Many Australians are members of either Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Australia’s Velocity program – or both. Each program boasts some fantastic features and benefits, but which offers the best perks and the greatest overall value?
Many of our members believe that Qantas comes out on top for numerous reasons. Firstly, Qantas’ larger range of international partner airlines makes it easier to earn and redeem points when flying overseas. A second key advantage with Qantas is the ability to redeem points for reasonably-priced Round-the-World tickets. There is no such redemption option with Virgin. Thirdly, Qantas also boasts some of the world’s best First Class lounges.
However, Virgin’s loyalty scheme has its own advantages. Fewer points and lower taxes are required to redeem a free flight through the Velocity program. Virgin Australia also offers a “family pooling” scheme, which can make it very easy to earn elite status with the airline. Plus, there are a range of unique benefits available to those with Gold or Platinum Virgin status including free upgrades on domestic flights and complimentary elite hotel status. While Virgin lacks a strong network of international partner airlines, the airline does have good coverage in Australia and New Zealand.
Some members believe that keeping their eggs in two baskets is the best approach. Maintaining a healthy point balance with both Qantas and Virgin means that members can maximise the best aspects of both programs.
Other members recommend looking further afield towards overseas frequent flyer programs. For example the American Airlines AAdvantage program is sometimes regarded as a good value alternative to Qantas.
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