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Rewards card chaos as Virgin goes into voluntary administration

- April 22, 2020 2 MIN READ

Virgin has frozen access to its Velocity rewards points today as the airline enters voluntary administration.

The news comes as other card providers reduce rewards card values and stop taking new card applications. There are currently more than 60 credit cards linked to Virgin’s Velocity rewards program, several of which earn direct points for flight rewards or credits at the Velocity store.

While the Velocity Frequent Flyer program is a separate company and not part of the Virgin Australia group which is in administration, access to the rewards program has been suspended for the next four weeks.

Kirsty Lamont, director of communication at credit comparison site Mozo, said whether or not Virgin customers will be able to redeem points in the future remains unclear.

“Until yesterday you could use your Velocity rewards points to redeem one product per day but that option is now closed off. So unfortunately if you have a big rewards point balance, it’s now a case of waiting four weeks to see if the Velocity store reopens,” Lamont says.

Lamont says many credit card providers are currently removing or adjusting their travel focussed reward offerings in response to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

“These are turbulent times for the credit card industry with some providers suspending new application and balance transfer offers,” Lamont says.

Mozo found Woolworths, Myer, Jetstar and Macquarie Bank are no longer taking new credit card applications. It also found ING and Bankwest have tightened access to credit, increasing the requirements for those seeking to access some credit products.

“It’s understandable that access to credit is tightening up as unemployment increases and many people are struggling to make ends meet. It’s clear the risk for providers has increased significantly over the past few months,” says Lamont.

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