Virgin Australia is an Australian-based airline that travels to 33 domestic destinations and 10 international destinations in 8 countries, with hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
See our list of the best credit card bonuses here.
Virgin Australia’s frequent flyer program, Velocity, allows members from the United States can earn points by transferring from partner loyalty programs, flying Virgin Australia or with any of its airline partners, and more. Keep reading for all the ins and outs of Velocity Points.
Velocity Quick Facts
|Hub||Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney|
|U.S. Destinations||Los Angeles|
|U.S. Credit Card||None|
|Transfer Partners||American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, HSBC Rewards, Accor Live Limitless, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Choice Privileges|
|Redemption Options||Flights, upgrades, hotel stays, rental cars, merchandise, gift cards|
Velocity Elite Status
Joining Velocity will automatically give you Red member status. Above Red, there are three status tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
In order to move tiers, you need to collect a certain amount of Status Credits (earned on eligible flights with Virgin Australia and their partner airlines) and a certain number of Eligible Sectors (any flight that begins with a VA flight number, Reward Seats excluded) within any 12 month period:
|Gold||250 Status Credits + 2 Eligible Sectors|
|Silver||500 Status Credits + 4 Eligible Sectors|
|Platinum||1,000 Status Credits + 8 Eligible Sectors|
Tier status is locked for 12 months after you unlock it. You’ll be open to the following benefits:
Once you unlock a tier, you’ll have that status for the next 12 months, and you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
|Upgrades to Business Class on domestic flights||x||x||4|
|Virgin Australia Domestic Lounge access||2 passes||unlimited||unlimited|
|Access to 150+ international premium lounges||x||x|
|Fly Ahead on an earlier flight||x||x|
|Hilton Honors Diamond membership||x||x|
|IHG Rewards Club Platinum membership||x||x|
|Gift Gold membership||x|
Earning Velocity Points
When compared to other U.S. based airlines likeAlaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles and other frequent flyer, earning Velocity Points doesn’t come as easily for Americans. That being said, Velocity Points are not impossible to earn. Here are a few ways to rack up on Velocity Points:
The best way to earn Velocity Points is through transfer partners. American Express Membership Rewards members can convert their points to Velocity Points at a two to one ratio, with a minimum transfer of 2,000 points.
|Personal Credit Cards||The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Gold Card
American Express Green Card
|Business Credit Cards||The Business Platinum Card from American Express
American Express Business Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms apply.
• 4X Membership Rewards Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.,
• 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
• 3X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
$120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees).
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has a welcome offer of 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
• 1.5X Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
• 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
• Unlock over $1,000 in value per year for statement credits on select purchases, including tech, recruiting and wireless with the Business Platinum Card.
• $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card or any of the Additional Cards on your Platinum Card account.
• $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: CLEAR uses biometrics to assign you a touchless ID, allowing you to move faster through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. You can cover the cost of a CLEAR membership with up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for CLEAR with your Business Platinum Card.
This card does come with a $695 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
The American Express® Business Gold Card offers 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You'll earn more rewards: Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month** (**4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.*). In addition, you'll get an airline bonus; 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.*
This card does carry a $295 annual fee, but no foreign transaction fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Other transfer partners include:
|REWARDS PROGRAM||TRANSFER RATIO|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards||2:1 (Citi Prestige/Citi Premier)
2.5:1 (Citi Rewards/Citi Classic/Citi Gold)
|Accor Live Limitless||1:1|
|IHG Rewards Club||10,000:2,000|
|Shangri-La Golden Circle||1:1|
*With a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.
Earn Velocity Points when you fly with Virgin Australia and the following airline partners:
- Air Canada
- Capital Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Etihad Airways
- Hainan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- Tianjin Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Other ways that U.S. residents can earn Velocity Points include:
- Booking hotel stays directly with Velocity hotel partners.
- Booking rental cars with Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty.
- Booking cruises with Cruisepilot.
- Completing online surveys with e-Rewards.
There are more options to earn Velocity Points, but they’re not relevant to those living in the United States.
Redeeming Velocity Points
Velocity Points can be used towards award flights with Virgin Australia and partner airlines. Velocity provides a Mileage Calculator so you can easily determine the number of Points you need for a particular redemption.
You can also redeem for:
- Flight extras, like lounge passes, extra baggage, upgrades and even carbon offset.
- Hotel stays via the Velocity Frequent Flyer hotel portal.
- Car rentals with Europcar.
- Virgin Australia gift cards.
More redemption options are available, but they’re not applicable to Americans.
Velocity Points Expiration
Your Velocity Points will expire after 24 months of inactivity. To avoid points expiration, make sure to earn or burn some at least every two years.
Velocity Important Information
Extended status: Velocity is extending most status memberships by one year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain individuals will also receive bonus Status Credits.
Change fees waived: Virgin Australia will waive any fees for changes you make to your award ticket for travel up to January 31, 2022. Changes must be made before the date of travel or by January 31, 2022, whichever is first.
Family Pooling: This benefit allows you to pool your family members Status Credits into one account, so you can reach the next status tier faster. You can also pool your Velocity Points to redeem sooner.
Parental Leave: This perk lets you pause your Silver, Gold or Platinum membership for six months if you’re expecting a new addition to your family.
While there are more valuable frequent flyer program out there, Virgin Australias does offer an easy way to “earn” points by transferring from popular rewards programs like the ones we’ve mentioned in this post.
Alternatively, you may also want to take a look at Qantas Frequent Flyer. Qantas is another Australia-based carrier.