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The cheapest way to buy Velocity frequent flyer points

If you’re interested in buying Velocity Points, this hack will help you get more bang for your buck.

The Velocity Frequent Flyer program allows you to buy points when you’re redeeming them for a specific reward. Known as Velocity Points Booster, this is the most direct and common way to purchase frequent flyer points through the program, with prices starting from $18 for 500 points.

But if you have an American Express credit card linked to its Membership Rewards program, you can purchase Velocity Points by transferring Membership Reward points to your Velocity account. As long as you plan on buying at least 1,000 Velocity Points, this option will work out cheaper than Velocity Points Booster.

We compare these two options and explain how you can purchase Velocity Points to get the most out of your money and your frequent flyer balance.

How can you use Membership Rewards to buy Velocity Points?Membership-Rewards-Logo

This option is less direct than Velocity Points Booster but ends up offering more flexibility and a higher dollar value. Here are the key details:

  • Transferring Membership Rewards points to Velocity. You can transfer your points if you’re enrolled in Membership Rewards Ascent, Gateway, Premium Ascent, Business Ascent or David Jones Membership Rewards program. You must also be a member of Velocity Frequent Flyer.
  • Minimum transfer. You must transfer a minimum of 2,000 points per redemption.
  • Transfer rate. One Membership Rewards point equals one Velocity Point.
  • Buying Membership Rewards points. You can buy more points by calling Membership Rewards on 1300 363 276 when making a redemption. Points are sold in increments of 1,000 for $25 and the purchase is billed to your Amex account. Point purchases are subject to the terms and conditions of the Membership Rewards program, which Amex can amend at its discretion.
  • Transfer time. It takes three business days for points to be transferred to your Velocity account.

While this is an indirect way of buying Velocity Points, it gives you another way of boosting your frequent flyer point balance. It also allows you to keep saving your Velocity Points for other rewards, rather than redeeming them on-the-spot as you would have to with the Velocity Points Booster option.

How much does it cost to buy Velocity Points?

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If you buy points through the Velocity Points Booster service, the cost varies based on the amount of points you buy. If you choose the Membership Rewards purchase and transfer option, it costs $25 for 1,000 points, or 2.5 cents per point. The table below looks at the different costs for each option side-by-side.

Purchase option Cost for 500 points Cost for $1,000 points Cost for $3,000 points Cost for 5,000 points
Velocity Points Booster $18 $36 $101 $168
Membership Rewards N/A (Minimum 1,000 points) $25 $75 $125

In all of these examples, it is more affordable to buy points through Membership Rewards when you’re transferring them to your Velocity account. This is the case for purchases until you reach an amount of 39,000 points, when it costs $974 through Velocity Points Booster and $975 through the Membership Rewards option. The Velocity Points Booster redemptions then offer cheaper rates up to the maximum of 50,000 points ($1,172 through Velocity compared to $1,250 through Membership Rewards).

What about transferring points from another credit card rewards program?

While you can transfer points to Velocity from a range of credit card rewards programs, Membership Rewards is the only one that offers a 1:1 transfer rate. Also, most other credit card rewards programs don’t provide the option of buying points to make up the difference when you’re redeeming them for a frequent flyer transfer. This makes Membership Rewards a unique avenue for getting more Velocity Points through reward transfers and point purchases.

What else should I consider?virgin-plane250x250

While the Membership Rewards option gives you a cheaper way to buy Velocity Points, it’s important to consider a range of other factors before adding it to your point-earning strategy, especially if you don’t already have an Amex card. You need to consider the following key details:

  • Eligible point transfers. At the moment, the terms and conditions for Ascent, Business Ascent, Premium Ascent, Gateway and David Jones Membership Rewards programs all state that you can purchase points for the redemption of any reward but that you must redeem the points at the time of purchase. However, it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions before you go ahead with a points transfer and purchase when you want to get more Velocity rewards.
  • Point cost. While it is currently cheaper to buy Membership Rewards and transfer them to Velocity (up to 38,000 points), it’s cheaper to opt for a Velocity Points Booster if you need 39,000 points or more.
  • Credit card costs. Remember to weigh up any costs associated with your Amex card, such as the annual fee and interest charges. Ideally, these should be worth less than the dollar value of your rewards to help ensure that getting Velocity Points through Membership Rewards really is the cheapest option.
  • Credit card spending. The amount of money you spend on a rewards credit card impacts its value when compared to card costs. The more you spend, the greater the value you’re likely to get from the card. But if you rarely pay with plastic, then an Amex card may not be the right option for you.
  • Purchase times. Buying a Velocity Points Booster gives you immediate access to the additional points when you’re making a redemption. In contrast, it takes three business days for Membership Rewards transfers to be processed to your Velocity account. So if you’re buying points to redeem a Velocity reward in a short amount of time, the Membership Rewards option may not be ideal.
  • Limits for buying points. Velocity Points Booster allows you to purchase up to 50,000 points per year. While Membership Rewards does not specify a limit for purchasing points, the redemption process and transfer to your Velocity account is subject to approval and limits may be imposed if you frequently use this option to buy more points.

While Membership Rewards offers a cheaper way to buy Velocity Points, it still means using your own money to boost your frequent flyer balance. So make sure you also consider ways to earn more Velocity rewards through your everyday spending to help you get the most out of your money and your frequent flyer account.

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Images: Shutterstock.

Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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