Velocity Frequent Flyer is Australia’s second-most popular frequent flyer program. If you have a balance with them but are unsure of what to do with your points, then this guide is for you.

It’s worth comparing notes with the best use of Qantas Points. Both programs have their own strengths and weaknesses which, in order to get the most from your points, are worth being aware of.

1. Redeem for Business Class on domestic Virgin Australia-operated flights

Redeeming Velocity Points for Virgin Australia-operated flights represents the best value in the following situations:

On shorter domestic flights

When peak-time Economy fares are relatively expensive, you can often book a Business Class short-haul domestic redemption for 15,500 points. Plus, you’ll get lounge access and speed through check-in and security with Premium Entry.

When travelling with multiple people

You can sometimes use points to secure four out of the total of eight seats in the Business Class cabin on domestic flights.

Velocity can have better award seat availability than Qantas

Virgin Australia generally has a greater supply of seats, at reduced cost in terms of points and cash, which means a more competitive point-per-point value than their main competitor. They have also priced their award chart at slightly less than Qantas’ for the same flight on the same route.

For example, a Business Class seat on an Australia – Los Angeles flight costs 95,500 Velocity Points vs 108,400 Qantas Points (from 18 September 2019). And the accompanying taxes are also usually a bit lower, meaning a lower cash co-payment.

Virgin A330 Business Cabin | Point Hacks
Virgin Australia 777 Business Class

2. Transfer your points to KrisFlyer for better award space and/or a free stopover

Singapore Airlines releases more Saver award space to its own members, so sometimes it is worthwhile to transfer your Velocity Points to KrisFlyer. In addition, KrisFlyer no longer applies fuel surcharges to its own flights.

Whether you use Velocity Points or KrisFlyer miles will depend on the specific Singapore Airlines redemption you have in mind. You’ll need to compare the points and taxes in both Velocity and KrisFlyer to come to the best decision for your situation.

Singapore Airlines A380 (new) Suites Class
Velocity members can technically book Singapore Airlines premium cabin flights, like in the new Suites Class, but availability is better through KrisFlyer

And if you transfer enough points and book a return ticket on KrisFlyer, you can get another perk, which Velocity does not offer: a free stopover.

For example, when flying to New York or Houston, you can stopover in Singapore, Manchester or Frankfurt. You can also purchase additional stopovers for US$100 each.

Six ways to get the most out of your Velocity points | Point Hacks
You can get a free or cheap stopover in Singapore or Europe on your way to the US

3. Fly Premium Economy to the US for 71,700 points one-way

With Business and First Class seats on nonstop flights to North America hard to come by, a good compromise is to look at Premium Economy.

On Virgin Australia, you’ll get superb food and a comfortable seat but with less attentive customer service than in Business Class.

Six ways to get the most out of your Velocity points | Point Hacks
Virgin Australia 777 Premium Economy

4. Plan your points transfers with Velocity’s bonus transfer promotions

Velocity are unique in our region in consistently offering the opportunity of transferring in from credit card programs with an additional 15% (but sometimes up to 60%) bonus. This is, by far, the optimal time to transfer and book your Velocity reward seats for any of the above redemption opportunities.

On top of the cheaper pricing I explained above, you’ll then be able to gain even more value from your bank’s flexible points balance.

5. Fly in Business Class to the South Pacific for 71,000 points return

Virgin Australia flies nonstop from the East Coast to Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa. These flights fall into Zone 3 (1,201-2,400 miles), meaning it costs only 35,500 miles for a one-way Business Class ticket.

That’s the same as a flight from the East Coast to Perth. And you’ll save money on the ground being in a cheaper destination than Western Australia.

Fiji Resort
On some Saturdays, Virgin Australia flies its A330 with fully-flat Business Class beds from Sydney and Melbourne to Nadi, where you can wake up to this view

6. Fly in a lie-flat seat to Hawaii from 65,000 points one-way

Qantas almost never releases Business Class award seats on its flights between Sydney and Honolulu. Conversely, Velocity members have access to more ample Hawaiian Airlines availability from Brisbane (65,000 points one-way) and Sydney (78,000 points).

These routes enjoy Hawaiian’s newest Business Class seats, albeit without direct-aisle access for all passengers.

Six ways to get the most out of your Velocity points | Point Hacks
Hawaiian Airlines A330 Business Class

You’ll need to search for award space on the American Airlines website and then call Velocity to book. More details are in our guide to using points to fly to Hawaii.

What’s not so good?

There are definitely weak points to Velocity. Specifically, these include:

  • Carrier Charges added to all Virgin Australia and Delta redemptions to Los Angeles
  • A very discouraging and heavy charge of US$205 per Business Class and US$300 per First Class sector flown on Etihad, with its Etihad Airways Reward Seat Carrier Charge. That makes a return First Class ticket from Australia to Europe via Abu Dhabi US$1200 more expensive
Etihad A380 Business Class Cabin
Make sure you factor in an extra US$205 for each Etihad Business Class flight when using Velocity Points
  • Virgin’s limited international network of their own flights means you have to redeem Velocity Points for partners for most international travel. With two partner redemption tables, the more expensive partners, including Singapore Airlines and Etihad, are not as affordable as the likes of Delta or Virgin Atlantic
  • You cannot mix cabins or carriers on Velocity redemptions

Summing up

While there are a number of downsides to the Velocity program, it still offers good value for Business and First Class redemptions.

That includes flights both across its own network as well as Singapore Airlines, for which you can book seats in all cabins.

Finally, Velocity’s transfer bonus promotions are an added incentive to make sure this program does not disappear from your frequent flyer repertoire.


Looking for more inspiration for how to spend your hard-earned frequent flyer points?

Here is a comprehensive list of all of our Best Uses of Points guides. There may be some overlap but each guide has its own twist.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Velocity Frequent Flyer

American Express Membership Rewards

Asia Miles

KrisFlyer

Etihad Guest

Emirates Skywards

6 ways to get the most out of your Velocity Points was last modified: October 29th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt
6 ways to get the most out of your Velocity Points was last modified: October 29th, 2019 by Matt Moffitt