Velocity Devalues KrisFlyer Transfers

The ability to transfer Virgin Australia Velocity points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles is a hugely popular benefit of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. Sadly, the number of Velocity points you’ll need to transfer to KrisFlyer will increase significantly from next year.

You can currently convert Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles – or vice versa – at a rate of 1.35:1. This means that you’ll need to spend 135,000 Velocity points in order to receive 100,000 KrisFlyer miles.

But from 1 January 2019, transfers will take place at a new rate of 1.55 Velocity points to 1 KrisFlyer mile. The increase also applies in the opposite direction; you’ll need to redeem 1.55 KrisFlyer miles for every 1 Velocity point. So, from next year, you would need to redeem 155,000 Velocity points in exchange for the same amount of KrisFlyer miles.

The change represents a significant devaluation and is bad news for anyone collecting Virgin Australia Velocity points. As you would expect, AFF members are not happy about the change to KrisFlyer transfers…

This is a real blow to the Velocity program. (Not so much KrisFlyer.) Currently I earn Velocity points with the intention of eventually transferring them to KrisFlyer and redeeming for awards which are really good value via KrisFlyer (e.g. AMS-DXB in TK J). This changes the equation quite a bit.

Disappointing. Have to decide whether to transfer to SQ speculatively or gamble on redemption prices staying same level at VA and having availability. Probs a transfer…

There are numerous reasons that you might want to transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer. Firstly, it gives you access to awards on Star Alliance airlines – many of which are not otherwise Virgin Australia partners. This means you can use your Velocity points to book flights on airlines like United, Air Canada, Thai Airways and Turkish Airlines. United has much better Business Class award availability from Australia to the USA, for example, than Virgin Australia. So it’s a handy feature.

Secondly, the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program has more generous award routing rules than Velocity. Virgin does not allow free stopovers on award bookings, but Singapore Airlines does.

Thirdly, some awards are much better value when booked via KrisFlyer instead of Velocity. Even after taking the 1.35:1 transfer ratio into account, it can still be better value to book award flights with KrisFlyer. For example, we recently revealed how you can fly Business Class from Australia to destinations like Israel, Turkey, Morocco and Cyprus for just 105,300 Velocity points, by first transferring points to KrisFlyer. The same redemption through Velocity would likely cost around 139,000 Velocity points. (You’d also be up for significant carrier charges if booking an award on Eithad Airways through Velocity Frequent Flyer.) But with the upcoming changes to KrisFlyer transfer rates, many of these loopholes are likely to disappear.

If you’re planning to transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, make sure you do so by 31 December 2018. However, beware that KrisFlyer miles expire after 3 years. So, don’t transfer your points unless you have a specific redemption in mind!

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Changes to SQ Points conversion

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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]