class redemption between the coasts costing 35,500 points (+ ~$17 taxes)
Offer 2: 15% bonus on transfers from bank rewards programs
Velocity Frequent Flyer has extended May’s 15% bonus on transfer from a range of partner points programs until 18 June.
However, it has removed additional bonuses for ANZ and American Express customers, as well as taking flybuys, Westpac and St. George group transfers off the list.
The following transfer partners are eligible for the standard 15% bonus:
- American Express Membership Rewards
- ANZ Rewards
- ANZ Business Rewards
- CommBank Awards
- NAB Rewards
- Citi Rewards
- HSBC Rewards
- Diners Club Rewards
- Card Services
- Suncorp Bank
- Bank of Queensland
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.
Knowing how Velocity has run this offer in the past may help you to decide if you should take advantage of it now.
- June 2017: 15% transfer bonus from bank rewards programs; 20% transfer bonus from hotel programs
- May 2017: 15% transfer bonus; 50% bonus for ANZ Rewards; 25% bonus for American Express Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion
- March 2017: 15% transfer bonus from flybuys
- November-December 2016: 15% transfer bonus for Amex and flybuys; 30% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge
- May 2016: 15% transfer bonus; 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.