While Virgin Australia struggles for survival, many of its Velocity rewards customers are asking more basic question: Can I keep earning points?
The answer, however, is a little complicated.
When Virgin went into administration last month, it also suspended all redemptions of Velocity Frequent Flyer points until May 19.
Velocity is technically a separate and profitable business, and it’s also one of Virgin’s key assets. So it’s likely the scheme will continue in some form under Virgin’s still-to-be-determined new owners.
But assuming that happens, can you actually build your points total right now?
At the moment, lockdown rules and limited flight schedules mean earning points from actually flying is close to impossible.
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So the easiest way to earn Velocity points for many Australians is via their credit cards.
Until recently, there were dozens of Velocity-earning cards on the market.
The good news? If you have an existing credit card that earns Velocity points directly, that will continue.
The bad news? Virtually all card providers have stopped signing up new customers for Velocity-earning cards.
Even Virgin Money’s Velocity Flyer and High Flyer cards aren’t taking new applications, though the brand says it is “working closely with Velocity to bring back” those cards.
In short, if you don’t already have a credit card earning Velocity points, you’ll find it impossible to get one now.
If you’re using a card which allows you to convert card reward points into Velocity points, the news is also not great.
American Express has stopped transfers from its Membership Rewards scheme into Velocity.
You can still convert for other frequent flyer schemes and rewards, but not Velocity.
Rewards schemes from the Big Four banks have also taken Velocity points off the table.
Credit cards aside, the other option many Australians use to earn Velocity points is through Coles’ flybuys loyalty scheme.
Under the scheme, 2000 flybuys points can be converted into 870 Velocity points.
That’s still possible, though the flybuys site takes care to remind customers that you can’t redeem Velocity points for anything else right now.
While earning points may be somewhat tricker right now, it’s a good time to check if you’re getting the best deal on your credit card. If you’re looking to minimise your plastic bill, consider downloading the Finder app to see if you can save by switching to a balance transfer card.
Angus Kidman is the editor-in-chief and travel guru for Finder