Westpac’s Altitude Rewards program will no longer offer Velocity auto-redemption from 15 April 2019. This is bad news for Altitude Rewards members, as Velocity auto-redemption is currently the only way to transfer Altitude points to Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program at a 2:1 rate.
With auto-redemptions being discontinued, transfers from Altitude to Velocity will only be available going forward at a less generous 3:1 rate. This is the same rate that applies when transferring Westpac Altitude points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Malaysia Airlines Enrich.
Altitude points can also be transferred to Air New Zealand Airpoints at a rate of 180 Altitude points to 1 Airpoints Dollar. But we would advise against this as long as Airpoints remains one of the world’s worst value frequent flyer programs.
A notice on the Altitude Rewards website currently says:
From 15 April 2019, you will no longer be able to enrol your credit card for Velocity Auto-Redemption. If your credit card is currently enrolled, or enrolled before 15 April 2019, Velocity Auto-Redemption will operate as usual until further notice. This change does not impact customers who have an Altitude Business card.
The downside of opting in to Velocity auto-redemption is that all of your Westpac Altitude points will automatically be transferred straight to your Velocity account. This means you lose the option to transfer the points to a different frequent flyer program. The ability to transfer points to multiple different airlines is a key benefit of flexible credit card rewards programs such as Westpac Altitude. However, the trade-off in this instance is a 50% increase in Velocity points earned from Westpac credit cards.
The good news is that Westpac cardholders already enrolled in Velocity auto-redemption before 15 April 2019 will continue to earn Velocity points at the higher rate… at least for now. Westpac says that Velocity auto-redemption will continue to operate for those already signed up “until further notice”.
If you’re a Westpac Altitude member, you may consider registering for Velocity auto-redemption by 14 April 2019. Note that your entire existing Altitude points balance will also be automatically transferred to Velocity at the time of registration. So, if you want to send some of your points to a different frequent flyer program, be sure to do this before enrolling.
This is the second detrimental change to Westpac’s Altitude Rewards in less than six months. Westpac most recently devalued its Altitude Rewards program in November 2018. At the time, it made a big deal of the fact that Altitude members could continue transferring points to Velocity at a 2:1 rate by signing up for auto-redemptions.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Westpac Velocity Auto-Redemption to close