I recently transferred 60,000 SPG points to my Virgin Australia Velocity account and then once I logged into my Velocity account I found more points than the 75,000 that should have been there. Puzzled, I looked into it and sure enough realized that there’s a 20% bonus running when transferring points from hotel partners to Virgin Australia. The promo runs until June 30, 2017.
Although I’d already earned my SPG points with the recent 35,000 sign-up bonuses that came out, I realized that for others this could potentially be a good opportunity to just buy points outright in order to fly the “The Business” on Virgin Australia.
The Business is the new business class product on Virgin Australia. I’ve heard great things about it, especially on board the 777 which flies from various points in Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne) to LAX. If you were to pay cash for this flight it would be roughly $9,000 for a one way.
However, right now you can stack to promotions to fly this route for substantially cheaper for about 20% the cost.
First, you can buy SPG points at up to a 30% discount by taking advantage of the current promo that ends in one week — April 30, 2017.
- Shop to buy SPG points here (no affiliate link)
You can buy up to 30,000, which would cost you $735 right now. (I’m not sure about the taxes.)
If you transferred those 30,000 SPG points out to Virgin Australia, you’d have 35,000 Velocity miles with the standard SPG 25% bonus. Then if you add in the 20% promo bonus that’s an additional 6,000 miles for a total of 41,000 Velocity miles.
However, if you did this twice and paid $1,470 for SPG 60,000 points (you’d need two SPG accounts with the same address to freely transfer the points), you would net 75,000 Velocity miles. Add in the 20% bonus and that’s 87,000 miles which is just 8,500 short of the 95,500 miles needed for a one way business class award.
If you had another SPG account you could always purchase an additional 7,000 SPG points for $220 USD or purchase them through Virgin Australia’s Velocity Points Booster for $233 — I’m not sure if the chart shown below is in USD or AUD but if it’s AUD then that’s $176 USD.
In any event, that’s a total of about $1,800 (inclusive of fees) for a one way business class flight to Australia. If you were able to apply a travel statement credit by using a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus (worth close to $560, you could potentially knock that price down to around $1,300. Considering the price that those tickets sell at ($9,000) I think this would be a good deal. (As a point of reference a one-way economy ticket would be $843 on Virgin Australia.)
If you’re just transferring SPG points this 20% bonus really helps out, too. You could get a one way award for 68,000 SPG points plus ~$100 in fees, which isn’t horrible. In my case, this is unexpectedly saving me over 25,000 SPG points. (This really helps make up for the unexpected Delta devaluation that hurt other legs of my trip.)
While Virgin Australia flights can be booked with partners, such as Delta (who recently devalued this route), the availability right now only opens up about two weeks prior to departure. So you’d need to have Velocity miles if you wanted to book The Business far out in advance. One of the easier ways to earn Velocity miles is to utilize SPG points and these two stackable promotions are making SPG an even sweeter option to build up Velocity miles right now.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.