Virgin Australia has been offering a unique fast-track to Gold Velocity status through their partnership with Flybuys.
Although Virgin Australia does not generally accept status matches, many of our members have received a targeted “Explore Gold” offer. Recipients of this offer are invited to enjoy three months of complimentary Velocity Gold status. If members then earn at least 80 Velocity status credits and take at least one Virgin Australia flight within this three-month period, the complimentary Gold status is extended for a year. Considering Velocity members normally need to reach 500 status credits to earn Gold Velocity status, this is a significant and useful shortcut.
Explore Gold members receive most of the usual Gold status benefits when flying with Virgin Australia or its partners, including lounge access. Certain benefits, such as complimentary hotel and car hire loyalty status, are only available if members retain their Gold status beyond the three-month trial.
The offer is being sent via email by Flybuys, which recently partnered with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. The offer appears to be targeted to Flybuys members that have linked their Velocity accounts and are earning Velocity status credits at Coles.
You also need to be a FlyBuys recipient of SC earn for Velocity to be eligible.
But the offer does not appear to be well-targeted. Many of our members received this offer last week, despite already holding Gold or even Platinum Velocity status.
They sent an Explore Gold offer to me too despite offering me the same thing late last year which I took them up on and earned the correct number of SCs to turn that into a full Velocity membership.
While Flybuys probably can’t ‘see’ my Velocity status, they should certainly have on file that I accepted their last offer for the same thing!
When Explore Gold was offered for the first time, Flybuys members were only eligible if they already held at least Silver status with another airline. This prerequisite has since been dropped. Some members to question whether these offers are devaluing Velocity status for those that earned it the hard way.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of happy flyers that now have access to Gold status benefits when next they fly with Virgin Australia or one of its partner airlines.
After many years of Gold, I soft landed to Silver last year due to a change in employer with reduced business travel. The ‘Explore Gold’ offer has arrived just at the right time for me, as it was going to be a struggle to maintain Silver.
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P.S. If you received an Explore Gold invitation and are wondering about the cheapest way to earn 80 Velocity status credits, check out our guide to the best Virgin Australia Status Runs.