Qantas Frequent Flyers v Virgin Velocity

Qantas

Pros

  • Earn and redeem points with One World Alliance partners and Emirates. This gives you access to a huge amount of airlines and destinations
  • Qantas has an excellent search engine for finding award space, as does British Airways (a One World Alliance partner)
  • Qantas do release business class award space fairly reliably between Australia and North America. If you live in Sydney you may have to travel through Melbourne or Brisbane to take advantage of less popular routes, but at least it can be done.
  • The One World award ticket is an amazing value redemption allowing you to travel 35,000 miles over 15 flights with One World airlines. The cost of this redemption is only marginally higher than a return redemption to New York

Cons

  • The fees and taxes that need to be paid to redeem an award seat are quite high and can not be paid for with points.  Being selective with what airlines you redeem seats on can reduce some of the sting of this e.g. British Airways have notoriously high fees and taxes, where Japan Airlines are minimal in comparison
  • Compared to Asian and American loyalty programs, the amount of points required for award redemptions is extremely high

 

Velocity

Pros

  • Use points to pay for fees and taxes, allowing you to pay nothing for your award ticket
  • Transfer Velocity points directly to KrisFlyer which unlike Velocity is a brilliant program and gives you access to all Star Alliance airlines and KrisFlyer nearly always offer cheaper redemptions than Velocity

Cons

  • When transferring from Velocity to KrisFlyer it is at a ratio of 1.35:1, so you do lose significant value to be able to gain access to the benefits of KrisFlyer
  • Velocity have a very small pool of partners which consists of (insert). This makes if difficult to earn and redeem awards on many useful routes
  • Velocity releases close to zero business class award space between Australia and North America. This has not always been true of Velocity and hopefully will change moving forward
  • Compared to Asian and American loyalty programs, the amount of points required for award redemptions is extremely high

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