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.
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.)
|Route||Etihad Guest miles||Velocity Points|
|Sydney - Melbourne||13,800||15,500|
|Adelaide - Alice Springs||13,800||23,500|
|Melbourne - Brisbane||13,800||23,500|
|Adelaide - Perth||21,800||35,500|
|Gold Coast - Auckland||21,800||35,500|
|Melbourne - Cairns||21,800||35,500|
|Brisbane - Queenstown||21,800||35,500|
|Melbourne - Nadi||33,800||35,500|
|Sydney - Perth||33,800||35,500|
|Brisbane - Bali||33,800||49,500|
|Sydney - Hong Kong||90,000||59,500|
|Brisbane - Tokyo||[pricing not yet confirmed]||59,500|
|Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane - Los Angeles||120,000||95,500|
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
- Go to the Velocity Points Table
- Enter your origin and destination to measure distance
- See which zone it falls into in Table 1
- Then go to the Etihad Guest Virgin Australia Redemption Table
- Search for your desired route and pricing
- If you can’t find the route (some aren’t listed), phone Etihad Guest
- Compare pricing through Velocity and Etihad Guest
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).
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:
- American Express Membership Rewards: transfer at a ratio of 2:1
- Citi Rewards (Citi Prestige cardholders only): transfer at a ratio of 3:1
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.
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.