Virgin announces new rewards scheme for Aussie customers

Velocity members can earn points for their every day shopping with Virgin’s new “Velocity Daily” program, so how does it measure up to other reward schemes out there?

Earning points through rewards schemes and using them for your purchases is a great way to save some cash — particularly on more costly items like flights.

There are a number of programs out there and Virgin’s new “Velocity Daily” is the latest to join the mix, giving customers the chance to earn points for their daily shopping with participating businesses.

TODAY chatted to Consumer Campaigner Christopher Zinn to find out how the different rewards systems stack up.

TODAY: Tell us more about Virgin’s new offer…

ZINN: The Velocity Daily scheme is just starting in Sydney but allows you to earn extra points at participating business. You need a Visa credit or debit card and link it to your Velocity account.  When you spend at the right place you can earn between two to five points for every $1 spent. If your card earns Velocity points on purchases anyway you can earn two sets of points.

TODAY: Does Qantas have a reward scheme?

ZINN: The QANTAS scheme is called My Card and works with Mastercard credit or debit cards which are linked to your frequent flyer account. Every week you’ll be emailed a range of shopping offers. It’s been operating in Sydney since November and is due to go national this month.

TODAY: What’s the best credit card to earn rewards points on?

ZINN: One which doesn’t have a high annual fee — some AMEX cards cost $1500 annually — and one where you never pay high interest bills on outstanding balances.

The comparison sites have a dizzying array of cards which offer points ranging between half a point per $1 spent to two points. But you have to consider the overall costs — such as the annual fee and interest rate charged. Don’t be too seduced by the extras such as travel insurance and free passes to airport lounges.

TODAY: How does the points system work?

ZINN: Not nearly as generously as it did due to recent Reserve Bank reforms. You don’t earn as many points as you did. But with the shake up there is competition with new card customers being offered a windfall of points just to sign up.

People who are very organised and can churn big bucks thought their card, say a small business owner, can do well out of the system but not nearly as well as recently possible.

The average person will struggle to earn enough points for a real dream holiday but every bit can help—again as long as you clear the outstanding amount each month and don’t blow your budget.

The system works by business giving you points, directly or indirectly, so you shop there. They may not be the cheapest or the best so weigh up where the value really lies.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.

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