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Virgin Australia frequent flyers now get hotel room upgrades

By danwarne     Filed under: Hotels, rewards programs, Hilton HHonors, Virgin Australia, IHG, Velocity Rewards, Velocity Rewards gold benefits, IHG Priority Club Rewards, Velocity Rewards Platinum benefits

A surprising and innovative addition to Virgin's revamped Velocity Rewards frequent flyer program is free top-tier membership in hotel loyalty schemes.

Velocity Gold members get the choice of either Gold Elite membership with Intercontinental Hotels Group's Priority Club Rewards or Hilton HHonors.

Velocity Platinum members get the choice of Platinum Elite membership with IHG's Priority Club Rewards or Diamond Elite membership with Hilton HHonors.

Which hotel scheme is better for Velocity Rewards Gold members?

With Hilton HHonors Gold Elite, you get:

  • Free broadband internet during all stays
  • 25% more Hilton HHonors points
  • 15-25% discount on points needed to book on reward stays of longer than four nights at some Hilton-group hotels (category 3-7 hotels).
  • Upgrade to executive floor if rooms available (including access to executive lounge)
  • If no executive rooms available, free continental breakfast for member
  • If hotel has no executive floor, free breakfast for member and a guest

Hilton HHonors can be used at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations.

IHG Priority Club Gold membership provides very little benefit in comparison:

  • 10% bonus on Priority Club points earned
  • Room and key ready when you arrive
  • Toll-free gold elite customer service number

IHG Priority Club can be used at InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

So, the answer to our question, which is better for Velocity Gold members, is clearly Hilton HHonors Gold, with its much greater points bonus, free broadband, discounts on reward redemptions and room upgrade or free breakfast.

Which hotel scheme is better for Velocity Rewards Platinum members?

With Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite, you get:

  • 50% more Hhonors points
  • 15-25% discount on points needed to book on reward stays of longer than four nights at some Hilton-group hotels (category 3-7 hotels).
  • Free broadband internet during all stays
  • Guaranteed reservations up to 48 hours before arrival even if hotel is booked out (except when hotel is overbooked by more than 2 to 10%)
  • A space-available room upgrade, including breakfast.
  • Access to executive floor lounge even if executive room is unavailable.
  • Alternatively instead of room upgrade, 1,000 extra points per stay.

With IHG Priority Club Platinum Elite, you get:

  • 50% bonus on Priority Club points
  • Free room upgrade if available
  • Guaranteed reservations up to 72 hours before arrival except where hotel is under "extraordinary demand" as determined by the hotel.
  • Priority check-in
  • Toll-free platinum customer service number

The gap between Hilton HHonors Diamond and IHG Priority Club Platinum is certainly narrower than between the gold level, but it's still clear that Hilton HHonors Diamond Elite offers more value, given its inclusion of free internet, discounts on rewards reservations, free breakfast and guaranteed access to the executive lounge if there is one.

Of course, with hotels, it's all about location, location, location...

There are more Intercontinental Hotel Group properties in Australia than Hilton group, including outside of the capital cities, so bear that in mind when picking your membership.

If you travel to the USA frequently, you'll be well covered by options from the Hilton group, of course.

How to get your free hotel gold/platinum membership

To get membership into your preferred hotel program, you have to login to your Velocity account, then select "My Benefits" from the menu on the left-hand side, and select your preferred option.


About danwarne

Dan is a tech enthusiast who frequently qualifies for enhanced airport security screening due to the number of cords and gadgets stuffed into his cabin bag.


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