Velocity Frequent Flyer has announced another round of transfer bonuses, this time just for those holding American Express cards. There is also a free flight benefit available to Platinum and Centurion Card Members.
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 a transfer bonus was run was last month for flybuys members. The last time American Express Card Members got a bonus was in May.
Current transfer bonus offer
Transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to Velocity by 12 August 2019 and receive 15% bonus Points or 20% bonus Points for Premium Card holders.
So, most American Express Card Members, like those with the Explorer card, will get the lower 15% bonus, which is the norm for these offers. If you have a Platinum or Centurion card, you’ll get a 20% bonus and an extra offer (detailed below).
The regular conversion rate is 2,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,000 Velocity Points. With this offer, you’ll get 1,150/1,200 Velocity Points, depending on the type of card you hold.
Note that this offer is not available to cards that earn Velocity Points directly, like the American Express Velocity Platinum.
Here are the full terms and conditions:
To transfer Membership Rewards points for Velocity Points you must be enrolled in Membership Rewards Ascent, Gateway, Premium Ascent, Business Ascent or David Jones Membership Rewards program and be a member of Velocity Frequent Flyer. To receive 15% bonus Velocity Points you must transfer Membership Rewards points from the American Express Membership Rewards Program to Velocity into Velocity Points (Transferred Velocity Points) between 12:01am AEST on 29 July 2019 and 11:59pm AEST on 12 August 2019 (Promotion Period). If you are a Platinum or Centurion Card Member, you will receive 20% bonus Velocity Points. A minimum of 2,000 Membership Rewards points must be redeemed for Velocity Points at any one time during the Promotion Period and must be in whole numbers. For full details on points transfers, including eligibility criteria, minimum points transfer requirements, applicable conversion rate see the American Express Membership Rewards Program Terms and Conditions. The earning and redemption of Membership Rewards points is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the American Express Membership Rewards Program. The redemption of Membership Rewards points will be administered solely by American Express and will take up to 3 business days to transfer into your Velocity Account. Once the Membership Rewards points have been redeemed for Velocity Points, they are governed by the Velocity Membership Terms and Conditions and cannot be reversed. Transferred Velocity Points and bonus Velocity Points will take up to 3 business days to be available in your Velocity Account. Bonus Velocity Points are calculated on the total number of Velocity Points transferred to the Velocity Account in accordance with the offer.
You can initiate your transfer here.
Extra promotion for Platinum and Centurion Card Members
Premium Card Members who transfer a minimum of 500,000 Membership Rewards points to Velocity during this promo can get a free Virgin Australia Business Class flight for a travel companion.
You must fly on Virgin Australia, however, their flights to Los Angeles are ineligible for this discount. You yourself must buy one ticket and the second one is free. Bookings must be made through your Relationship Manager or the Platinum Travel Service by 1 November for travel right through to 23 June 2020. However, there are blackout dates over school holiday periods.
Make sure to read the full terms and conditions of the offer here.
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:
- November 2019: 15% bonus for most bank rewards programs; 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% bonusfor 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?