On 1 January 2019, transfers between Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer will become more expensive. It’s currently possible to transfer points between each program at a 1.35:1 rate. But next year this will increase to a 1.55:1 conversion, representing around a 15% devaluation.
Given the upcoming changes to KrisFlyer transfers, you may be wondering whether it’s worth converting your Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles now. And if so, how many points should you transfer?
If you have a specific use in mind for the points, it may be a good thing to transfer them now. But you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting better value out of your points than you would if you kept them in your Velocity Frequent Flyer account.
Of course, you’ll still be able to transfer points between the two programs after 1 January 2019. It will just be a little bit more expensive. So, if you have specific plans to use KrisFlyer miles, it wouldn’t hurt to transfer some or all of your Velocity points before the upcoming devaluation. But if you don’t have a specific KrisFlyer redemption in mind, it’s not necessarily a good idea to transfer them speculatively. There are a couple of reasons for this…
Limitations of holding KrisFlyer miles
Firstly, KrisFlyer miles expire after 3 years. It is possible to extend the miles – for a fee – for a further six months. But that’s it. This is in contrast to Velocity points, which will never expire as long as you earn or redeem at least one point every two years.
It is also not possible to transfer KrisFlyer miles between accounts. You can book reward flights for up to 5 other people, by adding them as “redemption nominees” on your KrisFlyer account. But you can’t transfer KrisFlyer miles to another family member’s account. (With Velocity, you can use your points to book flights for anyone.) So if your Velocity points are split across family members’ accounts, make sure you transfer the points while they’re still in Velocity. If possible, try to then transfer all the points into a single KrisFlyer account.
So, should I transfer my Velocity points to KrisFlyer?
It could make sense to transfer your points Velocity points to KrisFlyer before the devaluation, depending on how you want to use your points. For example, the KrisFlyer program allows you to do some things that aren’t possible with Velocity Frequent Flyer. Some awards are also cheaper if you book with KrisFlyer miles.
Here are 5 specific reasons it would make sense to transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer, rather than keeping them in your Velocity Frequent Flyer account…
1. Some award flights are cheaper when booked via KrisFlyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer are completely different loyalty programs. Velocity uses a distance-based award chart, while KrisFlyer uses a region-based chart. This inevitably means that each program has different sweet spots. For shorter flights, it’s often better to use Velocity points. But in some cases, it’s much cheaper to book with KrisFlyer miles!
This article details five redemptions where it’s better value to book using KrisFlyer miles: 5 Awards to Book with KrisFlyer Miles (Instead of Velocity Points)
2. Access to Star Alliance award availability
Virgin Australia has 12 partner airlines. These partner airlines can be useful, but they’re no match for the 27 Star Alliance airlines that you’ll have access to with KrisFlyer miles! As well as Star Alliance partners like Thai Airways, United, Air Canada and Air New Zealand, KrisFlyer members can redeem miles to fly with Alaska Airlines and Vistara.
3. Free stopovers on award bookings
Singapore Airlines is quite generous with stopover allowances on KrisFlyer award bookings. You’re entitled to a free stopover on any round-trip Saver award booking. Additional stopovers are also possible for USD100 each. Plus, if you’re flying on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir, you can even add a stopover to a one-way award booking for USD100.
By comparison, Virgin Australia does not permit stopovers on Velocity reward bookings at all.
4. Round-the-world awards
Singapore Airlines offers a round-the-world award! With this, you can circle the globe on Star Alliance airlines with up to 7 stopovers, and you can travel up to 35,000 miles in total. There is no Velocity Frequent Flyer equivalent.
5. Upgrade on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Star Alliance airlines
There’s one more thing that you can’t do with Velocity points – but you can with KrisFlyer miles. That’s upgrading on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and other Star Alliance airlines.
It’s questionable whether such upgrades are great value, as you need to purchase a more expensive ticket in order to be eligible. Furthermore, upgrades will only be possible if there is an award seat available on the flight. If there is availability, you’re probably better off just booking an award seat in the higher cabin class outright. Nonetheless, it’s an option if you’re interested. This could be a handy benefit, for example, if your employer pays for flexible economy tickets and you want to use your points for an upgrade.
Will you be transferring your Velocity points across to KrisFlyer before the 1 January devaluation? Why or why not? Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer program: Devalued transfers Velocity / KrisFlyer from 1.35 to 1.55