You can now trade flybuys for Velocity Points
Coles and Virgin have partnered up to offer flybuys members a way to exchange their dollars for Velocity Points.
Velocity frequent flyers will now be able to earn Velocity Points when grocery shopping at Coles under a new alliance between the supermarket and Virgin Australia. Closely resembling the partnership between Qantas and Woolworths, the union looks like direct competition to these industry rivals.
As of today, members of the Coles flybuys loyalty program can trade the flybuys points they earn at Coles, service stations and any of the 27 partnered retailers (such as Kmart, Target and Liquorland) for Velocity Points. Just like any other points you earn with Velocity, these can then be redeemed for flights with Virgin Australia and its nine airline partners, upgrades and products from the Velocity eStore. Plus, if you're using a Coles or NAB flybuys credit card, you can earn flybuys points on all eligible purchases.
As well as Velocity Points, cardholders will be able to earn Status Credits, which they can use to move up the Velocity frequent flyer tiers, when they shop at Coles, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor. As you move up the Velocity tiers, you can take advantage of extra perks including airline lounge passes, bonus points and more.
Unfortunately, there isn't a one-for-one exchange rate when transferring your flybuys points to your Velocity account. Instead, while you'll earn 1 flybuys point per $1 spent, you can only convert increments of 2,000 flybuys points into 870 Velocity points. This equals an earn rate of 0.43 Velocity Points for every dollar spent with flybuys partners, which is also the same exchange rate you can expect between Woolworths Rewards and Qantas Points.
This means that for an economy return flight from Sydney to Brisbane, which starts at 11,000 Velocity Points, you'd need to spend $26,000 at the checkout before you could redeem the reward.
While the earn rate isn't great, if you're already earning Velocity Points on flights or with a frequent flyer credit card, using your flybuys card to pick up more points at the checkout could help you get extra value from your next supermarket shop.
To sweeten the deal and celebrate the new-formed alliance, flybuys members can also receive a bonus 15% Velocity Points when they transfer their flybuys to the frequent flyer account between 20 October and 30 November 2016.