Westpac has launched a new Altitude Velocity rewards program which comes with direct earning of Velocity points and complimentary Economy X upgrades on Virgin Australia flights. Westpac customers can now choose to opt-in to earning either Qantas points, Velocity points or Altitude Rewards points with their credit card.
As part of the changes, Westpac is permanently axing Velocity auto-redemptions, which allowed members to automatically convert their Altitude points to Velocity points at a superior rate. Westpac already discontinued new Velocity auto-redemption sign-ups in April.
What is Altitude Velocity rewards?
Westpac Altitude Platinum and Black cardholders can now choose to earn Altitude points, opt-in to Altitude Velocity rewards or opt-in to the existing Altitude Qantas rewards program. There is a $50 annual fee to opt-in to Altitude Qantas or Altitude Velocity rewards.
If you choose to pay the $50/year to switch to Altitude Velocity rewards, you’ll earn Velocity points on your Westpac credit card directly. When you make a purchase with Virgin Australia on your card, you’ll also receive two complimentary Economy X upgrades each year. If you have a Westpac Altitude Black credit card, you’ll receive two annual Virgin Australia lounge passes as well.
If you’ve bundled your Black card with an American Express Altitude Black credit card, you’ll continue to receive two annual Amex lounge visits and enjoy a higher earn rate for purchases made on the Amex-issued card.
The end of Velocity auto-redemption
As a result of this change, Velocity auto-redemption will no longer be available from 2 August 2019. This includes cardholders that enrolled before 15 April this year.
If you have a Westpac Amex credit card as part of a bundle, and are currently enrolled in Velocity auto-redemption, you’ll need to call 1300 012 705 by 26 July 2019 to switch to Altitude Velocity Rewards. If you don’t, you’ll automatically switch to earning Altitude points on your Amex card from 2 August. Altitude points convert to Velocity points at a 3:1 rate, rather than the 2:1 rate offered via auto-redemption.
Your Westpac MasterCard card will automatically switch to Altitude Velocity Rewards if you do not do anything. The $50 fee for Altitude Velocity will be waived in the first year but charged in subsequent years.
If you have a Westpac Altitude Black Amex and opt-in to Altitude Velocity, you’ll earn 1.25 Velocity points per dollar spent within Australia. Overseas purchases will earn 2 Velocity points per $1, while tax payments and other government expenditure will earn you just 0.5 Velocity points per dollar. The MasterCard companion to this card earns 0.75 Velocity points per dollar and points are not earned for tax payments.
The new earn rates are lower than what you would currently earn through Velocity auto-redemption.
If you don’t opt-in to Altitude Velocity rewards, you would earn 3 Altitude points per dollar spent on the Westpac Altitude Black Amex card. That’s equivalent to only 1 Velocity point per dollar. However, Altitude points can also be transferred at the same rate to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Malaysia Airlines Enrich. So, in exchange for a slightly lower Velocity earn rate, you also get more options.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Westpac Velocity Auto-Redemption to close