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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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
- Best uses of Qantas Points
- ‘Ultimate’ uses of Qantas Points
- Best uses of 60,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Qantas Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Qantas Points
- When it makes sense to use your Qantas Points for domestic travel in Economy (and when it doesn’t)
- Best uses of Qantas Points from the East Coast
- Best uses of Qantas Points from Perth
- Reader responses: what is the best use of Qantas Points?
- Seven of the cheapest Qantas Points redemptions for luxurious Emirates flights
- The cheapest ways to fly Cathay Pacific First Class with Qantas Points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Best uses of Velocity Points
- Best uses of 40,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 80,000 Velocity Points
- Best uses of 100,000 Velocity Points
- Five flight redemptions that maximise your Velocity points balance
American Express Membership Rewards
- Best uses of Etihad Guest miles
- Etihad Guest vs Velocity for Virgin Australia flights comparison guide