Why Virgin Velocity points owners may want to sit tight

Why Virgin Velocity points owners may want to sit tight

It’s been a very difficult month for Virgin Australia, as the Australian airline stood down 8,000 workers and announced it would go into voluntary administration on the back of the COVID-19 crisis.

While it is indeed a terrible situation for any affected, if you're reliant on Virgin Velocity points, you're affected, as well.

With a question mark looming over Virgin Australia and the airline on shaky ground, the chance of using any points gleaned from rewards systems begins to disappear into the sky with each passing day.

State of play for your Velocity points

As it stands, Virgin Australia was placed into administration but Velocity, a separate entity that is wholly owned by Virgin Australia, was not.

It was revealed that Virgin Australia owed $5.3 billion to creditors, including clients like travel agents and bondholders.

In Virgin Australia’s last annual report, the full value of Velocity points came in at $497.1 million. However, The Australian Financial Review (AFR) revealed that the trust Velocity holds its points in had lent around $200 million in secured loans to Virgin Australia . This “raised questions” around whether there were “enough funds in the trust to cover the full value of the points”, the AFR reported.

On the 21st April, Velocity frequent flyer customers were sent an email stating that Velocity was still operating, but it would be pausing all point redemptions for an “initial period of four weeks”. Customers were reassured that their points “weren’t going anywhere” and would not expire through this period.

For card customers, you’ll still be able to earn points through your spending, although you won’t be able to redeem them at this time.

Velocity customers may be asking themselves what will happen to their points as they wait on bated breath for them to be redeemable again.

Experts weigh in on Virgin Velocity points cards

Steve Hui, Founder of iFlyFlat, wrote about the future of Velocity points for frequent flyer credit card holders.

“Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program will survive, but members should expect their points to be worth less once a new owner is found for the airline,” said Mr Hui.
“The points are likely to be honoured in some form as the new owners want to retain the business's customers and get off to a good start.
“In the event that the airline is liquidated (worst case scenario) Velocity members could still expect some compensation,” said Mr Hui.

Many Velocity Points credit card holders may be wondering what they can do right now. In an interview with RateCity, Steve Hui said they have two possible options.

“Velocity co-brand credit card holders should wait or contact their bank to see what options they have for them,” he said.
“Some banks have paused the transfer of points from credit cards to Velocity. So those cards which earn Velocity directly, they will have other options.
“It is better to change to a credit card that first accumulate ‘Rewards Points’ with the card, which then you can select to transfer to an airline at a later date. Examples such as AMEX membership reward points, Amplify points, ANZ points etc.”

RateCity Research Director, Sally Tindall, said: “While Velocity has confirmed points are safe, it’s not yet clear what the program will look like on the other side of the pause.

“While a lot of people will sit tight, others might decide they’re not going to be travelling as much and don’t need a frequent flier card,” she said.

There are still actions credit card holders can take right now, according to Ms Tindall.

“Now is a good time to do a health check on your credit card, especially if your annual fee is due soon. Big spenders might find their rewards card is still working in their favour, while others might realise they’re better off switching to a low rate, low fee card without the bells and whistles.
"However, moving to a different credit card might not be that easy in this environment," she cautioned.
"Some companies have stopped taking credit card applications while anyone who’s lost their job might find they can’t get a new credit card application across the line. If that’s you, call your current provider and see if they can switch you to a low rate card, especially if you’ve got money owing on it."

Alternative frequent flyer credit cards

Without a crystal ball, it’s difficult to predict exactly how long Velocity Points credit card holders may be waiting to redeem their points, or if they’ll still be worth the same value.

If you’re considering looking into alternative frequent flyer credit cards for a worst-case scenario, you’ll need to know who the other big players are.

The airlines offering frequent flyer points in Australia are:

Airline Program Name
Qantas Qantas Frequent Flyer
Jetstar Jetstar Dollars
Emirates Skywards
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer

With Qantas being the largest airline in Australia by fleet size, international flights and international destinations, all of the big four banks offer customers Qantas frequent flyer credit cards.

Highest Qantas joining points bonus on credit cards

Company Card Annual Fee Purchase Rate Sign up FF Points Minimum income per year
Qantas Money Qantas Premier Titanium

$1,200

19.99

150,000

$200,000

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature

$395

19.99

130,000

-
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

$425

20.24

120,000

-
Qantas Money Qantas Premier Platinum

$299

19.99

80,000

$35,000

Data accurate as of 29.04.2020. 

In terms of Qantas joining points bonuses for new customers, the highest offerings on the market from card providers are anywhere from 80,000 to 150,000 Qantas points. But there are catches.

RateCity analysis found that the highest joining points bonus for Qantas frequent flyer credit cards was for the Qantas Money Qantas Premier Titanium. However, as the name suggests, this is a premium card with a minimum income requirement of $200k and an annual fee of $1,200 – the highest on the market.

There may be expensive hoops to jump through with any frequent flyer credit card you’re considering applying too, including annual fees and high minimum income requirements. Be sure you read a card’s terms and conditions, as well as the Product Disclosure Statement, for a full break down of these costs before you consider applying.

Big four banks’ Qantas frequent flyer credit cards

ANZ Purchase Rate (%) Annual Fee
Frequent Flyer

20.24

$95

Frequent Flyer Platinum

20.24

$495

Frequent Flyer Black

20.24

$295

     
NAB Purchase Rate (%) Annual Fee
Qantas Rewards Premium Card

19.99

$250

Qantas Rewards Signature Card

19.99

$395

     
CBA Purchase Rate (%) Annual Fee
Commbank Ultimate Awards Credit Card with Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct

20.24

$30

Commbank Diamond Awards Credit Card with Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct

20.24

$379

Commbank Platinum Awards Credit Card with Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct

20.24

$279

Commbank Awards Credit with Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct

20.24

$89

*Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct allows you to opt in for $30 and convert CBA Award Points to Qantas FF Points
     
Westpac Purchase Rate (%) Annual Fee
Altitude Platinum Qantas Points

20.49

$200

Altitude Black Qantas Points

20.49

$300

Data accurate as of 29.04.2020.

RateCity analysis has found that NAB offers the lowest purchase rate for a Qantas frequent flyer credit card at 19.99 per cent.

Further, if you’re looking to avoid fees, Commbank’s Ultimate Awards credit card has the lowest annual fee ($30) of big four bank credit cards connected to Qantas.

Is now the right time to take action?

Keep in mind that taking out a second credit card or moving to a lower rate card during the COVID-19 crisis and recession may be a difficult endeavour. Banks like Macquarie are not approving new credit card applications at the moment, and a second credit card can affect loan chances.

Before you apply, consider if this is the best time to take out a new credit card. If you’re struggling with debt, or if you’re facing issues with employment or your income, it may not be the wisest time.

Look at your budget and map out to see if you could afford a new credit card’s fees and costs right now. Doing some research around alternative options as a worst-case scenario may help you feel better prepared for the future.

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How to increase your Qantas Premier credit card limit

When your income or spending habits change, you might wish to increase your credit card limit. The Qantas Premier credit card allows you to do this over the phone. You can contact Qantas Premier Card Support by calling on 1300 992 700. Unlike some other credit providers, Qantas doesn’t give you the option to increase your limit online.

Qantas will only accept your application if you have a good history of repayment and have not increased your credit or bought another credit product from Qantas in the past six months.

Before approving your Qantas Premier credit card limit increase, Qantas will perform a credit assessment on your current financial circumstances and ask why you would like to increase your credit limit.

To ensure that there are no bumps in your application process, you must provide accurate and recent information about your financial situation. You should also account for any future changes you’re anticipating which could hinder your ability to repay the loan.

Once the assessment is complete, Qantas will either approve or deny your application. If they approve it, you will need to sign a credit limit increase agreement - and you can request a written copy of the credit assessment. However, if your application is rejected, Qantas can opt not to provide a copy of the assessment.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

How do I increase my Suncorp credit card limit?

You can ask Suncorp to increase your credit card limit  by contacting  131 155 or by visiting your nearest branch. You’ll have to meet Suncorp’s credit criteria and general terms. For example, you may not receive an increase in your limit if you have successfully applied for one or in the past nine months. Similarly, the bank will look at whether you’ve applied for other credit products recently. 

When assessing your application for a credit increase, banks look at a range of criteria, such as your income and your spending and repayment history. Usually you’ll hear back within a couple of weeks. 

Do I qualify for Bank of Melbourne credit card insurance?

You may be eligible for transit accident insurance, purchase security insurance, and extended warranty no matter which type of Bank of Melbourne credit card you own. 

Some credit card customers may get coverage for international or domestic travel insurance, rental vehicle excess in Australia, and price guarantee as well. 

However, the exact terms of the insurance coverage can differ based on the specific credit card. For instance, if you buy any personal items with a Level 1 credit card, your purchase security insurance may be valid for up to four months from the purchase date. For someone with a Level 2 credit card, such coverage may only be available for three months. 

What does Westpac credit card insurance cover?

If you own a Westpac credit card, one of the perks may be  free travel insurance. If you’re eligible, you may be covered if you get sick while travelling, have lost your luggage, have to cancel a trip or have an accident while you’re on the move.

Besides these standard inclusions, the Westpac credit card insurance policy may also cover you for hospital essentials, emergency dental treatment and alternative transport if your original plans go awry. It may also cover loss of income when you get back home after being sick  overseas and your pets’ boarding costs too.

If you have any queries, the Westpac credit card insurance contact number is 1800 091 710. You can submit a claim online.

 

How can I get a Woolworths store card credit limit increase?

If you are looking to increase the credit limit on your Woolworths card, you can call 1300 101 234 to make an application. You will need to have held your Woolworths credit card account for at least six months before asking to increase your limit. 

As with most credit limit increase applications, your financial situation and spending history will be reviewed in order to assess whether your new requested credit limit is appropriate. After the assessment, Woolworths will let you know whether or not you’ve been approved. 

 

What to consider before transferring money from your credit card to your bank account in Citibank?

You can transfer money from a Citibank credit card to a bank account depending on the available limit of each. The process is known as a cash advance transaction, and Citibank should allow you to transfer some portion of the total credit limit.

Transferring funds from a credit card to a bank account is likely to attract additional charges, so please consider the following potential costs:

  • A cash advance fee, which is a per cent of the total transfer amount
  • A 2 per cent transaction fee when you transfer money from a Citibank credit card to a bank account
  • Cash advance interest rate applicable on the transfer amount without any interest-free period.

To learn more about such transfers, you can contact the bank via the online service desk, email, or by calling 13 CITI (13 24 84).

How to increase my Commonwealth credit card limit?

Commonwealth Bank credit cards are extremely popular in Australia for everyday purchases and big ticket items alikers. A number of the card’s functions can be customised, depending on your needs and desires. If you wish to increase your Commonwealth credit card limit using the CommBank, you can usually do so on the app or via NetBank.

In the CommBank app, tap on the ‘Cards’ icon and choose your credit card. Then, click on ‘Credit Limit’ and select the ‘Increasing your limit’ option. If you don’t have the CommBank app, you can also increase your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit through NetBank. Simply log on and go to Settings, then click on ‘Product Requests’ and then choose ‘Credit Card Limit Changes’. 

Once the bank has received your application, they will review your account and payment history. Based on this assessment, your application will either be approved or denied. If approved, your new limit will be applied to your card instantly. 

While increasing your credit card limit may be an easy process, it’s important to remember that you should only request limits that you can manage. A high limit increases the risk of having a larger debt, even with cards that provide low-interest rate options. So, it’s important to think carefully and seek advice from people you trust before increasing your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit.

Does St. George Bank offer any credit card insurance?

Depending on the type of card they hold St. George Bank credit cardholders can benefit from a host of various credit card insurance offerings including:

Complimentary overseas travel insurance, covering:

  • Medical and hospital expenses incurred while travelling overseas, with the exclusion of pre-existing conditions
  • Loss or damage to personal property
  • Legal liabilities
  • Loss or damage to rental vehicles
  • Unexpected cancellation of travel arrangements or any other unforeseen expenses

Complimentary purchase security insurance may be available to level 1 cardholders for four months and three months of complimentary insurance accessed by level 2 cardholders. This type of insurance covers loss, theft, and damage costs to eligible products purchased anywhere around the world, provided that the product was purchased using the St. George Bank credit card. 

Extended warranty insurance may be available to St. George Bank credit cardholders, which extends the manufacturer’s Australian warranty on certain products purchased. For example, if you purchase a pair of headphones that comes with 11 months of warranty, St. George Bank will provide an extended warranty of 11 months, provided the entire purchase is charged to the St. George Bank credit card. 

Select cardholders may be able to take advantage of St. George Bank’s rental vehicle excess insurance, which covers up to $5,500 for any excess or deductible which the cardholder is legally liable to pay during the rental period. 

How to increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit?

As a Bendigo Bank credit cardholder, you can avail a minimum limit of $500, but if you use your card regularly, you may want to consider increasing it. To increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit, you can contact the bank’s credit card team on 1300 236 344 and talk to the bank directly.

You can also apply for a credit card limit increase through online banking, by logging into Bendigo Bank web portal or through the app on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you'll want  to send a secure message to Bendigo Bank asking them to increase your credit card limit. 

If you cannot access the online portal or the app, you can also apply to increase your credit card limit through the online enquiry form. Simply add relevant information in the required fields and click ‘Submit’. Once you have completed the application, Bendigo Bank should verify your details and analyse your current financial standing. Based on this assessment, the bank will either accept your application to increase your credit card limit or deny it. 

How to apply for an HSBC credit card instalment plan?

HSBC provides a host of different features and benefits to its customers, including interest-free finance options for purchases made at select retailers.

Using this feature, you can make a purchase in-store or online through your credit card, and spread your repayments for up to 60 months. Opting for a credit card instalment plan may be an ideal option as you can make big purchases without worrying about making immediate payments. 

The interest-free instalment plan is valid for all HSBC credit cards, so you shouldn't need to fill out separate forms or apply for a particular plan. Rather, all you should need to do is use your HSBC credit card at any of the participating retailers and inform the vendor that you want to pay using HSBC interest-free. 

As HSBC has partnered with over 1,000 retailers for its interest-free credit card instalment plan, you get the flexibility to purchase a host of different products. Some of the popular retailers that HSBC allows instalments for are: 

  • Webjet 
  • King Furniture 
  • Betta Home Living
  • Stratco 
  • Video Pro 
  • Bing Lee

Once you have provided approval to the vendor, HSBC will send you an SMS asking you to confirm the purchase, following which the payment will go through, and you can select your preferred instalment plan. 

While you may be inclined to choose the most prolonged duration for repayment considering there are no interest charges, it’s important to know that minimum monthly repayments will still apply (3%, or $30, whichever is higher), making it important to choose the right HSBC credit card instalment plan that suits your requirements. 

Does Woolworths Qantas offer any credit card insurance?

Credit cards can be useful for managing your expenses, but they also come with other advantages like credit card insurance. Your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card may offer a host of complimentary insurance options, which include: 

  • Travel insurance: Cover for your whole family when they travel with you, with unlimited overseas medical emergency cover and $500,000 accident insurance for accidental loss of life.  
  • Purchase security insurance: If you purchase an eligible product with your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, the cost of theft or damage that occurred within 90 days of the purchase will be covered, provided the amount doesn’t exceed the purchase price of the item or up to $2500 per event. 
  • Extended warranty insurance: If you purchase eligible goods with your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, this complimentary insurance will extend the manufacturer’s Australian warranty by up to 12 months. 
  • Global hire car excess waiver: If you’re legally liable to pay an excess or deductible in the event of loss or damage to a rental vehicle that was booked using your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, the costs will be covered. 

To find out more about Woolworths Qantas credit card insurance, you can call them on 1300 10 1234.