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Virgin Australia's Velocity family pooling: tips and tricks for sharing your points

By John Walton     Filed under: frequent flyer, points, status credits, Velocity, Virgin Australia, Velocity Rewards, Velocity Frequent Flyer, pooling, family pooling

Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program offers a unique yet little-understood feature called 'family pooling'. Here's a look at how it works and how you can make the most of it.

Why it's cool to pool

In Virgin Australia's program, pooling lets you collect the Velocity points and status credits earned by your partner and other family members when they fly. Alternatively, you can funnel your points and status credits to different members of your family.

Velocity family pooling couches the way things work in terms of "contributor" and "beneficiary" accounts.

It usually makes sense for the beneficiary to be the person doing the most travelling -- but as we explain later on, that's not always the case.

Once your family members become contributors to your beneficiary account, all the points and status credits they earn during their travels will be assigned to your Velocity frequent flyer account. (There's no complicated proportional allocation like in some programs.)

Setting up your pool

To start pooling, nominate the Velocity account of each family member as a contributor to your account. (Click here and log in to the Velocity website.)

You can pool with up to six family members. The actual breakdown is up to two people over 18, and up to four kids under 18 (the kids are optional, so pooling also works with just two people).

A Virgin Australia spokeswoman confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the airline's definition of "members of a family" means "any 2 adults (over 18) and up to 4 children (under 18) who reside at the same address".

If one of your under-18s turns 18, they'll be removed from the pool if you already have an over-18 member.

There's a specific ban on pooling "for commercial purposes or by commercial entities" -- and you may want to read the full family pooling terms and conditions (they're not that long or in-depth) for all the details of what you specifically can and can't do.

How you collect points and status

Points from your contributors will automatically be transferred to your beneficiary account as soon as they're earned. However, points and status credits earned before the pool was formed won't be carried over.

You can, however, transfer points (not status) between accounts with the usual transfer process.

(The rules on transfers are: each account is allowed four transfers of between 5,000 and 100,000 points a year, and it's free to do online.)

So if you have several family members and are planning to swap points around between accounts, be aware that you have a limited number of transfers per account.

Top tip: be careful if you're about to reach a tier

If you and your other half (or one of your kids) is approaching a status tier upgrade -- such as stepping up from Silver to Gold, or Gold to Platinum -- be smart about when exactly you add them to your pool.

Any flights they take once they're a contributor and you're the beneficiary will add to your status credits and points balance, not theirs. This means they will keep their current level of points and status credits until the usual point/status credit expiration date.

So if you're Platinum and your other half is about to turn Gold, for example, you'll want to wait until he or she hits that status upgrade before making him or her a contributor to your account.

How to max out both your and your partner's status

There's also a nifty hack to get both you and your other half bumped up in the status stakes.

This is useful if you ever travel apart, so that you both have access to extra luggage, better seating, lounge access, priority boarding, and so on, even when you're travelling separately. And you'll then both get the extra status credit bonus that higher tier frequent flyers get. 

Let's say you've finally hit Platinum status but aren't likely to reach the 1500 points bonus level needed to get a partner Gold card for your other half.

You can turn yourself and the rest of the family into contributors and your other half into the beneficiary, which will fast-track them to Gold. You'll need to log into each of the contributor accounts to make that change.

But don't forget: the beneficiary will also get any points when you and the other contributors fly, which you'd have to transfer back using the usual transfer process.

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About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 30/3/13 by matthewsnospam

This is good I have been using the family pooling since I first saw it. Just one thing, in order to gift the companion gold membership you only need to earn 1300 status points, not 1500.  The 800 to retain platinum plus an additonal 500. You need to earn 1800 to gift platinum.

There should be a countdown on the website but if you keep an eye on the "points earned since.." on your retain window thats when it lets you know.

2 on 31/3/13 by Leslie

you would be correct if you were requalifying for plat, as you only require 800 to maintai plat status. however in the first year you would require 1500 and 2000 sc to gift gold and plat respectively.

1 on 13/6/13 by dandandan

You can only nominate companion Gold or Platinum once you have  earned 500 or 1,000 Status Credits respectively, over the 800 Status Credits reuired to maintain Platinum status level. So you information is incorrect. matthewsnospam is correct. 

3 on 31/3/13 by Leslie

one other handy hint btw is if you are on platinum and know you wont hit 800 sc and/or 8 eligible sectors to requalify then you may be best off switching the beneficiary so they can get silver or gold status at 300/500 sc as the platinum will regardless receive a soft landing to gold. additionally to maximise earning points. one other thing if the platinum benefits versus gold dont do anything for you then you may prefer to keep two people on gold to maximise your points earning as your bonus points earb would be 2*75% vs only eaning a 100% points bonus for the platinum member. of course tgat is onky if you both travel together for the most part or an even amount.

4 on 13/6/13 by Phillippe M

One thing that I haven't been able to work out is the "Eligible sectors flown".  If you family pool, does the Eligible sectors flown go to each person or to the person who you are pooling too?

1 on 13/6/13 by dandandan

Eligible sectors do not pool. The benficiary has to earn the eligible sectors by themselves 

 

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