Virgin Money has announced changes to the earn rates on its Flyer and High Flyer cards. Coming into effect on June 15, 2017, overall the changes reduce the number of Velocity points that can be earned while spending on the cards.
The Virgin Money cards are issued by Citibank, and the changes co-incide with changes being made to the Citibank Prestige and Signature cards. However, the changes to the Virgin Money cards are not as severe as with the Citibank cards.
High Flyer and Flyer Earnings changes
The High Flyer card has a tiered earnings level at present. While the basic earn rates are not changing, the lower earn rate tier now kicks in at a lower threshold.
At present, the High Flyer card earns 1 Velocity Point per dollar, up to $10,000 per month. At that point it drop to an earn rate of 0.5 Velocity Points per dollar. As of June 15, 2017 the threshold will be reducing to $8,000 per month.
There are no changes to the basic earn rates on the Flyer card.
Removal of Virgin Australia Bonus
The bonus earn rate that applies when purchaisng a Virgin Australia flight will be removed. At present, the High Flyer card offers 3 points per dollar on Virgin Australia spend, while the Flyer card offers 1 point per dollar.
As of June 15, 2017, any spend on Virgin Australia flights will earn at the standard earn rate.
Government Spend Exclusions
As with the Citibank cards, Virgin Money are expanding the definition of government charges that are ineligble for earn. Under the new definition, the following charges are ineligible for earn
- Government related transactions include transactions with government or semi–government entities,
- Services provided by or in connection with government for example but not limited to transactions made at
- Australia Post,
- payments to the Australian Taxation Office,
- council rates,
- motor registries,
- parking stations and meters,
- fares on public transport,
- fines and court costs
The changes announced for the Citibank cards offered a bit of give and take on the points earning potential. In the case of the Virgin Money cards, the changes are all negative. However, they are minor in comparison, and may not affect too many people.
The removal of the bonus on VA flights might be a bigger change than the restriction on government spend. Most of my own spend on the card was on VA flights.