Did you know that one of the best uses of Etihad Guest miles is for Virgin Australia redemptions? If you compare Etihad Guest vs Velocity pricing, you might be in for a surprise.

Etihad Guest has links with American Express Membership Rewards and Citi Rewards. If you have a credit card with one of these programs, you have a choice about which program you can redeem with.

Etihad Guest graphic
Using Etihad Guest miles for shorter flights with Virgin Australia is a good option

In this guide, I compare pricing through Etihad Guest and Velocity on a range of Virgin Australia flights. I teach you how to compare redemption pricing yourself and share tips on how to build your Etihad Guest balance.

Comparing redemption rates: Etihad Guest vs Velocity

Let’s compare the amount of Etihad Guest miles and Velocity Points needed for the some one-way Business Class flights. (The premise is the same for Economy Class redemptions.)

RouteEtihad Guest milesVelocity Points
Short-haul flights
Sydney - Melbourne13,80015,500
Adelaide - Alice Springs13,80023,500
Melbourne - Brisbane13,80023,500
Adelaide - Perth21,80035,500
Gold Coast - Auckland21,80035,500
Melbourne - Cairns21,80035,500
Brisbane - Queenstown21,80035,500
Melbourne - Nadi33,80035,500
Sydney - Perth33,80035,500
Brisbane - Bali33,80049,500
Long-haul flights
Sydney - Hong Kong90,00059,500
Brisbane - Tokyo[pricing not yet confirmed]59,500
Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane - Los Angeles120,00095,500

So what’s the result? There are two:

  • Etihad Guest pricing is cheaper for short-haul flights within Australia and to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Bali
  • Velocity pricing is cheaper for long-haul flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo (presumably) and Los Angeles

How to compare Etihad Guest and Velocity pricing yourself

  1. Go to the Velocity Points Table
  2. Enter your origin and destination to measure distance
  3. See which zone it falls into in Table 1
  4. Then go to the Etihad Guest Virgin Australia Redemption Table
  5. Search for your desired route and pricing
  6. If you can’t find the route (some aren’t listed), phone Etihad Guest
  7. Compare pricing through Velocity and Etihad Guest
Velocity website screenshot
Note that whilst you can book Virgin Australia flights through Velocity online, you have to call Etihad Guest to do the same thing
Ad – Scroll down to continue reading.Minimum spend, terms & conditions apply.

Comparing taxes and surcharges through Etihad Guest vs Velocity

Surcharges applied for travel on Virgin Australia by Etihad Guest are slightly lower than through Velocity. That’s because Velocity adds a Carrier Charge whereas Etihad Guest doesn’t. It varies according to the route and cabin you’re flying ($10-230).

Virgin Australia 737 Domestic and Trans-Tasman Business Class
Velocity now adds a $10 Carrier Charge to all domestic flights

For example, the taxes on a one-way Economy Class flight from Melbourne to Cairns are $42 through Velocity and $32 through Etihad Guest. It’s not a huge difference but it’s a saving. Plus, you’d be paying 17,800 Velocity Points vs 10,900 Etihad Guest miles.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles in Australia

There are two main credit card providers that partner with Etihad Guest:

Here are some other ideas on how to boost your Etihad Guest miles balance.

How to redeem Etihad Guest miles for Virgin Australia flights

See our guide to using Etihad Guest miles for travel on Virgin Australia. This has instructions on how to search for award space and book your redemption.

Summing up

For those who have access to both Etihad Guest miles and Velocity Points, you’re in a good position.

You’ll save on points and taxes by using your Etihad Guest miles for shorter Virgin Australia flights. However, for flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Los Angeles, it’s better to use your Velocity Points.

If you’re interested in using your Velocity Points for travel on Etihad instead, then that’s another story.

Supplementary images courtesy Virgin Australia and Etihad Guest.

Should you use Etihad Guest miles or Velocity Points to book Virgin Australia flights? was last modified: January 21st, 2020 by Matt Moffitt