American Express Membership Rewards is offering a 15% points transfer bonus if you transfer your Membership Rewards points to Velocity by 14th August, and a 20% bonus for Membership Rewards Ascent cardholders (i.e. for holders of the Platinum Charge card).
What’s the deal with Velocity’s transfer bonuses?
Velocity transfer promotions are usually a great deal for those who had a specific Virgin Australia or partner flight redemption in mind.
For those with large points balances outside of Velocity who know they will want to redeem Velocity points sometime in the future, it could be worth transferring speculatively.
Current offer: 15-20% bonus on Velocity transfers from Membership Rewards
Between 1st August and 14th August, you can get a bonus when transferring your Membership Rewards points over. Transfers should be immediate but could take up to three business days, so do factor that into your plans.
This offer is outside the usual rhythm of transfer bonuses offered by Velocity across their range of credit card partner programs.
Singapore Airlines Business Class is one of the best uses of Velocity Points
General tips and hints for Velocity’s transfer and redemption promotions
I’m a big fan of the bonus points for transfers from partner programs, and redemption discount promotions from Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, which run around twice per year.
The transfer bonus points are usually credited alongside the main stash of points you transfer over, so you don’t have to wait around for them to show up.
If you’re planning on making a transfer to empty out one of your credit card program or flybuys accounts, then you’ll probably want to wait as late as possible in the promo period to ensure you can transfer the most possible points.
They have previously offered double promotions – encouraging those of you with stockpiled credit card program points an incentive to move them over to Velocity, whilst also rewarding those with points in their accounts already – although 15% seems to be the norm.
Any discount on redemptions is usually for around 12 months from the date of booking, so if you hold on until the end of the promotion it opens up the calendar for you. The redemption discount is applicable to any Virgin-operated flight, both domestic and international.
Sometimes knowing how Velocity has run this offer in the past may help you to decide if you should take advantage of it now. Here’s the offer history:
- August 2018: 15% bonus for Amex Membership Rewards cardholders, 20% for Membership Rewards Ascent
- May-June 2018: 15-60% bonus for bank rewards and hotel loyalty programs and flybuys (tiered); earn Velocity Gold or Platinum status by transferring Amex points (only for Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion cardholders); get two lounge passes when transferring 100,000+ points from bank programs and flybuys
- February 2018: 30% off Velocity redemptions for Virgin Australia and some partner travel in all classes; 15% bonus for Amex and flybuys
- December 2017: 15-30% bonus for bank rewards programs (tiered); 15% for flybuys
- November 2017: 15% bonus for bank and hotel rewards programs and flybuys; 20% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge; 30% bonus for ANZ Rewards; earn Velocity Gold or Platinum status by transferring Amex points (only for Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion cardholders)
- July 2017: 10% bonus for flybuys; 15% for Amex; 25% bonus for Amex Platinum
- June 2017: 15% bonus for bank rewards programs; 20% bonus for hotel rewards programs
- May 2017: 15% bonus for bank and hotel rewards programs; 25% for Amex Platinum, Business Platinum and Centurion; 50% bonus for ANZ Rewards
- March 2017: 15% bonus for flybuys
- November-December 2016: 15% bonus for Amex and flybuys; 30% bonus for Amex Platinum
- May 2016: 15% bonusfor bank and hotel rewards programs; 25% bonus for Amex Platinum & tiered bonuses for ANZ Rewards
- November 2015: 15% bonus
- May 2015: 15% bonus, 15% discount
- November 2014: 15% bonus
- May 2014: 10% bonus, 10% discount
- October 2013: 15% bonus, 15% discount
- April 2013: 15% bonus
- October 2012: 15% bonus
- February 2012: 30% discount on domestic redemptions
- September 2011: 20% bonus
Are these promotions a good deal?
These Velocity promotions are a usually great deal if you have a stash of credit card program points you know you want to transfer over to Velocity.
A 15% bonus is becoming common now, running at the same times each year — it makes a great benefit for those who can plan ahead and hold cards from one of the included credit card rewards program partners that usually benefit.
If you have no short-term plans to redeem points with Velocity, then it’s probably not worth making the transfer though – the loss in flexibility of your points (because they then can’t be transferred to be used anywhere else) is not usually going to be worth picking up the bonus.
There are two exceptions to this: primarily, if you have card in a credit card rewards program that has few transfer partners, like CommBank Awards—and know you won’t be cashing them out for gift cards or other merchandise and want frequent flyer points instead, then you might as well transfer now and pick up the bonus.
Secondly, if you have a large points balance outside of Velocity and a low Velocity balance, then it could make sense to move some points over speculatively in advance of redeeming them in future.