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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Virgin Australia Velocity


5.88
(5 ratings)

8.14

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in December 2009. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Aussies and Kiwis Only
Velocity Rewards, the loyalty program of Virgin Blue, V Australia, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, launched in 2005 and has become a full-fledged award-winning program. The program has developed partnerships with just about every type of partner you would expect to find and when it comes to awards, points are flexible and the program is well-known for its ease of award redemption--every last available seat can be redeemed for points.

Members are clearly very fond of the program that won Best Award, Best Award Redemption, Best Affinity Credit Card, Best Member Communications and Best Web Site in the Freddie Awards last year. But you'll have to live Down Under to participate--the program limits who can join and you must be a resident of Australia or New Zealand to join Velocity Rewards.


EARNING ABILITY:

5.2
Our
Rating:

8.00
Members earn five points per dollar spent on Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue. With partner airlines V Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Skywest and Airlines PNG, you'll earn points based on the booking class and distance flown. Members can also earn points for hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises and leisure trips, shopping and insurance.

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AWARD CHOICES:

5.8
Our
Rating:

9.00
For flights on Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, members can choose from the capacity controlled Reward Seats and the more expensive Any Seat awards that will give you access to any available seat. Members can also choose a points-only price or a cash and points award option. The points-only price includes taxes, fees and surcharges. Awards start at 9,800 points or 6,900 points plus $30 AUD for a one-way trip from Sydney to Melbourne. An Any Seat award on the same flight is available for 13,700 points or 6,900 points plus $60 AUD. The number of points required for a trip varies according to the fare and if Virgin Blue is having a fare sale, the number of points required for a trip is also on sale. Because the number of points required for awards fluctuates, Virgin Blue uses a point calculator instead of award charts and includes the disclaimer: "Point calculations are valid as of today's rates and are subject to change." If you like the award price you find, don't delay when booking awards since the price could change the next day. When paying with a combination of points and cash, you will not earn any points for your flight, including the cash component.

Members can redeem points for hotel awards with 15 partner hotels starting at 13,000 points for a $100 AUD gift card to Marque Hotels. At the higher end of the spectrum, a one-night stay in a suite at the Conrad Treasure Brisbane can be redeemed for 90,000 points.

Car rental awards with Europcar start at 4,667 points per day during the low season and 5,600 points in the high season. A single airport transfer certificate with Brunei Limousines starts at 10,500 points. Members who have managed to save up 1.75 million points can redeem them for a Fiat 500 Sport car.

When it comes to other types of awards, members can redeem points for just about anything, including magazine subscriptions, flowers, beer, wine, gift cards, concert tickets and merchandise. For example, you can get doggles (eye goggles for dogs that provide 100 percent UV protection) for 8,000 points or a Coleman airbed for 10,900 points.

If you would like to donate points, Green Cross Australia partners with Velocity and members can donate 3,000 points for a $25 AUD donation, 6,000 points for a $50 AUD donation or 12,000 points for a $100 AUD donation.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

4.4
Our
Rating:

7.50
Members can earn points with 19 hotel partners worldwide, including Hilton, InterContinental, Choice Hotels, Crown Towers, Crown Promenade, HotelClub, Medina Apartment Hotels, Vibe Hotels, Rendezvous Hotels and Marque Hotels. Most properties offer three points per dollar spent although other offers include 600, 800 or 1,000 points per stay.

Europcar is the only car rental partner and members earn up to four points per dollar spent. Other car-related services include Brunei luxury car rental and chauffeur services and Airport Parking (five points per $1 AUD spent). Buy a new Fiat and you can earn 50,000 points.

Virgin Blue partners with eight credit cards, included a co-branded credit card. Velocity partners with NAB to offer a Visa and American Express credit card and members can earn up to two points per $2 AUD spent on purchases. Cardholders of other partner credit cards can transfer points into Velocity points. Diners Club Club Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards members can convert points into Velocity at a 1:1 ratio.

Members can earn 5,000 points for signing up for Virgin car insurance, and up to 11,000 points for joining Virgin Super and rolling over your superannuation funds. You can also earn one point per dollar spent on home, car or landlord insurance with ING with a 1,000-point bonus for each new policy you take out and six points per dollar spent on a new Life First policy. Purchase business reports from IBISWorld and earn up to 5,445 points.

Members can earn between one and 13 points per dollar spent with retail partners ShopAndEarn, oo.com.au, Edible Blooms, WineMarket, Blue Tix, Virgin Mobile and iSUBSCRiBE. Other leisure partners include Blue Holidays travel packages (five points per $1 AUD spent), Cruisepilot cruises (one point per $1 AUD spent) and Warner Village Theme Parks Super Pass (two points per $1 AUD spent).

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

6.4
Our
Rating:

7.50
Virgin Blue's elite program is two tiered: Silver and Gold. Elite-qualifying status credits are earned from flying with Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue (five status credits per $1 AUD spent) and V Australia (varies based on fare type and miles flown).

Members reach Silver status after earning 20,000 status credits in a 12-month qualification period (the 12 months following the month you joined Velocity Rewards). Silver members receive a one-time pass to the Virgin Blue airport lounge for the member and one guest and discounted lounge membership, free checked baggage up to 23kg, priority check-in, one personalized baggage tag, priority phone service, one bonus point and one bonus status credit per $1 AUD spent on fares. When flying on V Australia, Silver members receive priority check-in, 20 percent bonus points and 20 percent bonus status credits.

Gold members must collect 50,000 status credits in a 12-month qualification period. In addition to Silver benefits, Gold members receive free lounge access for member plus one guest, two baggage tags, two bonus points and two bonus status credits per $1 AUD spent on fares. On V Australia, Gold members receive international lounge access, one extra piece of baggage allowance when flying to or from the U.S. and an extra 10kg to or from all other international destinations and 40 percent bonus points and status credits.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

6
Our
Rating:

8.00
Points will not expire as long as you earn or redeem points within a three-year period. Missing point requests can be made within six months of the activity date. Members can transfer points for free to eligible family members (parent, step parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, brother, sister, child, grandchild, son, daughter, son-in-law and daughter-in-law) up to four times per year. A minimum of 5,000 points is required and a maximum of 100,000 points can be transferred. Award tickets are transferable to eligible family members for free but members will be charged an administrative fee of $30 AUD (in addition to any other booking fees) to book an award for a friend or other ineligible person. Points cannot be purchased. Membership is available only to residents of Australia or New Zealand aged two years or above.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

6.8
Our
Rating:

8.50
Members can contact the service center via email or call to speak to a representative from 8am to 8pm (Sydney time) Monday though Friday. We've heard positive comments from members about the friendliness of Virgin Blue staff.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

6.6
Our
Rating:

8.50
Members have stated that the Web site is "well-planned", "easy to use" and "simple to understand". Members can sign up for the program and manage their accounts online. You can redeem points for awards online at no charge but flight awards booked via the call center will be charged a $30 AUD fee ($50 AUD for V Australia flights). Missing points requests for past flights with Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue and V Australia can be submitted online. To request points from other partners, you will need to call the service center.

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PLUS FEATURES:
Velocity has a family plan where members can transfer miles between family members at no charge up to four times per year. Whenever Virgin Blue has a fare sale, flight awards are discounted as well so members can find some good deals on award tickets. Velocity partners with a wide range of non-airline partners with which members can earn and redeem points.

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MINUS FEATURES:
One of the biggest negative points about Velocity is its lack of airline partners. The program is not a member of an alliance and earning and burning airline partners are limited. And if you aren't a resident of Australia or New Zealand, you are not eligible to join Velocity. Unlike most airlines, Velocity charges a fee to redeem points for someone who is not a family member. Because mileage earning is based on the fare, mileage runs are not feasible. And we're still waiting for Velocity to partner with Virgin America.

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INFORMATION:
Velocity Rewards Pty Ltd

56 Edmonstone Road

Bowen Hills, QLD 4006

Australia

Australia: 131-875

New Zealand: 0800-230-875

Other locations: 61-2-8667-5924

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
8.00 9.00 7.50 7.50 8.00 8.50 8.50 8.14
Member
Rating:
5.2 5.8 4.4 6.4 6 6.8 6.6 5.88

(5 ratings)

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