Virgin High Flyer CC - Just what is a Government Transaction?

By BOF | Aug 27, 2017, 02:38 PM
We have all seen the tightning of awards to generally exclude "Government Related Transactions", Virgin High Flyer being no exception, but just what does it cover? What I have noticed is the following at the end of the amended terms and conditions for Eligible Transactions -

"Please note that whether or not a transaction is an Eligible Transaction will be determined based on information provided either by the merchant or the relevant financial institution (including information about the type of business conducted by the merchant). This means that, for example, spend with certain merchants may be characterised as spend with a government related entity and therefore not an Eligible Transaction, even if that merchant is not in fact a government related entity."

I have just queried a shortage of velocity points on my last statement to be told that one transaction, the purchase of Air Asia X flights in AUD, was not "an award transaction". Now of course that is what most people would consider a perfectly normal transaction.

I have queried this with Virgin Money, but it took over a week just to answer the query about missing points. Has anyone else experienced a similar "non award transaction"? This seems to raise the prospect of random, apparently non government transactions being treated as government ones.

Anyone know more? Any similar occurances?


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By ChrisCh | Aug 28, 2017, 10:18 AM
Re: your first question, the same T&Cs that you've quoted also give a list of example government transactions. :)
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By brinkers | Aug 28, 2017, 12:43 PM
The problem, as the T&Cs indicate, is that how merchants are classified is set by the merchant or the merchants bank. It does seem strange that Air Asia X would fall under this umbrella, but they were originally government owned (some time ago now)
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By Rohit | Aug 29, 2017, 11:52 AM

I am currently trying to meet the minimum spend on one of their cards and find this bizzare. It shouldn't matter how AirASia X came about, what should matter is that as I type this, they are a publically listed company. Heck they were not even Australian Govt owned at any stage.

Regarding my own situation, I was considering paying my electricity bill with the card, I am presently with Energy Australia, whose parent is a HKG based company. In other words, they are NOT Govt owned, however, if we go back far enough, I am sure it had some Govt connection at some stage. I am now worried that this may disqualify me. Bizzare, truly bizzare.

Can anyone confirm if strata levies count as eligible transaction, or they too are excluded? What if I buy tickets on Air India or one of the gulf carriers, they all are also Govt owned. Where does this madness end?

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By evilbrian | Aug 30, 2017, 05:01 PM
I think this 'madness' has quite a way to run. The CC companies are trying to reduce the number of points they give us by any means possible, and even more so when it's done in an indirect way, because they know there is a tipping point for most people where the headline points earning rate dips to such a level that people start cancelling cards left, right and centre. I've noticed that one of my cards now won't let me earn points for road toll fees. Since when was Transurban a government owned entity?
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By johninoz | Aug 30, 2017, 05:19 PM
The problem, as the T&Cs indicate, is that how merchants are classified is set by the merchant or the merchants bank. It does seem strange that Air Asia X would fall under this umbrella, but they were originally government owned (some time ago now)

Not owned by any Australian government entity though.  Air Asia was born out of a failed LCC owned by Malaysian Airlines and sold to Tony Fernandes for a pittance as I recall.  Malaysian Government has no investment in Air Asia/Air Asia X that I am aware of.  

How can they classify transactions with overseas entities as "Government" spend?  Would, for example, paying for a renewal of a British Passport at the High Commission in Canberra qualify as "Government spend"?  I notice that I got points for payments to India for a visa, and my ETSA for the US - both technically Government spend. Slippery slope here methinks.
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By elchriss0 | Aug 30, 2017, 08:32 PM
Of all the credit card's i've had I have found that both of my dealings with Virgin Money have been the worst of all of them
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By Rohit | Sep 05, 2017, 11:21 PM
Happy to report that the utility bill payments were counted as eligible transaction & i was awarded full sign-up bonus as promised. So i am a happy chappy 😁
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By BOF | Sep 06, 2017, 06:29 PM

An update -

After 9 days and a second query I received this -

"Please be advised that a known issue has been identified for Virgin
Airline and other non-specified airline transactions not receiving
points.

We appreciate your patience in dealing with this matter and endeavour to
have this resolved at the soonest time possible."

So maybe not the government transaction issue I thought, but if anything more interesting -

Anyone not received points for virgin flights booked with a virgin money card?


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