Happy Tuesday wherever in the world you may be as you read this blog post! Having started in such a manner I should start by mentioning that probably you’ll only get the most out of this post if you are living in Australia, although if you’re not I’m interested to know if there are similar points-based programs elsewhere in the world so do read and comment!
It was around 6 weeks ago I think I read an article in The Age asked whether Velocity was now the best Australian Frequent Flyer Program. It’s contention was that it was. Australia really only has two Frequent Flyer Programs, one is Qantas which I reviewed a few weeks back HERE, and then of course we have Velocity – which is tied to Virgin Australia. Whilst Rex and Jetstar have their own programs, they are a drop in the ocean compared to the size and breadth of these two.
So – is Velocity BETTER than Qantas Frequent Flyer? I would tell you ‘no way’ 12 months ago. But today I would change my answer to ‘Yeah, Probably’. Much of that has to do with Qantas’s program really not bearing much in the way of fruit in 2022. Finding and securing rewards’ seats on international flights, especially ones into and out of Australia, is a lot harder and costs you more points than before, and of course with the increase in fuel prices, lack of service for both Qantas and Jetstar, it’s more expensive than ever and you might not get what you thought you were getting. I hark back to my recent Jetstar flight to Sydney on a flight without a spare seat. On time, but no doubt full because the flight schedule 100 minutes earlier was cancelled. I know there have been record numbers of Jetstar and Qantas cancellations this year and I do question if this because of operating concerns, the usual issues or in fact if they are economising and cancelling flights because there’s room on the next one for the passengers and not running a flight saves dollars.
Anyways, Velocity. Virgin sort of is loosely connected with Star Alliance and that group of airlines. The program includes a reasonable number of airlines but not every Star Alliance member. Personally to make it better they could pull Turkish Airlines which is one of the best and most comprehensive networks of any airlines, so it would make a great addition and it is a member of Star Alliance.
Nevertheless they do cover a good portion of the globe. Whilst it’s not as comprehensive a network as Qantas FF, seats are easier to access. When you put in an uncommon city, there’s little to no chance you’ll find it on Qantas Frequent Flyer, but there’s some sort of chance that you can find it on through Velocity. For example I was looking up a flight to Baku, Azerbaijan recently. No where to be found through Qantas, but easy enough through Velocity, Doha to Baku on Qatar Airlines.
What airlines can you book Velocity rewards’ seats on? Well, obviously Virgin Australia, then there’s Singapore Airlines, Etihad, United and recently they just came into partnership with Qatar Airlines – interestingly also bookable through Qantas! Other notables on the Velocity Program include South African Airlines, Air Canada, Hainan Air, and of course Virgin Atlantic. The one hole in the program really seems to be a European Airline – Virgin Atlantic is based in the UK of course, but Qantas has a range of European airlines in its program including British Airways, Air France, Iberia, KLM and TAP Portugal.
Taxes as far as I have seen are a lot lower with Velocity. They also have a bar-slider where you can increase the points you use to lower the taxes. Qantas have also now got this facility, but with higher taxes you need more points obviously and it’s new on Qantas. I would also say that there is greater availability on Velocity too – I will be flying out of and back to Australia next year on flights booked with Velocity, not Qantas as finding relevant flights with Qantas proved difficult. You basic points need is similar. And it has also increased slightly in recent months.
Your basic economy fare from Melbourne to Singapore is 29000 points plus $136AUD in taxes on Singapore Airlines. They also have a Premium reward option which is from around 52000 points plus $183AUD and for Business it’s 67000 plus $228. I booked my flight Adelaide to Singapore in July and there offerings were 25000 points plus less than $100 tax for economy (no Premium choice back then, that is new) and 55000 points for Business Class, tax still under $100AUD. It’s a similar distance, around 30 minutes less flying time I think (around 7 hours 10 minutes) to Melbourne Singapore but either way this is much better than you get with Qantas, and looking at February 9th as a random date for purposes of this post, all three classes are actually available.
As for earning points, well I did a video on the Flybuys Program which converts from shopping to points for Velocity and I feel you can earn pretty quick on that one. Velocity also has a store online you can buy things and gain points, Covermore Insurance online will net you points, they too have a hotel program for earning (and spending) points like Qantas, and 7 Eleven have a program here where spending at their stores gets you Velocity Points. So I find I don’t run short of ways to earn Velocity Points. Also Agoda has a program where you can earn points for various frequent flyer programs around the world by booking through them. Usually not the cheapest price though. Velocity is one of the programs included as is Singapore’s KriFlyer, Qantas FF is not included. You can also earn points with Ola and YouFoodz.
And also of course check out pointhacks.com.au to look for a Velocity Rewards Credit Card. As with Qantas Rewards Cards, there are a fair selection of ones that let you earn Velocity points on your everyday spend AND of course will give you a nice points bonus for signing up and spending a certain amount in the first three months.
All in all – Velocity in 2022 is my preferred program. Pity the majority of my points are with Qantas right now – although I used plenty of points for next year, and I am looking forward to flying with a couple of airlines I know, and one or two I have never flown before.
Thanks for popping by. Take care wherever you may be – May the Journey Never End!