Status Credits are at the crux of most frequent flyer programs: and it pays to know how to maximise your haul. Collect enough of them within a 12-month period and you’ll be elevated to an elite tier, earning new benefits and privileges that make life in the air (and on the ground) a lot more enjoyable.

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer is a great program to get into for the not-so-frequent flyer, as there are a few tricks you can use to climb the status ladder faster.

Virgin Australia Velocity status

Velocity status tiers at a glance

Ultimately, you have to spend money to earn Status Credits, as they are a measure of how valuable you are to the airline. Therefore, the goal of most travellers is to maximise the number of Status Credits they can earn while trying to minimise the cost.

By simply dividing the fare with the number of Status Credits earned, we can have a simple comparison of the cost per Status Credit across a range of different fares, which we’ll use in this article.

Maximise your Status Credits on Virgin Australia flights

A short domestic flight on the cheapest ‘Lite’ fares would net you a mere five Status Credits, while paying for a fully changeable ‘Flex’ fare would earn you 25 Status Credits. But it pays to look at Business Class too, because these fares can sometimes cost less than Flex Economy, while being more rewarding. This can help you to maximise your Status Credits.

Virgin Australia Sydney to Melbourne (one-way) Status Credit comparison
Fare TypeTicket Price (average)Status CreditsCost per Status Credit

As you can see from the table, Lite fares are quite an uneconomical way to rack up Status Credits, costing over $21 per Status Credit at these prices. On Virgin Australia’s international flights, Lite fares are also the costliest way to build a balance of Status Credits, despite being the cheapest fare on each flight. Here’s what we mean.

Virgin Australia Cairns to Tokyo (return) Status Credit comparison
Fare TypeTicket Price (average)Status CreditsCost per Status Credit

Booking a connecting flight to maximise Velocity Status Credits

‘Why fly direct when you can connect’ is a phrase often quoted within the frequent flyer community. This refers to the practice of flying via a secondary city instead of flying direct. That way, you’ll earn Status Credits for two flights, instead of one.

For example, let’s consider Perth to Sydney on a direct flight:

Virgin Australia Perth to Sydney (one-way) Status Credit comparison
Fare TypeTicket Price (average)Status CreditsCost per Status Credit

Now consider flying indirect, Perth to Sydney connecting via Melbourne:

Virgin Australia Perth to Melbourne to Sydney (one-way) Status Credit comparison
Fare TypeTicket Price (average)Status CreditsCost per Status Credit

At the fare prices quoted, this method drives up the cost per Status Credit on lower and mid-range fares. But on Flex tickets and Business airfares, the price difference is negligible and the journey becomes noticeably more rewarding. Of course, when flying round-trip, those extra Status Credits become even more noticeable.

Doing a status run to maximise Velocity Status Credits

These aren’t for the faint-hearted, and it takes a lot of effort to find one that suits you. Essentially, savvy travellers will book a string of connecting flights for the sole purpose of collecting and maximising Status Credits, often doing a return trip in one day for this reason alone.

However, with these runs, you can often pick up a lot of Status Credits for a reasonable cost. You could look to the domestic skies for something simple, or zip across to one of Virgin Australia’s international destinations such as Queenstown.

While status runs can be useful for maintaining your membership, we’d discourage anyone from spending a day or two flying around just to rack up Status Credits. It’s not great for the environment, for one. And let’s be honest. If you’re booking flights for the sole purpose of gaining or retaining status, it probably means you’re not otherwise travelling enough to make full use of that status anyway.

But if you can integrate it into a holiday, and get some meaning out of your travel, then you’ll definitely find the whole experience a lot more enjoyable, rather than a chore.

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Eligible Sectors are important, too

In order to reach or maintain status, you’ll also need to fly a number of Eligible Sectors. These are flights that begin with a VA number which are paid for in dollars (note: not reward seats). Eligible Sectors can’t be pooled, so the person collecting Status Credits must accrue these eligible sectors themselves.

This is easily done on Virgin Australia domestically through indirect connections. For instance, Perth – Melbourne – Sydney return will collect four eligible sectors.

You can also travel on partner airline codeshare flights booked with a VA flight number, as these count as Eligible Sectors too. Bookings for these can be made through Virgin Australia’s website.

Maximise your Status Credits with connecting flights
These codeshare Singapore Airlines flights would count as Eligible Sectors, because you’re booking flights on VA codes.

Other methods of building Status Credits

Family Pooling

Family Pooling is where you and eligible family members can pool points and Status Credits into a single account. It’s perfect for family holidays, although there’s a limit of two adults per family pool including the beneficiary. (In other words, only one adult can pool into your account). On top of that, everybody in a pool must live at the same address.

Grocery shopping

You’ll earn one Status Credit for every $100 you spend at Coles, Coles Online, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor through flybuys, up to 10 Status Credits per month. Just make sure you’ve linked your Velocity and flybuys accounts.

While this doesn’t seem like a lot, a few months of buying groceries could give you just enough Status Credits to cross the line and achieve the next status level.

Flying with partner airlines

Read our full guide to maximising Velocity Status Credits by flying on partner airlines.

My case

Previously, when I was a full-time university student, I could only travel during my semester breaks. However, I had already achieved Velocity Gold status and was right on track to reach Platinum by the end of 2017, simply with a combination of the following:

  • Family Pooling
  • Flying between Perth and the East Coast through secondary cities
  • Buying Economy Flexi Saver tickets on Singapore Airlines
  • Topping up with shopping at Coles via flybuys
Virgin Australia fare

Making the most of the semester break: 443 SCs earned in July 2017

Summing up

Frequent flyer programs can be difficult to get your head around, especially for more advanced concepts such as maximising your Status Credits earn.

But it just takes some practice and research, and soon you could be turning your annual family holiday into an adventure, with a sparkling new Velocity Gold or Platinum membership awaiting your return.

Also read: A comprehensive guide to Virgin Australia upgrades

Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin.

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How to maximise Velocity Status Credits by flying on Virgin Australia was last modified: March 19th, 2024 by Brandon Loo