Earn Velocity points directly with these hotels

Velocity Frequent Flyer has partnerships with many Australian hotels that allow customers to earn frequent flyer points on their accommodation and dining spend when booking directly with the provider.

Advertisements

Velocity Frequent Flyer has partnerships with many Australian hotels that allow customers to earn frequent flyer points on their accommodation and dining spend when booking directly with the provider. The following list of hotels will yield 3 Velocity points per Australian dollar spent. The earn rate is fairly good and compares with the standard 3 points per dollar spent on hotel bookings via the Virgin Australia Holidays portal, albeit without the status bonus.

This is a great option for corporate travellers who are required to book directly with the hotel rather than via a frequent flyer portal.

Australian hotels

  • Adina Apartment Hotels
  • Ascend Collection
  • Australis
  • Ayers Rock Resort
  • Beach Club, Hamilton Island
  • BLUE Sydney
  • Chifley Hotels & Apartments
  • Clarion
  • Comfort
  • Country Comfort
  • Crown Hotels
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Econolodge
  • Grand Chifley
  • Holiday Inn
  • Home Valley Station
  • Hotel Kurrajong Canberra
  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Leisure Inn Hotels & Suites
  • Medina Serviced Apartments
  • Next Hotel
  • One&Only Hayman Island
  • Palm Bungalows, Hamilton Island
  • Pan Pacific Hotels & Resorts
  • Park Regis
  • PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts
  • Piermonde Apartments
  • Quality Inn
  • Reef View Hotel, Hamilton Island
  • Rendezvous Hotels
  • Sage Hotels
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • Sundowner
  • The Langham Hotels & Resorts
  • Urban Hotels
  • Vibe Hotels

To earn points, simply present your Velocity card upon checkin.

For full terms and conditions, visit the Velocity website.

The cover photo is Langham Sydney.

Hilton launches rebranded loyalty program Hilton Honors

Hilton is rebranding its loyalty program as Hilton Honors and introducing changes to points redemptions, family pooling and status extensions.

As first reported by One Mile At A Time, news of Hilton’s revamped loyalty program have emerged. The official announcement is expected from Hilton tomorrow, however some of the changes have already leaked out and are summarised below.

Hilton Honors changes

  • The program will now be called Hilton Honors instead of Hilton HHonors, in a move to simplify things for customers.
  • The way in which customers redeem points for hotel stays is changing. The hotel category system is going away entirely and a new points and cash redemption option is being introduced that allows booking any standard room via points and cash. Hilton says that bookings can still be paid for entirely by points and will be capped at previous redemption limits. 
  • The new program will offer points pooling for free, similar to Virgin’s Family Pooling arrangement.
  • An interesting and innovative new feature is using your points towards Amazon purchases.
  • Diamond members who have had their status for three years and have accrued 250 elite qualitying nights or 500k base points can extend their Diamond status for a further year.

Overall, I think many of these changes are actually positive, unlike some of the recent changes we’ve seen to other loyalty programs. Usually an ‘enhancement’ is actually an erosion of benefits (I’m looking at you Virgin). I’ll wait to reserve full judgement until we see how the new points and cash redemption compares to the current points system.

Stay tuned for a full breakdown in the coming days of my take on these changes and whether I consider the Hilton Honors program to be more or less valuable for Australian travellers.

Earn bonus AccorHotels LeClub points using Places app

Guests staying at AccorHotel properties can collect badges and earn bonus points by registering their stays on the AccorHotels LeClub Places app or website.

Guests staying at AccorHotel properties can collect badges and earn bonus points by registering their stays on the AccorHotels LeClub Places app or website.

The app, available for iOS and Android, rewards guests with bonus points for checking into hotels and reaching certain milestones; such as number of different hotels, number of countries or number of times at the same hotel. There are lots of badges and points to collect, so download the app and start checking in or visit the website.

I’ve found the app to be somewhat buggy but have actually been able to earn bonus points from completing check-ins from previous stays, dating several months back. Be warned, the ‘validation’ of the check-ins can take some time, so be patient.

Update: The app appears to be unavailable in the iOS and Android stores. You can still access the online Facebook version. Not sure if this is just a temporary removal or permanent change. Hopefully they are addressing some of the bugs.

New Sofitel Darling Harbour opening in September 2017

Work is well underway on Accor’s latest Sydney flagship property located in Darling Harbour with a scheduled September 2017 opening.

Work is well underway on Accor’s latest Sydney flagship property located in Darling Harbour with a scheduled September 2017 opening. The new 35 story hotel will be located within the new Sydney International Convention Centre precinct with many of the 600 rooms offering views of the stunning Darling Harbour.

 Sofitel Darling Harbour rendering
Sofitel Darling Harbour rendering

The hotel will feature a pool with great views of the city along with an Executive Lounge for LeClub Platinum members. Stay tuned to AirlinePoints.com.au about more details around the hotel’s opening later this year.

 Sofitel Darling Harbour pool views
Sofitel Darling Harbour pool views

Special offer

Time to start saving those LeClub points for September 2017! Thankfully AccorHotels is running a bonus points promotion at the moment for LeClub members for Accor reservations made before 12 February 2017 for stays until 9 April 2017.

  • You’ll get 500 bonus Rewards points for your 1st stay
  • You’ll get 2,000 bonus Rewards points for your 2nd stay
  • You’ll get 3,000 bonus Rewards points for your 3rd stay

You simply need to activate the offer before booking by visiting the promotions page and signing in. Given the recent changes to the LeClub program, unfortunately these bonus points don’t count towards your status anymore.

The best hotel chain for airline points

A comparison of which hotel chain offers the best value for airline point transfers.

Hotel bookings can be one of the most lucrative sources of frequent flyer points, with the likes of Qantas Hotels offering 3 points per $1 AUD and Virgin Australia Holidays offering up to 6 points per $1 AUD for Velocity Platinum members. Combined with regular promotions from Qantas Hotels of up to 9 points per $1 AUD, these can quickly add up to very healthy frequent flyer balances.

Unfortunately the biggest downside to booking your stays through frequent flyer portals, and any online travel agent (Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) is the lack of loyalty benefits and recognition at the hotel itself. There are many benefits to be obtained from acquiring status with your preferred hotel chain; such as free upgrades to bigger rooms or rooms with preferred views, late checkout, and complementary breakfast.

The good news is that almost all of the major hotel chains allow you to collect points from your hotel stays that can be converted to airline points. Infact, most hotel chains have a very large pool of airline points and miles currencies that you can select.


Accor LeClub

LeClub points transfer 1:1 to Velocity Points, Qantas Points
LeClub points transfer 2:1 to Asia Miles, Emirates, Etihad

Spend ($ AUD) Classic Silver Gold Platinum
$1 at Accor* 1.75 2.17 2.59 3.08
$1 at ibis, ibis Styles 0.88 1.09 1.30 1.54

*except Adagio, Adagio Access, ibis, ibis Styles and Mama Shelter

Using 1 AUD = 0.71 EUR. LeClub points based on spend in Euros.


Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

SPG points transfer 1:1 to Velocity Points, Asia Miles, Emirates, Etihad

Spend ($ AUD) Preferred Gold Platinum
$1 1.48 2.22 2.22

Using 1 AUD = 0.74 USD. SPG points based on spend in USD.


Hilton HHonors

Table shows earn rates for Velocity and Qantas Points once transferred from HHonors Points.

Spend ($ AUD) Blue Silver Gold Diamond
$1 1.67 1.91 2.08 2.5

Using 1 AUD = 0.74 USD and earning style set to Points & Points. HHonors points based on spend in USD.


World of Hyatt

Table shows earn rates for Qantas Points, Asia Miles, Emirates and Etihad once transferred from World of Hyatt Points.

Spend ($ AUD) Member Discoverist Explorist Globalist
$1 1.48 1.63 1.78 1.92

Using 1 AUD = 0.74 USD. World of Hyatt Points based on spend in USD.


In summary, even if your goal is maximising your airline points, there is still the possibility of earning a solid amount of airline points by booking directly with your hotel chain instead of through a frequent flyer portal.

The decision comes down to whether you value the hotel status benefits above the extra points you may have obtained from booking via a frequent flyer portal.

Example — Qantas Hotels vs SPG Gold

For example, booking directly via SPG if you’re Gold will earn 2.2 frequent flyer points per $1 AUD spent. This is 0.8 points less per $1 AUD than if booked via Qantas Hotels. Aussming the hotel is priced the same on SPG and Qantas Hotels, if the value of the booking is $300 and you value your frequent flyer points at 1 c per point, you are missing out on only $2.40 worth of value, which is easily offset by the extra benefits obtained with the SPG Gold status; such as room upgrades and late checkout.