Rewards points chaos

Virgin Australia, which is in voluntary administration, has frozen access to its Velocity rewards points, reportedly affecting dozens of cards from 17 providers.

The Velocity frequent flyer program has been frozen for four weeks, even though it is part of the Virgin group, which is owned by a separate company that is not in administration.

An analysis by comparison site Mozo reports that 61 credit cards are linked to the Velocity rewards program. Ten are direct-earning cards offered by American Express, Virgin Money and Westpac, and 51 cards that allow consumers to convert to Velocity points for flight rewards.

Mozo Direct Kirsty Lamont said: “As Virgin fights hard for survival, if you have one of the 61 credit cards linked to the Velocity rewards program, whether or not you’ll be able to once again redeem your points is up in the air.

“Until [Tuesday], you could use your Velocity rewards points to redeem one product per day but that option is now closed off. So, unfortunately, if you have a big rewards point balance, it’s now a case of waiting four weeks to see if the Velocity store reopens.”

ANZ has reportedly removed the 75,000 bonus Velocity points that were on offer on its Rewards Travel Adventures card and Jetstar initially halved its rewards return before suspending access to the card for new customers. Existing customers now have to spend $20,000 to earn $100 Jetstar credit and the interest rate has jumped from 14.99 per cent to 19.99 per cent.

Mozo also found NAB had removed three of its cards from the market: the Qantas Rewards Card, Low Rate Platinum Card and Rewards Card Classic.

Woolworths, Myer, Jetstar and Macquarie Bank were no longer taking new credit card applications, and ING and Bankwest had tightened access to credit, increasing the requirements for those seeking to access some credit products.

“We’re seeing a dramatic drop in rewards value as several card issuers responded to current events by adjusting or removing their travel-focused products and offers,” said Ms Lamont.

Do you have a stash of reward points? Are you concerned about their value?

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Written by Janelle Ward

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