Flybuys Promo Yields Embarrassingly Small Returns

Flybuys Promo Yields Embarrassingly Small Return

In the past, there used to be regular offers of 15% bonus points when transferring Flybuys points to Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program. But since Flybuys introduced Velocity Auto Transfer in December 2020, and the regular Flybuys-Velocity conversion rate was increased by 15% earlier this year, these limited-time offers simply haven’t been as good.

Flybuys and Velocity Frequent Flyer are still running regular promotions to incentivise Flybuys members to redeem for Velocity points. But these offers now seem more focused on (a) controlling costs by limiting the total prize pool, and (b) encouraging Flybuys members to sign up for Velocity Auto Transfer.

For example, the current promotion running during April-May 2021 is a competition to win one of 50 Virgin Australia flights or one of 1,000 prizes of 1,000 bonus Velocity points (and Velocity Auto Transfer users get double entries for every 1,000 Flybuys points converted). Meanwhile, for the first time in a while, Flybuys is not participating in this month’s 15% Velocity transfer bonus campaign.

In the March 2021 promotion, Flybuys members were offered a share of 5 million points. Members would receive 1 share of the 5 million points for every 1,000 Flybuys points converted to Velocity points during the month of March. And anyone with Auto Transfer switched on would receive 2 shares per 1,000 Flybuys points sent to Velocity.

Flybuys email 5 million points offer
Email from Flybuys in March 2021.

Well, the points from this promotion have now arrived and the return is seriously underwhelming. It seems Flybuys members received around 10.5 points for every 1,000 points transferred to Velocity Frequent Flyer, which is around a 1% bonus. Auto Transfer users would have received around 21 points per 1,000 transferred – that’s still only a 2.1% return.

As the bonus was awarded as Flybuys points, which transfer at a 2:1 rate to Velocity points, that means each prize share from this promotion was worth just 5-6 Velocity points. Or, if you choose to redeem your Flybuys points for a discount off your shopping, this bonus would be worth around 5 cents per share. Try not to spend it all at once! 😉

With a few quick calculations, we can determine that the total number of Flybuys points transferred to Velocity from 1-31 March 2021 would be somewhere between 238-476 million Flybuys points, very roughly worth between $1-2 million in revenue for Velocity. (The exact amount of points transferred would depend on the proportion of Flybuys members using Velocity Auto Transfer.)

While it’s great for Virgin Australia that lots of Flybuys members are redeeming for Velocity points, having such a large number of participants unfortunately devalues these kinds of promotions where members are given only a share, or a chance to win, from a limited prize pool. With such a low return from the March offer, some AFF members say they won’t bother participating in similar promotions in the future.

I transferred 108k Flybuys and was awarded 1132 flybuys under the promo… What a rubbish promo. Note for next time do not participate
_flyer, 29 April 2021

I auto-transferred 161,000 FBs for 81,500 VF and got 2000 VF bonus points. I make that to be a 2.45% bonus. Like others, never again. But returns do seem very variable.
fkcn, 1 May 2021

I bet they transferred in the belief (hope?) that they would get considerably more than that. If gambling promotions lead to that sort of yield, people will soon stop participating (which, ironically, would increase the yield).
Mr H, 30 April 2021

Coles now giving Velocity points in targeted offers

If you’ve opted in to Velocity Auto Transfer, all Flybuys points will be automatically converted to Velocity points whenever you reach 1,000 points. But if you have linked your Flybuys & Velocity accounts – and aren’t using Auto Transfer – Coles has now started sending targeted shopping offers where members can earn Velocity points directly. This is unusual as offers normally just come with Flybuys points, which members can choose to manually transfer later on.

Promotional email from Flybuys.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Claim share of 5 million points by transferring from flybuys to Velocity


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]