Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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You may not have heard of Virgin Australia since they have limited flights to the U.S., but members can actually earn and redeem miles for travel all over the world thanks to some strategic partnerships!
Here, I’ll outline some great redemption options available for this lesser-known program that might surprise you.
One major caveat: you must have an address within Australia or Oceania to open a frequent flyer account with Virgin Australia. As such, these redemption options will only be useful to a subset of readers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Points might not be the easiest to come by as an American, but you may be surprised to find out that it is possible to transfer another major points currency to Virgin Australia Velocity.
Booking awards with Virgin Australia can be very easy or require a phone call, depending on which partners you are trying to book flights with.
For all other flights, you will have to call the Virgin Australia Velocity customer service center at 1-855-253-8021.
Other hotel loyalty programs partner with Virgin Australia as well. The transfer rates are as follows:
The following credit cards will aid you in earning more points in each of these loyalty programs:
The IHG Premier Business card is the perfect option for business travelers who regularly stay at IHG hotels.
IHG Rewards and Chase have teamed up to offer the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Card, a compelling option for those who travel often for their business and stay at IHG hotels.
In this review, we will cover all of the benefits of the card, including earning rates, perks, fees, and more to help you determine whether the card is a good fit for your travel goals.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, plus great earnings at Hilton, U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. restaurants!
You can’t beat a comfy king-sized bed and room service. For many travelers, it’s the hotel that really makes or breaks an experience. If you’re one of those people, you’ve probably stayed at a Hilton hotel.
Whether your visits are for work or pleasure, the Hilton brand has you covered with more than 6,200 locations in 100 counties and territories.
To enjoy a host of great benefits, you may want to apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
An excellent high-earning Hilton credit card that comes with perks like Hilton Honors Gold status and Priority Pass lounge access.
If you’re someone who loves traveling and loves staying in Hilton hotels, adding a co-branded Hilton hotel card to your wallet is almost a no-brainer. From automatic Hilton elite status, to airport lounge access, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can be a great fit for Hilton loyalists looking to up their travel game.
You can use Virgin Australia Velocity points to book with the following partners:
*It’s important to note that all award bookings on Etihad airways incur a partner booking fee of $50 in economy, $205 in business, and $300 in first class.
Virgin Australia Velocity offers award redemptions using a distance-based award chart, and prices vary slightly depending on which partner you are choosing to make a redemption with.
Below is the redemption chart for flights on Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, and United Airlines.
Surcharges are added to each flight for awards on Virgin Australia:
|Trans-Tasman (between Australia and New Zealand)||A$11||–||A$10|
Hot Tip: Interested in seeing what Virgin Australia’s Premium Economy is like on the Boeing 777? Read all about Lukas’ experience and see for yourself.
The following chart is applicable for redemptions on Etihad Airways, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and South African Airways.
Again, please note that the partner fee (shown in USD) for redemptions on Etihad Airways varies by distance flown.
Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer program operates a distance-based award chart with plenty of “sweet spot” redemptions.
Awards involving travel on Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, and some codeshare flights operated by Etihad Airways can be booked online.
For all other flights, you will have to call the Virgin Australia Velocity customer service center at 1-855-253-8021.
If you’re unsure how to put your Virgin Australia Velocity points to best use, here are some of the best ways to use your Virgin Australia miles for maximum value.
Virgin Australia normally operates a 737-800 between Sydney and Nadi (Fiji) featuring recliner style business class seats. However, between June and October, you can snag a fully flat bed seat on the A330-200 for just 35,500 points each way.
Consistent with the Virgin brand, these business class seats are sleek and modern, providing style and comfort in a herringbone configuration.
If the seats aren’t already comfortable enough, guests will be treated to a full turndown service, complete with a foam mattress topper for added comfort.
Hot Tip: Visit a lounge while waiting for your flight to Fiji. Having The Platinum Card® from American Express gives you access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide through Priority Pass.
Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class product is a great choice for a transatlantic hop out of New York. At under 3,500 miles, a one-way Upper Class ticket to London costs just 49,500 Velocity points in each direction.
You’ll enjoy a fully lie-flat bed, delicious meals, and access to the exclusive Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at JFK before the flight.
All Upper Class passengers are entitled to one spa treatment; you can choose a haircut, massage, hand and foot treatment, or facial.
It might be even better to fly this itinerary in the reverse direction, since the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow is often said to be one of the best business class lounges out there!
If you’re already traveling Down Under, why not hop on a flight and see another city? With Virgin Australia Velocity points, it can be as cheap as 7,800 points each way in economy class (that’s the price of a one-way flight between Sydney and Melbourne).
You can even spring for business class and redeem 15,500 points instead…but for a roughly 1.5-hour flight, you should be just fine in economy!
Since flights can be quite expensive within Australia, it’s possible to get great value out of your miles even for economy class flights.
Hot Tip: Grab a Global Entry account before making your journey home from Rome to enjoy quickly passing through customs when you return to the U.S. You can get the $100 fee reimbursed through numerous cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Virgin Australia Velocity members are able to transfer their miles to Singapore KrisFlyer at a 1.35:1 ratio. While that ratio may not seem favorable, it’s much better when the 15% Singapore KrisFlyer redemption discount is factored in.
One of the best ways to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer Miles is for a Singapore Suites A380 award between New York (JFK) and Frankfurt (FRA). This award costs just 74,783 KrisFlyer miles or 100,956 Virgin Australia Velocity points.
Additionally, Singapore KrisFlyer generally releases more award space to their own members, so by transferring your Velocity Points to KrisFlyer you will be increasing your chances of finding your award seats.
Another positive of transferring your points to KrisFlyer is the ability to add a stopover to your itinerary. Singapore Airlines offers the ability to book a stopover at no additional cost on a round-trip ticket and $100 on a one-way ticket.
Need Help Booking? Read our guide on how to book Singapore Suites using points.
Virgin Australia’s Velocity members traveling on a paid fare can use points to upgrade from economy to business class. On flights within Australia, upgrades start at 4,900 points for Freedom fares traveling a distance of 600 miles or less.
Unfortunately, international flight upgrades are quite steep, restricted to certain fare classes, and only available to Velocity Gold and Platinum members.
Still, redeeming 4,900 points for a short-haul flight booked on a cheap fare can be a great way to upgrade your travel experience.
Hot Tip: Don’t pay extra foreign transaction fees during your trip outside of the U.S. Take a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.
Singapore Airlines first class can only be booked by transferring Velocity Points to Singapore’s KrisFlyer program, but booking economy and business class seats is possible directly through Virgin Australia.
You can fly from the West Coast of Australia to Singapore for 53,000 Velocity points each way in business class or 35,000 points in economy.
A longer flight (like the Australian East Coast to London or New York) would set you back 75,000 miles in economy or 139,000 in business.
Booking directly through Virgin Australia instead of transferring to Singapore does offer lower fuel surcharges.
Need Help Booking? Read our guide on how to book Singapore business class using points.
Virgin Australia offers a 15% discount on an approximately twice-yearly basis. This is hands down the best time to book any Virgin Australia award, as it offers you savings on the above-mentioned awards AND others that generally aren’t as good of a deal.
Hot Tip: Easily search for Virgin Australia award space by utilizing Delta’s search engine. Remember that to access all of the prices listed in this article, you will need to go back to Virgin Australia to book with the information you found on Delta’s site.
Christmas Island is generally a very expensive place to travel to, but by making use of Virgin Australia’s distance-based chart it is possible to get there for relatively few miles.
The flight from Perth to Christmas Island is 1,618 miles, meaning it can be booked for 17,800 Velocity points in economy or 35,500 Velocity points in business class.
It is not uncommon for these flights to cost over $1,000 in economy class, so if you want to visit the exotic destination of Christmas Island, save that cash and book with Velocity points instead!
Thanks to their numerous airline partners (many of which can be booked online), Velocity members have tons of options when it comes to redeeming points.
The distance-based award chart can be great for short-haul flights and sweet-spot redemptions on partner airlines.
However, be careful: the distance-based award chart can also result in less favorable redemption rates on long-haul flights.
It’s important that you do your research and compare Virgin Australia’s redemption rates with those of their partner airlines when you are ready to book your next trip.
Now that you know our best ways to use Virgin Australia miles, I hope you enjoy redeeming them!
The information regarding The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.
Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer points program is called Velocity. The points you earn, redeem, and transfer are called Velocity points.
The value of Velocity points depends on what you end up booking with them.
If you redeem your points for an economy class flight, you should be able to get at least 1.5 cents per point in value pretty easily. For business class flights, it isn’t unheard of to get 6 or 7 cents per point in value.
Virgin Australia has many airline partners:
Free flights start at 7,800 Velocity points.
Tickets booked with Virgin Australia Velocity points are refundable, but you will be charged a fee of either 4,500 points or $35 for domestic flights on Virgin Australia.
If flights are international or on partners, cancellation fees are 7,500 points or $60.
Changes must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, your points will be forfeited. You can’t cancel or refund a ticket if your travel has already commenced.
Routing and date changes have the same fees. Travel must not have commenced for cancellations or changes to be allowed.
Your Virgin Australia Velocity points expire if you do not have activity on your account for a 2-year period.
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Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels.
As a frequent traveler, frequent flyer miles have played a large role in planning her trips. Caroline has enjoyed discovering the ins and outs of how to maximize different types of miles, hotel points, and transferable points currencies.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.