The best use of Velocity points: 10 flight reward tips

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

VelocityVelocity Redemption Guide

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Overview

In this guide, we provide our thoughts on the best use of Velocity points for flight redemptions, both in Australian and around the world.

This guide is positioned as a starting point. If you see something that takes your interest, be sure to research the redemption option further via one of the referenced guides. As always, remember that the values quoted on this site reference our generalised GRV. Your personalised redemption value is only something that you can determine. Be sure to run your own numbers!

For more tips on using Velocity points for flights, read our Velocity reward seat guide. You can also launch the REWARD RANKER for a consolidated listing of all high-value redemptions available to Australian frequent flyers.

Velocity Reward Flights

Learn about the tips and tricks you can use to secure flights with your Velocity points on Virgin Australia and the carrier’s international partners.

Velocity-Krisflyer Transfers

Velocity’s reward seat inventory is severely limited on popular International flights, especially in Business Class. Transfer your Velocity points to Krisflyer and redeem Singapore Airlines flights direct from the source to open up better availability and more partner options.

Velocity Round The World

Although Velocity doesn’t offer a ‘Round The World redemption directly, you can transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles and redeem the impressive Star Alliance Round The Wold reward.

#1 Transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer

Best use of Velocity points #1

Best use of Velocity points #1 – Transfer your Velocity points to Krisflyer for better Singapore Airlines availability and valuable Star Alliance opportunities

Who’s it for? Those wishing to stretch their points further
Why’s it valuable? Book rewards on 25 additional airlines
Difficulty? Medium
Value (GRV)? up to 9c/point

Depending on where you want to travel, the best use of Velocity points may mean transferring them to another frequent flyer program! Hear us out!

Due to Singapore Airlines’ strong partnership with Virgin Australia (they also own over 20% of the company), Velocity members have since 2014, been able to transfer their points to Singapore Airlines’ own loyalty program, KrisFlyer.

There are two main benefits to this approach. Firstly, Singapore Airlines open up much more reward availability to their own members. If you’re struggling to find Singapore Airlines availability directly with Velocity, especially on popular long-haul flights in premium cabins, this may be the answer. Depending on your targeted flight redemption, you’ll require a similar amount of Velocity points, but have more options to book!

Secondly, KrisFlyer offers frequent reward seat discounts, along with more airline options via the Star Alliance! As their reward chart is based on zones, you’ll also gain access to a host of ‘sweet-spot’ flights with over 25 additional carriers. Many of these opportunities actually make this list, so read on to find out more!

Learn more about using your Velocity points for Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance opportunities in our dedicated guide.

#2 East coast to west coast domestic Business

Best use of Velocity points #2

Best use of Velocity points #2 – Redeem your Velocity points for east to west coast flights in Virgin Australia’s ‘The Business’

Who’s it for? All travellers
Why’s it valuable? World-class lie-flat product + great availability
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? Up to ~5c/point

Virgin Australia’s Business Class rewards to and from the eastern seaboard come in at number two on ‘best use of Velocity points’ list.

Virgin Australia services these routes with their international-grade Business suites, offering a flat bed for the lengthy flight, along with priority services and premium lounge access! You’ll also score much better catering! Just check that your flight is operated by the A330.

Along with Qantas, these flights arguably serve up one of the best domestic Business Class products in the world!

A one-way reward in Business will set you back just 35,500 Velocity points, along with a minimal amount of taxes (usually less than $50 depending on your itinerary). With a cash ticket for one of these flights starting at a hefty $1,600, these rewards are one of the best ways to experience premium travel in the country. You’re looking at a GRV of up to 5c, which is over 5 times what you’d receive in the Velocity eStore!

Velocity’s reward availability on these routes is decent, but as always, you’ll need to book in advance.

Rewards at the rear of the plane can also be good value, but only when the cash price is high. For example, although 17,800 Velocity points would secure the Economy seat listed below, the cash alternative is quite cheap as there’s a sale on. Including taxes payable, you’re getting less than 1c/pt worth of value. Business, on the other hand, looks very attractive!

#3 Australian cities to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tahiti)

Best use of Velocity Points #3

Best use of Velocity points #3 – Fly from Perth to New Zealand and the Pacific for bargain-basement prices by transferring your Velocity points to KrisFlyer

Who’s it for? All travellers
Why’s it valuable? Australia, NZ & the Pacific Islands is the same ‘region’
Difficulty? Medium
Value (GRV)? Up to ~4c/point (even in Economy!)

GRV’s of over 4c/pt are as rare as hens’ teeth for Economy flight rewards – but not with this one!

Securing this reward takes a bit more time, as you’ll need to link and transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer, before redeeming Air New Zealand flights via their Star Alliance chart. That sounds daunting, but it’s actually not that difficult.

As we touched on at #1 on our best use of Velocity points list, as a Velocity member, you can transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines’ own frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer. This allows you to redeem your Velocity points indirectly with Star Alliance carriers (Air New Zealand is one). Get all the background in this guide.

The beauty of KrisFlyer’s Star Alliance chart is that all major Australian capitals, along with New Zealand and Pacific Islands cities, sit within the same ‘zone’. This allows you to fly from any Air New Zealand serviced Australian city to a NZ or Pacific Island destination (via Auckland), for just 12,500 Krisflyer miles in Economy. This requires you to transfer just 16,875 Velocity points.

For example, you could fly from Perth to Tahiti (Papeete) return, for just 25,000 KrisFlyer miles (33,750 transferred-in Velocity points). The cash flight averages about $800, which presents a GRV of over 4c/pt!

KrisFlyer also allows you to schedule a ‘stopover’ at any one ‘transit’ point when you book a ‘round-trip’, and even end your return journey in a different Aussie capital! Airlines usually charge for these features! This allows to create a very cheap itinerary to the Pacific Islands via New Zealand! For example, you could fly from Perth and stopover in Auckland for a week, before flying to Tahiti or Fiji! On the way back, you could either return to Perth via Auckland or finish in another Air New Zealand serviced port, like Adelaide!

Unfortunately Business Class availability for most of these treks is pretty average, however, you may find ‘mixed-cabin’ seats for the Australia – Auckland leg. Economy seats are easier to come across.

The map below shows just how many options this reward offers. Simply trace any Australian departure port to a destination in New Zealand or the Pacific Islands (the free stopover opportunity is available in Auckland only). Most of these flights offer GRV’s well over 2c/point, with plenty of value available due to the Auckland stopover opportunity.

#4 International Business to the US

Best use of Velocity points #4

Best use of Velocity points #4 – Fly to the US in a flat-bed for just 95,500 Velocity points!

Who’s it for? All travellers
Why’s it valuable? Top value lie-flat Business travel
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? ~3.6c/point

Business rewards to Los Angeles have for a long time been the best way to use your Velocity points. However, these days they’re very hard to find, which really dampens the value!

Currently, we’re finding seats only exist for last minute travel, scheduled just days out from departure. This won’t suit many, but it’s something to consider if you’re travelling on a whim, happy to risk other travel plans, or have Velocity Gold status and are therefore eligible to apply for a seat upgrade.

The reward will set you back just 95,500 Velocity points. With return cash fares on this route beginning at around $7,000 (and moving north very quickly), this delivers a GRV in excess of 3.5c/point. Velocity charge very reasonable taxes on this route. Like with Qantas, redemptions at the back of the plane aren’t really competitive due to the frequent sale fares offered on this route.

If you find availability, it will most likely be on-board Virgin Australia’s own metal. These flights depart Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, and are available with connections from other capitals (still 96,000 points, excluding Perth, where you’ll need to fork out more points). You may also (rarely) find lie-flat Business rewards with Virgin’s main US partner, Delta (departing Sydney only, at the same points rate).

Virgin Australia doesn’t fly its own jets to New York, but if you’re willing put in a bit more effort (and happy to travel via Hawaii) there is a valuable option.

#5 Domestic Business

Best use of Velocity points #5

Best use of Velocity points #5 – Fork out just 17,800 Velocity points for priority services, lounge access and with additional room in the sky!

Who’s it for? Get more legroom and lounge access
Why’s it valuable? A good GRV due to the hefty cash fare
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? ~3-5c/point

As featured in our #2 listing, coast-to-coast domestic Business redemptions are one of the best ways to use your Velocity points. The international-grade lie-flat Business product on these routes is a cut above the rest. That said, shorter Business Class flights are no slouch, delivering GRV’s above 3c/point!

For example, short domestic flights like the popular Sydney to Melbourne route will set you back just 17,800 Qantas points (and around $25 in taxes). Although you’d probably baulk at the cash fare, the reward seat includes lounge access and priority services, in addition to extended recline in the sky. A one-way fare averages around $700, which produces a GRV of over 4c/point! Be sure to calculate your own value, however, as not everyone places this price on domestic Business Class!

Read our full guide on Velocity reward flights for more information.

#6 Domestic Economy

Best use of Velocity points #6

Best use of Velocity points #6 – Redeem your Velocity points for Domestic Economy flights, especially when the cash price is high!

Who’s it for? All travellers
Why’s it valuable? When the cash alternative is high
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? ~1.2-2.5c/point

One of the best ways to use Velocity points is for Economy seats within Australia. Velocity offers great availability, so if you book ahead, you’re bound to find a nice reward!

You can secure even more value when the cash alternative for a particular seat is very high. This can occur for less serviced Australian destinations like Broome, Alice Springs and Uluru. In the example below, our flight from Sydney to Broome will cost 22,300 Velocity points and $46 in taxes. Here, we’re looking at a GRV of around 2.5c/point, which is towards the top end of Economy redemptions.

Also consider the great flexibility bundled with reward seats, which is a noticeable improvement on Virgin’s cheapest Economy tickets (this is why we value (GRV) our Economy redemptions closer to their mid-Economy fare). For example, domestic rewards cost just $35 to change or cancel versus $80 to change and a no cancellation condition on Virgin’s cheapest sale fares. Economy rewards are more in-line with the carrier’s pricier ‘Elevate’ fare, where changes and cancellations attract a $50 fee. However, in this case, the fare value is refunded as credit to use within 12 months (the reward still offers better ‘flex’ value).

#7 Domestic seat upgrades (flex ticket purchased)

Best use of Velocity points #7

Best use of Velocity points #7 – Upgrade your Flexible Economy ticket to Business!

Who’s it for? All travellers
Why’s it valuable? Significant savings from high cash fare
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? ~1.2-2.5c/point

Velocity seat upgrades are typically a poor deal for leisure travellers. Upgrades are also restricted to Virgin Australia operated domestic and a small list of international short-haul flights (with long-haul upgrades only available to those with Velocity Gold status).

However, there are a few cases where you should consider an upgrade. The main one being if someone else purchases a Flexible Economy ticket on your behalf. For example, your employer may buy your tickets for work.

As Velocity seat upgrades cost a whole lot less if you’re on a Flexible fare, you’re in a much better position to upgrade.

Let’s say your employer buys you a Melbourne to Perth Flexible Economy ticket. This ticket is upgradable to Virgin Australia’s international-grade Business Class for under 10,000 Velocity points (a $1,600+ cash fare)! Other Domestic flight upgrades from a Flexible Economy fare start from just 4,900 Velocity points. Read more about upgrade costs here.

#8 ‘Round The World’ in Business Class

Best use of Velocity points #8

Best use of Velocity points #8 – Fly around the world in Business Class for less than you might expect!

Who’s it for? Those planning a large global holiday
Why’s it valuable? Business Class is the pick!
Difficulty? Hard
Value (GRV)? from ~4-5c/point

If you’re looking to plan a multi-continent international holiday, and have racked up a stack of Velocity points, this reward is for you!

Although Velocity doesn’t offer a ‘Round The World’ (RTW) reward, you can transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program and build one there!

KrisFlyer’s RTW reward allows you to build a 35,000-mile itinerary across 25 Star Alliance airlines. Business Class is the sweet-spot, setting you back 240,000 KrisFlyer Miles (or 324,000 transferred Velocity points). For this, you get 7-stopovers, which is 2 more than the Qantas RTW reward! Star Alliance features some of the world’s most reputable airlines, including Singapore, Air Nippon, SAS, United and Air Canada.

If you’re after an Economy RTW reward, you’re better off targeting the Qantas oneworld reward (140,000 points in Economy or 280,000 in Business).

Like the Qantas option, a Business Class Star Alliance cash fare comes at a significant price, so it’s easily one of the best ways to use your Velocity points! Another benefit of the RTW redemption is that generally, Star Alliance carriers charge very low tax co-payments. In fact, our example itinerary in Business, which included 10 flight sectors and over 34,000 miles, set us back just $479 AUD!

#9 New York (requires connection to Hawaii) on United Airlines

Best Use of Velocity points #9 - Hack together this reward, along with a connecting flight, and get to the US east coast on the cheap!

Best Use of Velocity points #9 – Hack together this reward, along with a connecting flight, and get to the US east coast on the cheap!

Who’s it for? Leisure travellers on their way to the US
Why’s it valuable? Fly to NYC on the cheap!
Difficulty? Medium
Value (GRV)? From 3.1c/point

In our opinion, the best use of Velocity points involves Star Alliance redemptions. Like our other Star Alliance recommendations (#1, #3 and #8), this reward is for those experienced in transferring Velocity points to KrisFlyer. If you’re starting out, read our full guide.

Hawaii to New York has been a known KrisFlyer sweet-spot for some time, redeeming at a rate only marginally above mainland US trips. The United Airlines operated flight presents some serious value to Aussie travellers, by using Hawaii as a stopover point on the way to New York. Just 17,000 Krisflyer miles and under $50 of taxes (or 23,625 Velocity points) will get you to New York! With the equivalent mid-flexible Economy fare valued at around $1,500 return, this offers a GRV of 3.1c/point (around double the average value of domestic Economy flights).

You can jack up the value if you find lie-flat Business Class seats (pictured above), which will set you back just 30,000 KrisFlyer miles (40,500 Velocity points) for the 10-hour journey, however, reward space up the pointy end is scarce.

To make this work from Australia, you obviously need to connect to Honolulu. Hawaii is well serviced by a range of full-service and budget carriers. For example, you should be able to land a Qantas flight for around $300-400. Alternatively, and if you’re flexible with dates, Jetstar regularly discounts fares to around $250 one-way (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and slightly more for Adelaide). You’ll most likely want to add Jetstar’s $100 ‘Plus’ bundle (checked baggage, meal, 4,500 Qantas points, 45 status credits) or their $160 ‘Max’ bundle (checked baggage, extra-legroom, meal, refundable flexibility, 6,000 Qantas points, 70 Status Credits).

Together with our connecting flight, this reward gets you to New York, from just 23,625 Velocity points and $400 in out-of-pocket costs ($40 in taxes and around $350 for our flights). When you consider the stopover opportunity in Hawaii, it serves up some serious value! You’ll also receive a bunch of Qantas points and status credits to offset your costs!

Pair this with the same flights on the way back (or book a separate reward from the US) and you’re set! Compare this against a similar carrier’s mid-priced Economy ticket (e.g. ~$2,200 with Qantas) and you’re doing very well! Remember that reward seats generally have more flexibility than even the mid-priced Economy tickets. For example, in this case, our reward seat would cost only $25 USD to change and $75 to cancel. In contrast, even the mid-priced Economy ticket (Qantas) would cost $125 and $200 respectively (and the cancellation is even fully refunded, you’ll only be left with credit, which you’re forced to use within 12 months). Most airlines are the same in this respect.

You’ll need to read up a bit more on this one. Head over to our Star Alliance guide for all the details on this lucrative Velocity points opportunity!

#10 First or Business to Singapore/ Hong Kong

Best Use of Velocity points #10

Best Use of Velocity points #10 – Experience one of the best commercial airline products in the sky for just 95,000 Velocity points!

Who’s it for? Treat yourself!
Why’s it valuable? Huge cash fare alternatives
Difficulty? Easy
Value (GRV)? ~4c/point

Most of us would never fork out the astronomical price an international First Class ticket commands. However, there’s a much cheaper way to enjoy ultra-premium air travel!

Singapore Airlines offers one of the best First Class products money can buy, and you can try it out for less than you might expect!

The Star Alliance carrier departs for Singapore and Hong Kong (via Singapore) from all major Australian capitals. You’ll want to target their A380 flights, though, which depart Melbourne and Sydney. These flights feature their spacious semi-enclosed First Class cabins, where you’ll receive Singapore’s renowned in-flight service, including an à la carte menu and top-tier beverages!

Sydneysiders should aim for flights SQ232 (to Singapore) and SQ221 (from Singapore), as they feature Singapore’s revamped fully-enclosed suites. These (pictured above) are almost double the size of the already massive First cabins on the older A380’s! Check out this video.

The First reward will set you back just 95,000 Velocity points, offering a GRV of over 4c/point! Taxes are very reasonable.

To book Singapore Airlines First rewards, you’ll need to phone the Velocity call centre, as availability does not show online. Perform a Singapore Airlines reward seat search to gauge what may be available before phoning.

Business Class can also be a good option on-board Singapore Airlines. 65,000 points will get you to Singapore or Hong Kong from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Adelaide.

Melbourne and Sydney residents can also target Virgin Australia’s own direct flights to Hong Kong. The 9-hour trek requires 59,500 Velocity points, plus minimal taxes. These can be difficult to secure, so be sure to search very close to the seat’s release date (330 days before scheduled departure).

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