I posted about this cool promo before but it bears a reminder since there are only a few days left. I have done several transfers and they all posted instantly complete with bonus!
Traditionally Virgin Velocity has been running a 15% bonus promo every November and May and thankfully this year has been no exception! I always plan my transfers to take place during a promo like this to maximize the value I get from my credit card and supermarket points. The promo ends 30 November but I wouldn’t cut it too close, I like to have all my transfers done at least 3 days ahead of time.
Please note that while NAB has Velocity branded credit cards they are not included in the promo. This may give you an idea of which banks offer products to help you grow your Velocity point balance.
Velocity’s latest partner – Flybuys is also part of the promo so you can really get great value for those Flybuys points that come with your weekly grocery shopping!
All Reward Seat bookings on Etihad Airways operated flights made from 18 June 2016 will incur an Etihad Airways Reward Seat Carrier Charge.
A charge of US$50 in Economy, US$205 in Business and US$300 in First Class will be applicable per flight sector for both adults and children. A reduced charge of US$5 in Economy, US$20.50 in Business and US$30 in First Class will be applicable per flight sector for infants not occupying a seat.
This charge will be payable when completing your Reward Seat booking.
I already spent my last Velocity points on an award from Australia to Abu Dhabi for next year. We will be stopping over a couple days before the big “Godmother of all African Adventures” and I got business class since I knew the devaluations were coming anyway. Looks like I dodged another bullet with these surcharges! Yikes!
Lesson learned – don’t hoard miles, spend them as soon as you can because they will never be worth more than they are today.
For the last few years, the month of May has been a great opportunity for people to boost their Virgin Australia Velocity points when transferring points from various Australian banks. For more details, T&C’s and links to the banks, click the image.
Barely back from South America, I still need to plan for Africa next year and Velocity points can be used on Etihad & South African Airways which suit my needs!
Transfer your points to Velocity between 1 May and 31 May 2016 and receive 15% bonus Velocity Points. You’ll enter a new world of rewards, including flights to over 600 destinations and award-winning Reward Seat availability^.
Just when you were thinking Americans get all the good deals NAB comes out with this doozy! In a nutshell, if you take out a home loan for at least 250k and get a Velocity credit card and transaction account you get 250,000 Velocity points. Click on the image to see the complete offer and be sure to read the T&Cs.
So where can you go with 250,000 Velocity points? Pretty much anywhere they or their partners fly! Brazil, anyone?
Given that Australia is so large and that bird species are spread out over the entire country, most people will need to use domestic flights at some point. These can sometimes be purchased at a good rate if you keep an eye on the sales on Qantas, Jetstar & Virgin’s websites. You can get a pretty good snapshot of what’s available on Webjet. Take for example our first flight from Brisbane to Perth. Bear in mind that some fares do not allow a checked bag, you have to pay extra for this and that carry-on bags are limited to 7kg and by size.
Neither Star Alliance nor Skyteam have a partner in Australia, but luckily anyone who is in a program from the One World Alliance has some good options. Most people will use either American Airlines or British Airways Avios or Qantas points.
Using AAdvantage is very easy as flights can be booked online and only cost 10,000 miles for a one way award that allows a checked bag.
This search has produced 3 non-stop flights followed by several connections for 10,000 miles. As you can see, the blue tab for business/first class awards is lit up so you could also chose a premium cabin for 17.5k miles. Personally, for a 5.5 hour daytime flight, I would save my miles for something else but the option is available for those who wish it.
Once you choose a flight, log in with your account, you will see that there are taxes of $14.60 in addition to the miles. If you have been taking advantage of the Citibank American AAdvantage credit card bonuses which range from 40,000 – 100,000 miles, you can see that adds up to lots of free flights within Australia!
BRITISH AIRWAYS AVIOS
Since Avios redemptions are distance based, they may or may not be the better option. If the distance is more than 2000 miles, then AAdvantage would be cheaper as you can see by the chart below.
First you need to know the distance between origin and destination for each leg. I use the Great Circle Mapper. The non-stop flight is 2246 miles which means it costs 12,500 Avios. Since each segment of an Avios award is charged separately, if you connect in Sydney, you would be charged 4500 Avios for the first segment and 12,500 for the 2nd segment which isn’t a great deal. If you were going simply from Brisbane to Sydney, 4500 Avios is a much better deal than paying 10,000 AAdvantage miles!
Qantas points are zone based and you can get the mileage required from their calculator.
If you are from Australia, you probably have points in Virgin’s Velocity program which are very easy to redeem online. You can choose to use your points to cover the taxes or pay the taxes in cash and spend fewer points.
If you have a credit card from any of the banks below, you have 2 more weeks to take advantage of this promo. They do these bonuses once a year, maybe twice if you are lucky. Since I am an advance planner, I wait for them when I have a trip planned to a Velocity destination like Rarotonga, Tasmania or anywhere else they fly.
If you do not have an Amex card, I can get you up to 40,000 sign-up bonus points if I refer you. Please post below in the comments and include your real email (which won’t be published) and I will email you a referral. I can refer for several different Amex cards. Although some of the cards have a high annual fee, it can be offset by the free airline ticket that comes with the card.
Great chance to book your trips for next year at a greatly reduced rate! On sale between 26 December 2012 till 06 January 2013, unless sold out sooner. Travel must be between 26 December 2012 and 30 September 2013 inclusive.
Here are some of the best options for eco-travelers!
Or how about a flight to Tassie to see this rare parrot?
Fiji has several islands like Kadavu and Vanua Levu that offer great birding so why not save 30% on your flights?
Ever-popular Bali is a real bargain! Say “Selamat Datang” to the Bali Starling or use Bali as a jumping off point to the birders’ paradises of West Papua and Seram.
EAST COAST TO WEST COAST AND VV AUSTRALIA DOMESTIC
Even those longer Aussie flights such as Perth to the east coast like BNE or SYD are a great bargain and no matter which direction you fly in, cockatoos, lorikeets, kookaburras and more are waiting to be photographed!
***Terms and Conditions
~ On sale between 26 December 2012 till 06 January 2013, unless sold out sooner. Travel must be between 26 December 2012 and 30 September 2013 inclusive. This offer only applies to Reward Seats. Any Seat redemptions are not eligible for this offer. Prices are subject to Reward Seat availability and to the Velocity Membership Terms and Conditions. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Any pay component is not eligible for Points earn and is not subject to the 30% discount. Name changes and refunds are not permitted. Credit/Debit card charges will apply: a fee of $7.70 per person per booking for Virgin Australia domestic flights or $10 per person per booking for Virgin Australia international short haul flights will apply. Additional baggage charges apply for Virgin Australia Domestic and International Short Haul flights. For Virgin Australia Domestic flights, pre-pay from $15 or from $40 at the airport, per person, per flight for a 23kg one piece allowance. For Virgin Australia Short Haul International flights to and from New Zealand (excluding Perth) and Pacific Islands pre-pay from $25 or from $60 at the airport, per person, per flight. For Virgin Australia Short Haul International flights between Perth and New Zealand pre-pay from $30. Or for Virgin Australia Short Haul International flights to and from Asia pre-pay from $30 or from $60 at the airport, per person, per flight. Fees are chargeable at the time of purchase please click here for a schedule of current fees. Fees will be incurred for excess baggage. Complimentary baggage allowances apply for Silver, Gold and Platinum Velocity members and guests travelling on Flexi, Premium Economy and Business Class Fares. Conditions and travel restrictions apply for all fares. For full details please visit virginaustralia.com/velocity.
* Fares quoted are departing Sydney. Checked baggage charges apply to all Saver Fares. For domestic flights, pre-pay $15 for flights online for 1 piece of checked baggage of up to 23kg per person per one way flight, or pay $40 at the airport for the same allowance. For international short-haul flights, pre-pay $25 online for 1 piece of checked baggage of up to 23kg per person per one way flight or pay $80 at the airport for the same allowance. For more information please go to the ‘Checked Baggage’ section on our website. Checked baggage charges not payable by Velocity Platinum, Gold and Silver Members. Baggage limits and excess baggage fees apply. Visit www.virginaustralia.com for more information. Change/cancel fees apply. The applicable change or cancel fee will be the fee published on our website on the date you request the change. Name changes and refunds are not permitted. All fares quoted are internet fares. A Booking and Service fee applies when paid by credit card, debit card or PayPal. $7.70 per person per booking for all domestic flights, $10 per person per booking for all short haul international flights, and $30 per person per booking for all International long haul flights. When booking by phone fares are $15 more for domestic flights, $20 more for international short-haul flights and $50 more for international long-haul flights. Seats are limited and may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are correct as at 25 December 2012 and are subject to change. Fares are on sale from until 3 January 2013 unless sold out prior. Domestic fares are for travel 16 January 2013 to 27 March 2013. International short-haul fares are for travel 23 January 2013 to 22 March 2013. International long-haul fares for North America are for travel 1 February 2013 to 31 March 2013, 21 April 2013 to 16 June 2013 and 18 July 2013 to 31 August 2013. Flights from Australia to Los Angeles are operated by Virgin Australia International or Delta Air Lines. Connecting flights between Australian domestic ports are operated by Virgin Australia. Fares may vary until ticketed due to currency fluctuations. Conditions and travel restrictions apply for all fares. Visit www.virginaustralia.com for full terms and conditions.
Did you know that you can get free frequent flyer miles and points just for your basic every day living expenses? Over the last couple of weeks, I wrote about credit card options for Australians so right there if you can route all your expenses for groceries, petrol, utilities via the card (and pay it in full each month) you will accumulate a LOT of points.
There are also ways to earn points that don’t require a credit card.
QANTAS FREQUENT FLYER
1. Join Everyday Rewards. Then swipe your card when you shop at Woolworths, Big W, Caltex Woolworths Petrol, Dick Smith and BWS you will earn points. They sometimes email you special offers such as “Spend $25 on pet food and get 300 bonus points”. They have more recently been giving fuel vouchers as bonuses but hopefully they will return to bonus Qantas points soon but you always earn the base points, so why not turn your groceries, petrol and other shopping into free points?
2. Link your Optus phone and internet account and get 2 points per dollar for your normal phone and internet expenses. You can do this whether you are new to Optus or been using them for years. You pay the same bill you have always paid but now you are getting points for them!
3. Use Rental Rewards to pay your rent! In the example here, they show you how you can get 20,000 points per year!
4. Life Insurance can earn you 10,000 points. Check here for details.
5. Restaurants – if you like to eat out, check here to see if your favourite restaurant will give you points with your meal!
1. Virgin Mobile – if you switch to Virgin Mobile, you will get a bonus of 4000 points plus $3 per dollar on every monthly bill thereafter.
2. On the same page, you will see bonuses for getting Foxtel, Quickflix, and tickets for events.
3. Online shopping – Velocity partners with Westfield and most of us do shop at Westfields pretty often so check to see if you can get points for it. They also have their own online shopping mall and partner with Ebay, the Iconic, Booktopia and more!
4. Insurance and Financial – maybe not an everyday expense but if these are services you are shopping for anyway, why not get points by using the click-thru link?
5. Wining and Dining – once again, if you like going out or joining a wine club you can get points!
I know if you are just starting out, this seems kind of daunting, but once you get started, it becomes second nature. If I get a bonus for pet food, I stock up on bird seed. I plan my grocery shopping for days when bonuses are on offer and fill my car with the maximum petrol voucher as those also get me points. It all adds up-it has only taken me a year to get over 16,000 Qantas points just from groceries, petrol and Optus! Purely free travel!
Oh and if you have a miles/points earning credit card you get to double-dip! That means you earn the points from the card and from the retail partner. For example, I spend $150 on groceries at Woolies. I pay for it with my Amex. I just got 130 Qantas points and 150 Amex Membership Rewards for stuff I had to buy anyways!