How to upgrade flights to the UK with Flybuys and CBA Award points?

Hi Guys,

Had a look around a few posts here and the knowledge in general seems immense! I have been looking at some guides and possibilities of moving points around but imagine there might be something you guys know that I haven’t thought about.

I have about 45k flybuys and about 45k awards with commbank.

Both of these seem to be transferrable to velocity which from the way i have been looking at the guides seems the best way that I can see.

However seems like they are useless in regard to upgrading flights that are long haul (i’m British and basically the only trips I take are back to the UK).

A FF flight would be great but I would prefer buying a seat and upgrading it, i’m over six foot and over 120 kegs and was absolutely spoiled by a FF upgrade on a A380 years ago which was just SO much less trashing a transit.

thoughts on best way to use the points? they are climbing quite quickly and i’m not looking to go anywhere till least october

thanks guys

It all depends on the airline you ultimately fly and then check what are your options for upgrades. For Velocity FF, you can use Velocity points to upgrade on short haul business class either domestic or short international flights on Virgin Australia. As a general rule, an airline only allow the use of their own frequent flyer points to upgrade.

I have no loyalty to any airline really lol, i’m guessing velocity / virgin is going to be the best bang for buck as it were, but seems like i have to have velocity Gold to upgrade long haul flights? and without it the points are worthless for upgrading ?

Hi Soul007,

I always feel a little uneasy when people write with such confidence about using points to upgrade. It’s not as easy as it sounds. As @djtech writes, you can generally only use points to upgrade on the airline whose FF programme the points are with – in your case, Velocity points can only be used to upgrade Virgin flights. And Virgin, of course, does not fly to the UK.

The other issue is that, as many have already written, upgrading really is a lottery. If you buy a ticket in Premium Economy in the hope that you’ll be able to use points to upgrade, there’s every chance that you’ll be “stuck” in Premium Economy. Sometimes there will be points-based upgrades available, and sometimes there won’t be. Never simply assume you’ll be able to upgrade; treat upgrades as a welcome surprise when you do succeed in getting them.

It’s a better strategy to redeem points straight into the cabin class you want to fly in. In your case, you should be able to accumulate enough points to directly redeem Business Class flights.

Given what you’ve written above, if I were in your situation my strategy would be something like this. There are other options, but this is the one I’d use:

  • Sign up for KrisFlyer (Singapore Airlines)

  • Keep accumulating CBA points and FlyBuys points.

  • Consider signing up for another credit card whose points can be transferred into either Velocity or KrisFlyer, if/when it has a large sign-up bonus.

  • Transfer FlyBuys points into Velocity (which is the only FF programme that FlyBuys can transfer into).

  • Search for Business Class award seats on both the Virgin and Singapore websites, and when you’ve found an available flight you’re happy with, transfer your credit card points accordingly. If necessary, you can “top up” your KrisFlyer balance using your Velocity points (though you’ll lose about 35% of them in the transfer process).

I hope this helps. There are other, more advanced strategies but this is the one I’d start out with.

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Thanks guys, with the 25% bonus on this month i’m tempted to dump everything into velocity before 31/5 and then see if i have to shift them over to something like kris? meanwhile i’ll do what i can to crank the points!

thanks again


As you have written above, this once there is a great bonus. Generally, Velocity have bonus promotions very often, so make sure you maximise it.

Most of the people here I would say saving for outright redemption of business class flights or even first class. Aiming for an upgrade is not a good strategy.

Definitely transfer your FlyBuys points into Velocity before May 31.
Only transfer your CBA points into Velocity if you’re certain that you won’t want them to end up in KrisFlyer. Transferring CBA points directly into KrisFlyer will get you more KrisFlyer points than transferring them into KrisFlyer via Velocity, even with the 25% bonus.