Virgin Money is giving away international flights to lure people into taking out home loans

Photo: Cameron Spencer/ Getty Images.

With a property market showing no signs of cooling on the east coast, mortgage providers are climbing over each other to sign up borrowers. Amid the chaos, one lender is putting up free international flights to attract potential home buyers.

Virgin Money has announced it will double the number of Virgin Australia frequent flyer points earned for settlements of its home loans for a limited time. This means that a $500,000 loan would get you 100,000 points – which is more than enough to fly return from Sydney to Los Angeles, go one way from Melbourne to London or for two people to take a roundtrip from Sydney to Fiji.

With points given out monthly and every three years during the life of the loan, Virgin claims a $500,000 mortage could net a customer 430,000 frequent flyer points in the first 10 years.

The double points promotion applies to loan applications received before June 14 and settled by September 15.

The move comes as the home mortgage providers are raising interest rates unilaterally from the Reserve Bank’s cash rates. The Westpac family of banks lifted their rates last week, as did Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank.

The industry is also preparing for possible tightening of lending rules in response to the seemingly unstoppable ascent of the Sydney and Melbourne real estate markets.

Virgin Money’s variable rate for new owner occupied loans with minimum 20% deposit and balances of $750,000 or more is 3.79%, with a comparison rate of 3.92%.

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