The su­per­mar­ket hack for points you should be us­ing right now

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - ADVICE - An­gus Kid­man

WHEN I MEN­TIONED to a col­league that there was bonus deal run­ning that gave you ex­tra points for con­vert­ing fly­buys points into Vir­gin Ve­loc­ity Points, his re­ac­tion was blunt.

“They’re prob­a­bly worth more as fly­buys points at the mo­ment. I might try and make a toi­let pa­per plane and com­pete with Vir­gin.” The joke is un­der­stand­able.

With air­lines only fly­ing min­i­mal and largely do­mes­tic sched­ules and Vir­gin Aus­tralia go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion, fre­quent flyer points aren’t top of mind for many of us right now. But de­spite that, the cur­rent bonus trans­fer offer is worth think­ing about, es­pe­cially as Vir­gin has been ac­quired by Bain Cap­i­tal (pend­ing cred­i­tor ap­proval) and thus has a more as­sured fu­ture.

Here’s how the deal works.

The most com­mon way to re­deem fly­buys points is for money off at Coles – 2000 fly­buys points gets you $10 off your next shop.

How­ever, you can also con­vert those 2000 points into 870 Ve­loc­ity Points.

If you use those points to buy a re­ward seat or up­grade, you’ll easily get more than $10 value for them.

A one-way Syd­ney-Mel­bourne econ­omy flight can give you from $13 to $25 value for the same num­ber of points, for in­stance. You need 7800 Ve­loc­ity Points to book that, not in­clud­ing fees.

Up­grades and busi­ness-class seats offer even bet­ter value, but can be much harder to score. On top of the usual ar­range­ments, un­til the end of July, fly­buys is of­fer­ing a bonus 15 per cent for points trans­fers.

That means you’ll get 1000 Ve­loc­ity Points for each 2000 fly­buys points.

(That makes the con­ver­sion rate the same as for ri­val Qan­tas’s sim­i­lar deal with Wool­worths Re­wards, in­ci­den­tally.)

The fly­buys 15 per cent ex­tra bonus offer usu­ally pops up twice a year, but this time around there’s an added sweet­ener.

If you trans­fer more than 100,000 fly­buys points, you’ll score a 20 per cent bonus, rather than 15 per cent. If you’ve got a very large pool of fly­buys points sit­ting around, it’s def­i­nitely worth think­ing about.

There’s also nor­mally an an­nual cap on how many fly­buys points can be trans­ferred, but that doesn’t ap­ply dur­ing July.

Again, I’m not pre­tend­ing this offer is for ev­ery­one. If your fi­nances have taken a beat­ing dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, then ob­vi­ously $10 right now is worth more than $25 at some point in the fu­ture.

And if you’ve sworn off fly­ing in any form un­til things be­come more sta­ble, points might not be your fo­cus.

But if you do al­ready have a stash of Ve­loc­ity Points and are look­ing to boost them for fu­ture use, then it makes sense to make a trans­fer while you’re get­ting ex­tra points.

To max­imise the deal, hold off mak­ing a trans­fer un­til the end of July.

That way, you’ll get the ben­e­fit of any shop­ping you do dur­ing the month. And re­mem­ber: those points earned from fly­buys count as ac­tiv­ity, which en­sures your ex­ist­ing Ve­loc­ity Points won’t ex­pire.

An­gus Kid­man is the ed­i­tor-in-chief and travel guru for Fin­der

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