A unique feature of Virgin Australia’s Velocity program is the ability to transfer Velocity points to KrisFlyer, the frequent flyer program of Singapore Airlines. Conversely, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles may be transferred to Velocity. This is a terrific benefit because Singapore Airlines has one of the world’s best frequent flyer programs! So, how does this work and when does it make sense to transfer your points?
The Velocity-KrisFlyer Partnership
Singapore Airlines is a key airline partner of Virgin Australia. The Singapore national carrier also owns a ~20% stake in Virgin. So the relationship between these two airlines runs deeper than most.
In 2014, the two airlines made it possible to transfer points between their respective frequent flyer programs. This is a huge benefit for collectors of Velocity Frequent Flyer points because Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles can be redeemed for travel across the Star Alliance network. KrisFlyer redemptions are also great value.
The transfer rate in both directions is currently 1.35:1. For every 1.35 Velocity points transferred, you’ll receive 1 KrisFlyer mile. Likewise, you’ll need to spend 1.35 KrisFlyer miles to receive 1 Velocity point. So there is effectively a 26% penalty each time you transfer points.
It was announced in October 2018 that the Velocity-KrisFlyer transfer rate will increase to 1.55:1 from 1 January 2019.
How to Transfer Velocity Points to KrisFlyer
After logging into Velocity Frequent Flyer, select the “Points Transfer – Airlines” option. To transfer Velocity points to KrisFlyer, you will first need to link your KrisFlyer account to your Velocity account online. This only needs to be done once.
Once your accounts are linked, click “transfer now”. You must transfer at least 5,000 points at a time.
Once completed, the points should arrive in your Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer account within a few minutes. (If this does not happen, contact the Velocity call centre as something probably went wrong.)
A similar process applies when transferring KrisFlyer miles to Velocity.
Why Transfer Velocity Points to KrisFlyer?
There are 4 possible reasons that you would transfer Velocity points to KrisFlyer.
Firstly, it gives you access to award seats on 27 Star Alliance airlines. Of these, 24 are not Velocity Frequent Flyer partners! If you’re having trouble redeeming your Velocity points, this opens a few more options. Transferring points can be especially useful if you can’t find any Velocity award availability to North America.
Secondly, some KrisFlyer redemptions are significantly better value than an equivalent Velocity redemption. For example, a Business reward seat from Brisbane to Istanbul, flying Singapore Airlines, currently costs 121,000 Velocity points + $100.08 taxes. The exact same seat costs just 78,000 KrisFlyer miles (equivalent to 105,300 Velocity points) + $100.08 taxes!
Thirdly, KrisFlyer has a Star Alliance Round-the-World Award. There is no equivalent with Velocity, so transferring Velocity points to KrisFlyer is the only way to use Velocity points to book a round-the-world ticket.
Finally, you can use KrisFlyer miles to upgrade Singapore Airlines and Silk Air flights (provided the booking is in an eligible fare class). Singapore Airlines upgrades are not possible with Velocity points.
Are there any catches?
The main catch is the 1.35:1 transfer rate (changing to 1.55:1 in 2019). You’ll lose some points with each transfer, so only do this with a particular reward in mind.
Beware that KrisFlyer miles expire after 3 years. Also note that it is not possible to transfer KrisFlyer miles between accounts. But it is possible to transfer Velocity points to family members, so make sure you complete any necessary family transfers before sending your points to KrisFlyer.