Perth-based newbie looking for frequent flyer and credit card program advice

I am starting from scratch and based in Perth.

I have never had a FF program. The wife has Qantas through Woolworths shopping card, but has never used the points.
I can see myself taking a two week golf holiday with three buddies for the next few years. We have penciled in Bangkok/Pattaya travelling with Thai Airways.

I am about to book a holiday travelling with Virgin to Phuket.
The wife an I go to Phuket or Singapore yearly. Usually we fly Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways, though this year the Virgin option is better.

I also travel for work 2-3 times per year from Perth to the Eastern States and am offered Virgin or Qantas flights.
Currently, credit cards are with Bankwest, though able to move to a different CC if that will add points to the FF program, but which one?

I am looking for the occasional upgrade, but mostly the use of a lounge to relax in before travelling (domestic or international) or when transiting in Singapore.

So which FF flyer program to join?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated, before I join something.

This is a great question, well thought through!

Given your South-East Asia based travel, it seems like you are going to be best off focusing on Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, and their partnership with Krisflyer for travel on Singapore Airlines.

Velocity’s strengths are the value and availability of domestic points redemptions on Virgin Australia flights.

The only thing this doesn’t cover is your desire to go to Thailand - from Perth, going via Singapore on Singapore Airlines with a one-stop would be the compromise.

From a credit card point of view, you should consider a card program which can transfer either to Velocity or Krisflyer. Have a look at the Citibank Rewards range, American Express Membership Rewards range, or potentially the Velocity Amex range.

Good luck!