Should I claim Etihad or Velocity Points for Business Class to Europe with Etihad?


I’m flying business class to Europe return on an Etihad ticket - not sure of the ticket class yet.

I’m a Platinum Velocity member (over 200,000 points) but only a yokel with Etihad guest (lowest category of FF, 30,000 points atmo).

Normally, I would claim Velocity points for the flight but Etihad are supposedly offering 4X points:

Doing the maths, I would get between 2.3 and 3.0 X points with Velocity based on my Platinum membership depending on ticket category (business or discount business).

On the basis that I don’t entirely trust the Etihad offer, that I would lose my Velocity Platinum status, but possibly regain it in November,  and I require more points to book the same reward flight with Etihad compared to Velocity, I am planning to stick with earning Velocity points.  However, it seems that there is more flexibility/availability for Etihad rewards flights.

The other obvious factor is that Velocity Points can also be used in Australia - however, I have never had any joy trying to use Velocity points for domestic travel because the points required are quite high and the discounted airfares so cheap (as a Gold or Platinum Velocity member you don’t ever have to pay for luggage on the cheapest fare as you get a free checked in luggage allowance, which is often enough for two people).

Any thoughts?

It sounds like you are pretty invested in Virgin if you are up to getting Platinum status. I can’t see that it would be worth accruing a bunch of Etihad miles instead of Velocity given your status bonus, if you don’t have any Etihad Guest miles already - it wouldn’t be a bad haul from the trip from Etihad but it may not be enough to use for something worthwhile for you, whereas topping up your Velocity balance would add to what you’ve already got.

Interesting to hear your take on not using your Velocity points domestically - I can see that if you consistently book far enough in advance for cheap fares, then yep, travelling in Economy it’s possible you would come up against decision points around value frequently.

However Virgin Australia redemptions are generally easy to get in terms of availability, and not expensive in my mind - they are 10% cheaper than Qantas. You could start looking at redeeming for Business Class or for upgrades to get value from them?