I mentioned a few weeks back that Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer program sent some cryptic messages about a “big deal”. Velocity is calling it a “Transfer Bonanza” and asking that you transfer ALL your points over to them. Right off the bat let me inform you that doing that is a TERRIBLE IDEA and to not do it unless you have an immediate redemption in mind for all of those points.
The “bonanza” includes an up to 40% transfer bonus for Citi, Diners Club, Card Services, Suncorp or AMEX card holders.
And 20% transfer bonus from SPG, IHG, Hilton, and several others. Do note that SPG already offers a 20% bonus for all transfers @ 20,000 point mark, which makes this perhaps the most lucrative of them all.
Now I’m not quite sure what the transfer ratio is for AMEX card holders in Oceania, but this could present a good deal if you are interested in flights within Australia or flights across the Tasmanian Sea to New Zealand.
Upgraded Points has a terrific article on all the sweet spots, but the redemptions that stand out to me are as follows:
- Sydney to Melbourne on VA Economy
- Deal = 7800 points + $24
- Alitalia Economy Class NY-Rome for 27800 points
- Virgin Australia Business Class SYD-Fiji for 35,500 points each way.
- During peak season this flight is operated with VA’s new business class seats with the reverse herringbone style.
- Virgin Atlantic U.S East Coast – London Heathrow for 49500 points
- Virgin Australia Economy New Zealand to Melbourne/Sydney starting at 17800 points. These fares can be excruciating in the peak season.
Another thing to note is that Virgin Australia offers a 15% discount on redemptions about twice every year. So potential savings could be even better during that time span. For example, the SYD-MEL flight comes down to only 5000 points if you combine the 15% discount and 15% transfer bonus. I am assuming not many people want to transfer more than 100k points into Velocity of course.
So the best deal here is for flights between MEL-SYD and the best transfers can be done from SPG. But do be careful about making those transfers because Qantas has better pricing for flights between New Zealand – Australia via British Airways Avios. So how much of a bonus you are getting can make or break value outside of the MEL-SYD, SYD-BNE routes.