The American Express Velocity Platinum card has a 50,000 Velocity Point bonus, along with a number of Virgin Australia perks including lounge passes, bonus points, and a free domestic flight.
- 50,000 Velocity point signup bonus
- Two free Virgin Australia lounge passes each cardholder year
- One free domestic flight with Virgin Australia each cardholder year
- 3 Velocity points earned per $ spent at restaurants and with Virgin Australia, 2 points earned per $ on other travel, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
- $349 annual fee
- 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months with 1% establishment fee - maximum balance transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less
- Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Credit Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer
- $1,500 minimum spend within the first 3 months required to trigger bonus points
Point Hacks earn a maximum of $250 per applicant for this card. More about this →
American Express have ended their 3 month run of offering 100,000 bonus points on the Velocity Platinum card, reducing it back to the normal 50,000 points from here out.
While the sign up bonus is down, this is still a handy card for ongoing use for Virgin Australia flyers and Velocity point hunters.
Here’s a general look at the best use of Velocity points, a guide to searching for availability when it comes to using your points, a look at the American Express Sydney International lounge and Virgin Australia’s domestic Business lounges, both of each you get two access passes to with the card.
The $349 annual fee is offset well in both first and subsequent years by the free domestic Virgin flight each cardholder year (full list of destinations are in this guide) and the Virgin Australia lounge passes.
The Velocity Platinum is a card to consider holding for the frequent Virgin flyer – especially for those who travel in Economy and can make good use of the included lounge passes and free flight.
Digging into the benefits of the Velocity Platinum American Express
The Velocity Platinum American Express is a card to apply for if you usually fly with Virgin Australia, and can take advantage of the bonus points from Virgin Australia spend and accompany lounge passes.
|Card||American Express Velocity Platinum|
|Loyalty program||Velocity Frequent Flyer|
|Points earned from spend||3 Velocity points earned per $ spent at restaurants and with Virgin Australia, 2 points earned per $ on other travel, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO|
|Earns points at ATO||Yes (reduced earn rate)|
|Travel benefits||Each year: 2x Virgin Australia lounge passes, 2x American Express Sydney lounge visits, free Virgin Australia domestic flight|
|Included insurances||Domestic and international travel insurance, travel inconvenience insurance, refund and purchase protection (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||3% of the converted amount|
|Minimum income requirement||$65,000|
Earning Velocity points from spend
When using your card in Australia, you’ll receive 3 Velocity Points per dollar spent with Virgin Australia and at restaurants, 2 Velocity Points per dollar on travel expenses, and 1 Velocity Point per dollar elsewhere, except for utilities and the ATO.
Your Velocity Points will be swept over to your Velocity account on a monthly basis, and supplementary cardholders are free of charge.
Free Virgin Australia domestic Economy flight
With the Velocity Platinum card, you can also redeem a free domestic return flight with Virgin Australia to selected cities each cardholder year.
The city pair list that this flight can be redeemed for is wider than that offered with the Qantas Ultimate and Platinum Edge American Express cards. The map Amex use to illustrate the valid destinations is linked below, and in a nutshell, it’s to/from most cities within a couple of hours flight time of the departure airport.
In all likelihood, the free domestic flight will cover the cost of the annual fee of the card alone – or close to, at least. American Express did remove the option of both Perth to Sydney and Perth to Adelaide in August 2015, which reduces the value for those in WA somewhat.
Virgin Australia and American Express Lounge passes
The Velocity Platinum card comes with two free single entry passes to Virgin Australia domestic lounges each year. If you don’t have status with Virgin Australia this is nice little perk which will see you enjoy their excellent domestic lounges. Save this up for a leisure trip in my opinion.
On top of those, you’ll also receive two access passes to the American Express lounge at Sydney International for you and a guest, plus two children travelling with you. You can also buy additional access at $55 per visit. This benefit is only available to the top-tier American Express cards at most banks.
Discounted Business Class flight benefit
One of the perks of the Velocity Platinum card is the discounted international Business Class airfare when travelling with a companion. There are two ways to access this discount – either as a 50% discount on two fully flexible Business Class fares (which can be quite expensive) or as an unspecified discount on general Business Class fares.
To access the benefit, you book through American Express Travel, who will quote you your discounted airfare over the phone. It’s valid for travel on international long-haul Virgin Australia operated flights, and Virgin Australia codeshares with both Etihad and Delta.
The cardholder will need to be travelling with the companion to access the discounted fares, which may not be available on all flights.
The value of the benefit varies, given the flexible nature of the discount value, and the fact that you’ll need to be travelling as a pair frequently in paid Business Class to take advantage of it. It could be useful to some, to others it won’t.
Other American Express Velocity Platinum benefits
There are also a range of insurances, with domestic and international travel insurance, travel inconvenience insurance available for travel purchased on the card, as well as refund and purchase protection.
The full PDS outlining the details of all the benefits included with the Velocity Platinum card can be found here.
This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.
You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.
Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express cardholders
American Express are quite specific about whether existing cardholders will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.
Firstly, if you hold a bank-issued American Express – e.g. from Westpac or from ANZ – that alone won’t affect whether you’re eligible for bonus points with an American Express branded card offer. There’s more in our guide to this here.
If you do already hold an American Express-issued card, then the type you hold impacts whether you’re eligible for a new cardholder bonus. American Express offer consumer (or personal) credit cards, consumer Charge cards, and business credit cards. If you hold a card in one of these categories and apply for a card in the same category, then you won’t be eligible for a bonus.
However if you hold a card in one category and apply for a new card in a different category, then you are eligible for the signup bonus. We’ve explained this in more detail here.
The Velocity Platinum American Express is aimed at those really looking to maximise their Velocity earn from spend on travel, dining, and with Virgin Australia. The additional lounge access, insurance and other perks are nice to have, but are secondary in important compared to the Velocity point earn potential.
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