Trying to go to japan with 115k velocity points


Hi folks,

I have 115k velocity points and want to go to Japan. What are my options? Do I have to convert them to krisflyer? Is there a chart I can consult for possible flights

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What class of travel are you looking at? At 115k va points I don’t think you can travel other than economy.

You have 3 options:

  1. Redeem Singapore airlines (SQ) directly from velocity website. However, it will be rather expensive as the redemption on SQ flights using VA points aren’t great. As velocity is distance based award, you’ll need to add the distance from Aus to SIN then SIN to Japan. My guesstimate is 65000 points one way or 130000 return on economy, which you don’t have enough for return booking.
  2. Convert to kris flyer (KF) and redeem on SQ. As KF is a zone based program, wherever you depart from Australia (except PER) it will be 63750 KF miles (including 15% discount for online booking), or 86062.5 VA miles. You have enough points but SQ charges fuel surcharge. For return to Japan, it’s $671.06. Consider a lot of economy class flight sells quite cheap, even direct flights (my mom in law got BNE-NRT rt for $799), I personally don’t think it’s worth using 80k va points for $120 saving.
  3. You can us KF to redeem star alliance flights, which you have many choices including ANA, Thai and Asiana. But they charge 90k KF miles return, or 121.5k va points, which you don’t have enough, and you have to pay fuel surcharges similar to above. So I wouldn’t even bother.

These award ward charts can be easily viewed on each program’s website. But at your point balance, I would strongly recommend you to wait and collect more and aim for a business class redemption. If your trip to Japan is necessary, please consider buying a revenue ticket. Alternatively, consider purchasing miles from American, Alaska airlines or Lifemiles if you want to fly business class cheap (Please read Keith’s guide on mile purchases).

  • Wow thanks for indepth response. So even if I redeem I still have to pay 620 dollars in fuel surcharges? What I terrible deal. Guess I’ll have to wait for more points.

    How many points would I need to redeem a business class return trip?

    It’s not a business related trip, rather a leisure one. Maybe there is a better usage I can make out of my points?

  • For business, you will need double the miles.

    – Direct booking from VA, 140,000 points one way. No fuel surcharge.
    – Convert to KF and book on SQ metal, 65,750 (88762.5 VA points) one way plus fuel surcharge.
    – Convert to KF and redeem on Star Alliance Partenrs, 77,500 (104625 VA points) one way plus surcharge.

    Unfortunately going to Asia is not VA’s strength. It fully depends on SQ to offer it’s Asian route (other than a couple of leisure destinations, which VA will give to Tiger). That is why in order to compete with QF, it needed to allow VA points to be converted to KF to make it competitive with QF.

    Personally I would save those hard earned VA points and wait for an opportunity to fly longhaul to Europe or USA. You almost got enough points for a one way business class on Etihad to Europe/USA east coast/South America. For traveling to Japan, perhaps consider purchasing miles with AA or LM. Just my 2 cents.

    Or, consider getting a credit card that allows you to convert to KF directly, or Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific’s FFP). With Asia Miles, you can redeem JAL or Qantas for 80,ooo miles return in business class, or 120,000 miles return in JAL first class! (I did it earlier this year! It was amazing!) Seriously, overseas’ program beats our own Velocity and Qantas by a long shot. We are just used to being ripped off in this country.

  • So there is no fuel surcharge with business class but there is with economy? Hmm in that case I might consider trying to get a business flight to Dublin for 125000 points and book the return flight myself with cash

  • No, fuel surcharge is the same regardless of class of travel (maybe +/-10% difference). So it is better value if you travel first/business class as the airfare is usually 7-10x more than discount economy.

    However, velocity doesn’t usually charge fuel surcharge whereas KF does. So if you convert points to KF, then expect to pay fuel surcharge. But because KF charges much less points than velocity, if you travel in business class, the fuel surcharge is proportionally a lot less. e.g. if you fly to Amsterdam oneway, VA would charge you 125k VA points and no fuel surcharge (just ~100 in taxes), and KF would charge you 68000 points (91.8 VA points) plus ~$300 in fuel surcharge.

    Which is more worth it is up to you to decide. But regardless of which one you pick, the value you get out of the points is much higher than redeem economy to Japan.

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