I GOT IT WRONG: Virgin Australia Miles and Singapore Miles Don’t Transfer Freely Back and Forth

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Update 8/5/15 at noon ET:

I totally messed this one up. Transfers are 1.35 Singapore miles to 1 Virgin Australia point or 1.35 Virgin Australia points to 1 Singapore mile. In both directions you lose about a quarter of your miles, so this is a terrible deal. I was fooled by this sentence on the Virgin Australia website:

“*The conversion rate of 1.35 Velocity Points to 1.00 KrisFlyer Miles will be available both ways when converting from Velocity Points to KrisFlyer Miles or vice versa.”

I would argue that sentence is flat wrong, but at the very least ambiguous, and I misinterpreted, which I shouldn’t have done because the Singapore website and one of the screenshots in my post were clear enough that 1.35 Singapore miles = 1 Virgin Australia point.

Thanks to @Money_Metagame for correcting me on Twitter. Sorry for the misinformation on my part.

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Since November 2014, you can transfer 1 Singapore KrisFlyer miles to 1.35 Virgin Australia Velocity Points or vice versa. I had no idea until Michael Kao let us know in the comments of yesterday’s post about which partners you can book with your miles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.53.52 PM

This has the potential to be very valuable information for Americans because:

  1. Singapore miles are very easy to get as a transfer partner of four transferable points’ programs.
  2. Virgin Australia has some cheap redemption options (and not just for trips to Australia) and doesn’t appear to charge fuel surcharges.

How the Transfers Work

Link your accounts on either site. I linked mine on the Virgin Australia site here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.50.03 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.51.33 PM

Then convert there from Virgin Australia points to Singapore miles or here from Singapore miles to Virgin Australia points.

Since Americans have much easier access to Singapore miles, the likely transfer will be from Singapore to Virgin Australia. I went to the transfer page inside my Singapore account, and my accounts were linked from the link I had made on the Virgin Australia site a few minutes before.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.50.36 PM

The minimum number of miles to transfer is 5,000, and you appear to be able to transfer any amount above that, even odd numbers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.52.52 PM

How to Get Singapore Miles

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points, American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and SPG Starpoints. Transfers take about 24 hours.

Here’s a quick way to get 100,000 ThankYou Points from two cards:

Opening a Virgin Australia Account

You need to be a resident of Australia, New Zealand, or Pacific Islands to join Virgin Australia Velocity. If you’re comfortable giving an address there, you’ll have no problem signing up here.

Cheap Deals on the Virgin Australia Award Charts

Virgin Australia has two distance-based award charts. One for Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Samoa, Etihad, Delta, and trans-Tasman Air New Zealand flights.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.31.41 PM The other is for Singapore, SilkAir, airberlin, Hawaiian Airlines, South African, and AIr New Zealand domestic and longhaul flights.Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.31.49 PM

I gather from this table of popular redemptions that there are no fuel surcharges on awards because the dollar amounts listed are only taxes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.31.26 PM

Many of these are good deals, especially after you divide by 1.35 to account for the transfer bonus from Singapore miles.

  • Sydney to Melbourne for 5,112 Singapore miles
  • Sydney to Perth for 12,519 Singapore miles
  • Sydney to Los Angeles for 34,815 Singapore miles
  • Sydney to Fiji for 12,519 Singapore miles

I am going to figure out even more good deals and confirm the total taxes and fees on awards by doing dummy bookings over the phone in the coming days.

Many Virgins

There are four airlines with Virgin in the name: Atlantic, Australia, America, and Samoa. They are separate airlines. This article is about Virgin Australia.

Singapore miles do NOT convert to any other the other Virgins’ miles. Virgin Atlantic miles do NOT convert to the other Virgins’ miles. (However Virgin Australia miles can book awards on all the Virgins.)

Bonus

There’s one other reason you might care about Virgin Australia Velocity. 😉

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.39.43 PM

I’ve added my Velocity number to my next Delta award online. Let’s see if I get any miles.

Bottom Line

Singapore miles and Virgin Australia points can be freely converted from one to the other. This opens up great opportunities since Singapore miles are very easy to get, and Virgin Australia has a fair award chart and interesting partners.

 


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12 COMMENTS

  1. Where you divided by 1.35 on the Virgin chart, you should have multiplied instead. Singapore miles are worth less than Virgin Australia in the conversion

    That changes a lot of the prices you broke out as well.

  2. Hi, quick question about the conversion from SQ to VA. Above you say that there is a bonus when you convert SQ miles to VA, that 5112 SQ miles will net you 6900 VA miles for that sub-600 shorthaul flight. But unless I am missing something, the SQ transfer page says the opposite:

    https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/ppsclub-krisflyer/miles-conversion/

    It says, “For every 1.35 KrisFlyer Miles converted, KrisFlyer members will receive 1 Velocity Point which will be credited directly into your Velocity Frequent Flyer Account.”

    Doesn’t that mean the exchange from SQ to VA is *worse*? You would need 9315 SQ miles to have 6900 VA miles post-conversion. Or if that’s not the case, what am i missing?

    Either way, this is really interesting info that I didn’t know, so thanks for writing about it!

    • Actually the post appears to say both:

      “For every 1.35 Velocity Points you transfer, you will earn 1 KrisFlyer mile.”

      AND

      “1.35 KrisFlyer miles = 1 Velocity Point.”

      Maybe they have some sort of reciprocal arrangement?

      • I think the arrangement, as it reads, is that it’s a bad transfer both ways. Ha. 1.35 miles from either program transfers to only 1 point in the other.

      • If both of those statements are true (I’m not sure if that’s the case), then you actually lose value every time you move the points back and forth. It’s no longer the “Freely” moving them back and forth it initially appeared to be.

        We can see in the example that 5107 Krisflyer turn into 3783 Veolocity (1.35 K -> 1 V), but there’s not an example of the opposite. The webpage snapshot does say (1.35 V -> 1 K), so it looks like every transfer in either direct loses value.

  3. Yes, you guys are correct. You lose point everytime you transfer unfortunately.

    For most of us VA to KF makes more sense. However, because KF miles can’t be transferred between accounts and has expiry dates, if your family have multiple KF accounts that have scattered KF miles that is about to expire, that can’t be of any use each on their own, it make sense to convert them to VA miles and transfer them into a single family member (you can transfer VA miles between family members for free).

    The most recent example was, KF was running a promotion back in March for 5000 free miles for signing up to KF. So a lot of people started to sign up all their family members including their dog and gold fish (the highest number I heard was 107 accounts), then transfer them to VA at 3704 each and then transfer them all into one VA account. I signed up my wife, kids, parents and in laws and earned 30000 free VA miles! KF closed the promotion within 3 days….

    • Thanks Michael. Frankly, I’m surprised the author hasn’t edited the post or responded here in the comments. Talk about poor quality control…This incorrect info has been up for almost a day now, hopefully someone doesn’t make a big miles transfer using this wrong info thinking they’re going to get a bonus from KF->VA (or vice versa).

      • I just saw these corrections and edited as soon as I got back to my computer. I invite anyone to publish 1,925 posts with zero mistakes. I own the mistake and apologize.

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