If you have flybuys and/or American Express Membership Rewards points and are going to make a redemption using Velocity Points soon, now is a good time to transfer your points. Plus, there is a special offer for those with Amex’s top-tier cards.
Every May and November, and often in between, Velocity offers bonus points when you transfer from one of its partner programs. They are generally a great deal for those who had a specific Virgin Australia or partner flight redemption in mind.
The last time Velocity ran a transfer bonus for all programs was in November. Amex members got a special points bonus back in August but haven’t seen a status upgrade offer in almost two years. flybuys last had a bonus offer in December.
Current flybuys-Velocity transfer bonus offer [targeted]
Until 25 February, you can get a 15-20% bonus when transferring flybuys points to Velocity. The minimum transfer is 2,000 flybuys points and the maximum 138,000 per year.
I received an email about this offer on 18 February with an offer of 20% but others have been offered 15%. Check your email to see which bonus you have been targeted for.
Current American Express-Velocity transfer bonus offer
There are two parts to this offer: a 15% bonus for most Card Members and an extra sweetener for top-tier Card Members. Both run until 29 February. Here is the offer page.
Points bonus for all Amex Card Members
American Express Card Members…will receive bonus Velocity Points when they transfer Membership Rewards points from the American Express Membership Rewards Program to Velocity into Velocity Points between 12:01am (AEDT) 17 February 2020 and 29 February 2020 11:59pm (AEDT).
- Ascent and David Jones: 2,000+ Membership Rewards Points transferred = 15% bonus Velocity Points
- Business Ascent: 1,998+ Membership Rewards Points transferred = 15% bonus Velocity Points
- Premium Ascent: 2,000+ Membership Rewards Points transferred = 20% bonus Velocity Points
A 15% bonus is the average that we see for American Express Card Members, so if you have a redemption using Velocity Points in mind, this may be a good offer for you to take advantage of.
Status upgrade for top-tier Card Members
On top of an increased 20% bonus, those holding a Centurion, Platinum or Business Platinum card can upgrade their Velocity status if they transfer enough points.
If you transfer at least 400,000 Membership Rewards points to Velocity in one or more transactions during this promotion, you’ll get Velocity Gold status for 12 months. Transferring 800,000 points gets you Platinum status.
If you’re already an existing Velocity Gold member, you’ll be eligible to maintain your status until March 2021 by transferring 400,000 Membership Rewards points to Velocity during this promotion. If you’re already an existing Velocity Platinum member and transfer 800,000 points, you’ll maintain your status too.
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 is the offer history:
- February 2020: 15% bonus for most Amex Card Members; 20% bonus + status upgrade for Platinum and Centurion Card Members; 15-20% bonus for flybuys [targeted]
- December 2019: 15% bonus for flybuys
- November 2019: 15% bonus for most bank rewards programs, flybuys and KrisFlyer; 30% for ANZ
- July-August 2019: 15% bonus for most Amex Card Members; 20% bonus for Platinum and Centurion Card Members
- June 2019: 15% bonus for flybuys
- May 2019: 15-25% bonus for most bank rewards programs; 15% for flybuys; 20% for hotel loyalty programs; 25% for CommBank; 50% for ANZ
- March 2019: 11% bonus for flybuys (targeted?); 15-25% bonus for Amex Membership Rewards Card Members
- November-December 2018: 15% bonus for flybuys, most card and hotel partners; 30-50% bonus for select partners
- August 2018: 15% bonus for Amex Membership Rewards Card Members, 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 Card Members); 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 Ascent points
- July 2017: 10% bonus for flybuys; 15% for Amex; 25% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge
- 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 Charge
- May 2016: 15% bonus for bank and hotel rewards programs; 25% bonus for Amex Platinum Charge & 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
General tips and hints for Velocity’s transfer and redemption promotions
I am 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.
Other ways to take advantage of redemption deals for future travel on Virgin Australia
You can also book travel and change the date after the discount promotion ends, copping a change fee ($60 change fee on international flights) but additional points will be charged if this is done outside the promotional period.
This is a significant boost to the value of Velocity Points during the promotional period, so well worth considering a redemption if you have upcoming travel in mind for the promo period.
Summing up: 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 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 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.
If you have no short-term plans to redeem points with Velocity, then it is probably not worth making the transfer though—the loss in flexibility of your points (because they then cannot be transferred to be used anywhere else) is not usually going to be worth picking up the bonus.
How do you plan on taking advantage of the current bonus?