Transfer Velocity Points To KrisFlyer Miles (And Vice Versa)

Typically when airlines have a partnership, you can redeem miles for travel on the other carrier. That’s different, however, than being able to convert miles into the partner program.

For example, American Airlines and British Airways are partners, have a joint venture, and both belong to the oneworld alliance. You can redeem American miles for travel on British Airways, but you can’t convert American AAdvantage miles into British Airways Avios.

In September, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Virgin Australia Velocity announced something which I don’t think has ever been done before — members of both programs would be able to convert miles into the other program if they so choose. Now, indirectly there are many ways to convert points between loyalty programs using the likes of points.com, though typically a lot of value is lost in the process.

There were lots of questions I had at the time about the new KrisFlyer/Velocity transfer option, including:

  • What will the transfer ratio between programs be?
  • Will there be limits on how many points can be transferred?
  • Will all miles be transferable, or only miles earned through flying or select other activities?

Transfer between KrisFlyer and Velocity is now live!

The partnership is now live, and KrisFlyer and Velocity members can convert miles between the two programs.

KrisFlyer-Velocity-Partnership

The transfer ratio is 1.35:1 in both directions. That means if you convert KrisFlyer miles into Velocity points it’ll be at a 1.35:1 ratio, and if you convert Velocity points into KrisFlyer it’ll be at a 1.35:1 ratio.

KrisFlyer miles are considerably more valuable than Velocity points, so I’d say that’s a more-than-fair transfer ratio in that direction. The only other major restriction is that you have to convert a minimum of 5,000 miles per conversion.

The terms of this are much more lucrative than I had expected. Some Velocity members were hoping for a 1:1 transfer ratio, though I really don’t think that was realistic.

Who benefits more — KrisFlyer or Velocity members?

In general I think Velocity members benefit more from this. KrisFlyer has extremely lucrative award redemption rates, especially for travel between Asia and Australia. And being able to redeem for Singapore A380 Suites Class is tough to beat. This also gives Velocity members access to the Star Alliance.

For KrisFlyer members, this opens up awards on some of Virgin Australia’s partners, including airberlin, Delta, Etihad, etc. That being said, at a 1.35: 1 transfer ratio, I just don’t see many circumstances under which it would make sense to transfer KrisFlyer miles into Velocity points.

Here’s the Velocity award chart for one-way travel (as you can see, the chart differs based on the partner):

Velocity-Table-1 Velocity-Table-2

Bottom line

At the end of the day I’d rather redeem my KrisFlyer miles for travel in Singapore Suites Class, though I guess at least KrisFlyer members now have some added partners on which they can redeem miles, even if you lose some value in the process.

The biggest winners here are Velocity members, though.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this new transfer opportunity between the two programs?

(Tip of the hat to Points Hacks)

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,

    I wanted to ask whether having Krisflyer Status is a big benefit when searching for SQ award? and is it worth it if I’m entrenched into QF? I’m going to OWE this membership year and I have a card that can earn Velocity points and QFF points, in this case should I be going to Velocity points?

  2. Hi Lucky,

    I think you have read the conversion incorrectly. It seems to me that you need 1.35 Krisflyer mile to get 1 Velocity point. So that means New York to Abu Dhabi via Velocity redemption would cost 110700 Krisflyer points.

  3. Do you still need an OZ/NZ address to have a Velocity Account? I use a friends address to have an account. Looking at the distance based redemptions, I’m tempted to transfer starwood points to Velocity to book short Delta flights. Do you think there’s any risk in having my account audited if I do so?

    Thanks!

  4. The advantage of VA program over KF, which almost everyone fail to see, is that VA doesn’t impose fuel surcharge, has much better award availability (esp between US and AUS), and the ability to redeem Etihad at much loose routing rule than AAdvantage.

    I won’t go into how easy it is to redeem seats between SYD/BNE and LAX as everyone knows it is the best in the transpacific route. But take BNE to LAX for example, KF on SQ would charge 85000pt + $733.16AUD. VA on VA would be 94000pt + 103.70AUD. A whopping $629.46 difference for a saving of 9000 points! That’s $0.07/pt! Plus VA allows you to mix airline partners with VA metal, so you can connect to any US cities serviced by DL.

    In terms of EY, as VA’s maximum points required for any distance >9501 miles is 62.5/125/187K for Y/J/F. This will allow you to go to Asia / Australia via AUH! I recently redeemed GRU to BNE via AUH on EY for 125000 VA pts plus $72AUD in taxes, for a 30 hr flight in J (Even Etihad guest won’t allow that)! I am not sure what the equivalent will cost for AAdvantage, but AFAIK is that AA won’t allow you to go to Asia/Aus routing through middle east, so you will need 2 award tickets which can cost a fair bit. (Correct me if I am wrong, Ben, as I am not use to AAdvantage). This is very useful for non-US resident who can’t earn AA miles easily, but can earn KF easily and would like to try EY (ie. residence and apartment!).

  5. @Andrew (SJC) – If you don’t mind losing 26% of your miles every transfer, yes.

    @Michael Kao – The Residence is not in any way redeemable.

  6. @ Andrew — You lose a lot of value that way, but yeah, if you’re willing to lose 35% of their value twice. 😀

  7. @ Richard — As far as I know KrisFlyer doesn’t make any additional award space available to elite members, so it shouldn’t make a difference. Having status helps with getting waitlisted awards cleared, but that’s about the extent of it.

    If you want to earn KrisFlyer miles there are better ways to do it than by accruing Velocity points, given that you’ll be losing 35% value every time.

  8. @Lucky

    You are welcome.

    As an Australian velocity is the second biggest FFP for us so I have a lot of experience with it. Most of our cobranded credit cards are either with Qantas or Virgin, no other choice! So we must know the value of VA points.

    In a way I am hoping VA would sign up a similar deal with DL, this will then allow Velocity members to access both Star alliance (with access to SQ suite which no other star alliance has access to) Sky Team and Etihad! It will make velocity points a lot more valuable!

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