Does it pay to use frequent flyer points for fuel?

Does the new Velocity rewards program offer provide value for money?

Does it pay to use frequent flyer points for fuel?

In a reversal of the norm, members of the Velocity rewards program can now use their points to fill up with fuel, but does the new scheme offer value for money?

Velocity members have previously been able to earn point on their purchases at BP fuel station but in a move that is the first of its kind, points can now be redeemed to pay for fuel at participating BP fuel stations.

To be able to redeem points, Velocity members must:

  • have an active account (temporary cards are not accepted)
  • have a PIN set for their Velocity card
  • set the Pay with points instore redemption option on their account, and
  • have enough points in their account to cover their chosen redemption.

Points can be redeemed at a rate of 1667 points for $10 credit, to a maximum of 10,000 points for $60 credit.

woman filling up her car with fuel using velocity points

So, is this value for money?

Well, firstly let’s look at what it takes to earn these points. To earn enough points for $10 credit, you would have to fill up with 866.5 litres of fuel (two points earned for every litre of fuel purchased. At an average of $1.20 per litre, that's $1039.80 to be able to redeem the $10 credit.

Or if you fly with Virgin Australia, a return flight between Melbourne and Sydney will earn you approximately 1870 points (935 each way), so you will have enough for a $10 credit with a little left over.

So, where would 10,000 points take you if you redeem on a Virgin Australia flight?

Not very far. It takes 11,110 points to fly between Melbourne and Sydney on a Saturday or 7800 + $21.11. On the plus side, it will get you further than filling up your car and driving!

OK, so the comparison may be a little unfair and by all means, if you have Velocity points on your account doing nothing, it might be nice to not have to pay for your fuel for once.

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Jul 2016
    Thanks for your article as I now know how I can use my few thousand velocity points.
    23rd Jul 2016
    I just noticed that Virgin has adjusted my Velocity points from 6025 (June 2016 statement) to zero (July 2016 statement). That is theft.
    I stopped using Coles supermarket many years ago when they stripped = stole my hard earned Freakwent Flyer points.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Jul 2016
    I use my card when I buy BP fuel so that the points don't expire.
    23rd Jul 2016
    If you lost points in the early days of Flybuys that is your fault as it was made clear in the application that points would be forfeited after a certain period, I can't recall exactly but I think it was about 12 months. Not all points were taken, just those awarded over 12 months ago. Points are no longer forfeited like that. I have been with Flybuys since '95 and have never had a problem with them.
    23rd Jul 2016
    We accumulated quite a few points with overseas travel but there was not much redeemable for that. We redeemed for cash. Well hidden on the website but it's there.
    Not sure loyalty schemes are worth the paper they are written on. Perhaps the best return is from Coles Frequent Flyers if people take advantage of the real offers and check their dockets for extra offers on top of that. Not hard to save at least $10 a shop.
    23rd Jul 2016
    Been saving our points up, have enough now for two of us to get a flight to LA, so that's equivalent to a free trip. Plus, a gold membership we get lounge membership also. One trip to the lounge for a non member is $65! As we do not pay for any thing other than flights of say this dam good value for money. I also use the global wallet card which gives me everyday points for spending. Even put the cost of a new car on it lol.
    So, yes, you can get something for nothing actually and yes, virgin crockery points do work well, just don't waste em on fuel!
    24th Aug 2016
    The best thing about getting points for fuel is that our local Richies IGA gives a 4 cents a litre discount if I spend over $30 at the IGA. You must surrender your docket, so make a copy. So now I can avoid the dreaded duopoly of Coles and Woolies for shopping and fuel discounts.

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