Westpac closing Velocity auto-redemption

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Westpac has announced that the Altitude Rewards program will no longer allow cardholders to opt into Velocity auto-redemption as of April 15.

The change is bad news for Altitude Rewards cardholders wishing to convert to Velocity. Following last years devaluation of Altitude Points, it was the only option to retain a 2:1 transfer rate to Velocity. If you transfer points outside the auto-redemption process, you are offered a reduced 2:1 transfer rate.

On the plus side, it is just being closed for new enrolments. If you are enrolled in auto-redemptions at April 15, you will continue to enjoy the higher transfer rate that it offers. On the other hand, if you are not enrolled – you will no longer be able to switch.

Fortunately, Westpac have offered a small window of time to enrol, if you have not already done so. If you want to lock in a 2:1 transfer rate, it will be worth considering whether to do so. You have until April 14 to consider your options.

The change is noted on the Altitude Rewards website:

From 15 April 2019, you will no longer be able to enrol your credit card for Velocity Auto-Redemption. If your credit card is currently enrolled, or enrolled before 15 April 2019, Velocity Auto-Redemption will operate as usual until further notice. This change does not impact customers who have an Altitude Business card.

The ‘until further notice’ is a bit ominous. It would suggest that Westpac are looking at removing the option altogether in the future.

Velocity Auto-Redemption

The Westpac Velocity auto-Redemption option allows Altitude members to sweep their Alititude points to Velocity once a month. This is an all or nothing option.

Once setup, all Velocity Points in your account are transferred every statement date. The downside of doing this is that you lose some of the transfer flexibility the program offers. You will no longer be able to slowly build up your stash of Altitude Rewards points.

Final Words

If you hold a Westpac Altitude member and regularly transfer to Velocity, it may be worth locking in the auto-redemption rate. To do so, you will need to register by April 14.

If you do, first consider if you want to move some points elsewhere first.

This change continues to ongoing devaluation of transfer rates that has been going on across the banks for a few years. Fortunately, in this case, Westpac are giving an option to lock the transfer rate in, at least for the time being. This does come with the loss of flexibility in your transfer options.

 

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About Author

Mark is the founder of FlyStayPoints, and caught the travel bug early in life. He discovered the benefits of travel loyalty programs in 2001, and is always learning how they can make travel better. While work takes him between Perth and Melbourne, he is always plotting his next adventure.