Virgin Australia has just made some rather large changes to it's 'Velocity Points Booster' program that allows you to buy Velocity points meaning you can now buy points online via credit card rather than over the phone.
Velocity Points Booster has been available for awhile now, but it was quite limited. You had to buy the points over the phone and you needed to nominate the exact award you were using them for, you also needed to have 80% of the points required for the award already in your account. Well, Virgin has quietly made changes to the program, whilst still not amazing they are certainly changes for the positive.
The major changes are as follows
- Points can now be purchased online and are being processed by points.com (which is a major miles & points broker for many programs)
- You now only need to have 50% of the points required for any given award
- Purchased points can be used for Virgin & Partner Awards
- You still need to nominate how the points will be used, but it seems to be very vague. I haven't actually purchased points yet, but if you go through the steps you just need to select what you will use them for and it doesn't seem to ask for any further details
- You can purchase a maximum of 50,000 points per transaction
- A maximum of two transactions can be made per year
- The price for points is tiered and ranges from 3.6c/point to 2.3c/point if you buy in the top tier, these are the same prices as before.
I wonder with this new system how they will enforce that you need to have at least 50% of the points required for an award in your account as it appears that you can buy the points and then make an award booking at a later date.
My Overall Thoughts
I am in two minds about this, on the one side, I think it is great that the Australian miles & points programs are starting to catch up with international programs and sell miles. It would be amazing if we started to see huge miles promos that we see from programs like United, AA & Lifemiles. However I am also concerned where this could end as with an increased points purchasing we could see further program de-valuations, only time will tell!