Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

American Express Velocity Platinum is back to 50,000 bonus Velocity points

American Express Velocity Platinum - 50,000 Velocity Points

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 Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion cardholders are eligible for this offer
  • $1,500 minimum spend within the first 3 months required to trigger bonus points

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn a maximum of $200 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 Details

CardAmerican Express Velocity Platinum
Loyalty programVelocity Frequent Flyer
Points earned from spend3 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
Points capNone
Earns points at ATOYes (reduced earn rate)
Travel benefitsEach year: 2x Virgin Australia lounge passes, 2x American Express Sydney lounge visits, free Virgin Australia domestic flight
Included insurancesDomestic and international travel insurance, travel inconvenience insurance, refund and purchase protection (PDS)
Overseas transaction fee3% of the converted amount
Minimum income requirement$65,000
Annual fee$349

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.

Amex Velocity Platinum Map
Source: American Express

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

Virgin Lounge Melbourne Interior-w

Virgin Australia’s Melbourne Lounge

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.

American Express Sydney Lounge 2

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.

Previously American Express allowed cardholders of different family types (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family. This is now not the case, with this eligibility criteria being redefined to all previous cardholders of any ‘card products’ now being ineligible for bonuses.

Summing Up

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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Comments Expand Comments

  1. Henry

    It says it is only for new card holders. if im a secondary holder on a family members card would this not be available to me?

  2. Keith Author

    There’s a 200,000 point referral limit. So you can refer up to 10 people for this card, once you have your account all set up, and yes, that would be an extra 200,000 points if you find 10 others who want to take up the offer through your referral.

  3. Keith Author

    According to Amex’ terms, you wouldn’t get the bonus. Reports are mixed in that sometimes people do, but it’s not worth the risk in my opinion.

  4. David

    QQ: Do you still earn the bonus points if you have an AMEX that was issued by a bank such as NAB, ANZ etc? Thanks!

  5. Paul

    Hi Keith,

    I have an AMEX issued by the company I work for (business corporate card) in my name.

    If I sign up for this offer, is there a risk that I won’t get the bonus points?



  6. Damon

    Hey Keith

    Awesome website.. I am pretty new to the whole FF thing, I am currently using an ANZ Rewards card for my business which, from what I can tell, is pretty lousy compared to Qantas and Velocity programs.. With this card it appears that as long as you pay your CC bills before the big interest kicks in, and avoid using it where merchants charge large fees, you are pretty much guaranteed to come out ahead each year? I would use the flight for Perth – Karratha each year which is around $700 return usually.. it just seems to good to be true! Am I missing any disadvantages to going with such a card? Thanks!

  7. David

    Has anyone had any issues with the Amex referral links? I used a link to apply for an Amex platinum velocity card to score the extra 10k points. I was approved and given a reference number. Two weeks passed and had not received a card only to be told by them on the phone today that they had no record of my name, application or reference number in their system. Very odd.

  8. Jane

    How long do you have to own the Amex card for to get and keep the 110,000 Velocity points? Could you cancel after only 1 year?

    • Keith Author

      You’ll get the points as soon as you meet the eligibility criteria. You’re free to cancel any time after that but you’ll lose the benefits of the card at that point.

  9. Sean

    I have Amex Plat Edge and would love to have this card with the domestic return tickets and 2 passes to the lounge more than make up for the annual fee.

    With the rule about existing card owners not qualify for the points, it’s a sad moment!

  10. Lisa

    If I am new to Amex and applied for this Platinum card through a referral, does that mean I will get both the welcome bonus of 100,000 points and the 110,000 points through referral?

    • Keith Author

      Hey Lisa – no, you only get one or the other – 100k or 110k if you use a referral. If you then refer someone else to apply, they would get 110k and you would pick up the referral bonus – 20k points from memory.

  11. kwai

    Is it me or I don’t see how 100,000 points is redeemable for 1 way from SYD – LAX in business. I have tried booking using the virgin australia site. Any other dates I see $3700 approx equivalent to 550k+ points. Am I doing anything wrong searching??

    • Keith Author

      You need to be looking in the column that says ‘premium reward’ or ‘business reward’ which are the cheaper level seats. If it says ‘sold out’ then there’s no availability at the lower level for your dates. The high price is using points+pay which essentially swaps the points for cash at a much worse rate.

  12. Nadia

    Thanks for the Information Keith

    Just confirming with Perth it would be a return flight to Sydney or one way twice as I noticed Sydney does not do Perth.


  13. Sean

    Amex has just changed the rule on existing Amex card holders:

    “Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply by 30 September 2015, are approved and spend $1,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product offered by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 12 month period are ineligible for this offer.”

    Existing card holders are applying for this promo like hotcakes and receiving their VA points. Go nuts, everyone!

    • Keith Author

      Hi Jean – I got a formal response from Amex and Perth -> Sydney is now no longer offered with the card. I’ve been told that map you’ve linked is not valid now and that they are still working out how to deal with customers who applied for the card on that basis.

  14. Simon

    Hello Keith

    Long time lurker, I have been following your site for last 2 years now, came back last year (July) from 3 points tickets to Europe on Qantas with a zero balance on return and back up to 150k now.

    My question is this. GIven I am self employed and my wife is a stay at home home mum I have to be careful with my applications.

    Should I diversify and grab this card to have the velocity account? I already often buy my fuel from BP swipe velocity and pay with NAB 1.5 points per dollar AMEX so I am graduallly building a velocity balance already.

    The return flight Sydney to Perth is great value in itself so would cover card cost.

    • Keith Author

      I find Velocity to be useful for redemptions on Virgin Australia for their primary use – they are a little cheaper than Qantas and award seats are generally more widely available. But Virgin’s network is not as wide as Qantas, so hard to say if Velocity will be of use to you specifically.

      The return flight from Sydney won’t get you to Perth unfortunately. Possibly the other way around (PER – SYD) but a bit of confusion around that at the minute which I Will try and clear up when I confirm with Amex next week.

      Either way, this is a huge sign up bonus – the biggest ever on a Velocity card, so it’s appealing to a lot of people.

  15. Cooperellie

    Hi Keith,

    Can you confirm whether the Sydney – Cairns return flight is still an option. The flight is not showing up on the AMEX map from Sydney any more, yet I notice that you are still showing this flight in your map above.
    Thanks for your help.



  16. Cooperellie

    Hi Keith, I just rang the AMEX customer service number (1300366105) and they confirmed that they do NOT fly Syd – Cairns anymore.
    The one place I wanted to go!! Oh well.



    • Keith Author

      Thanks for the update – as I said, I have put a question into my contacts at Amex on this and the Perth-Sydney flight changes and should hear back pretty quickly. The Sydney – Cairns option IS explicitly listed in that PDF which is linked to from the offer page, so I would be surprised if it has been removed.
      Both the flight maps I’m aware of also list Sydney – Cairns:
      This one and this one.. I think you have strong legs to stand on in pushing for Sydney Cairns given the documentation to support this, and wouldn’t trust that response without further clarification.

    • Keith Author

      Not much, except chat to Amex directly before/during your application and see if they are willing to waive that requirement for some reason with your circumstances – i.e. submit previous payslips / tax returns etc.

  17. Zander

    Hi Keith,

    Great site!

    Regarding the offer – how long does it take before the 100,000 points expire from the time you qualify for the points?

    Also the free domestic flight every year – does it work on a calendar year basis or a 12 month rolling cycle i.e. You will only qualify for another free domestic flight 12 months after redeeming the first flight?

    • Keith Author

      The Velocity points are subject to the Velocity points expiry terms, which is 36 months of inactivity – as long as you have activity you keep your points.
      Free flight – it’s on cardholder year, not calendar year. You can book your flight anytime during your cardholder year and you’ll get another on your account when you roll over and pay your next annual fee. If you don’t use it, you can’t keep it.

  18. Stephen Dacey

    I have an existing AMEX Platinum card. I rang AMEX wanting to convert from that card to this Velocity AMEX card, to get the 100,000 Velocity points but they wouldnt do it, not even with threat of cancellation of the existing card. If I do cancel my existing card, I cannot re-apply to get bonus points offers for 12 months!! Might just cancel my card anyway. There are still some other good deals out there, with 0% balance transfers!.

  19. Keith Author

    Hey Phil – I’ve been told by Amex with certainty that PER-SYD is not on offer with the card any more. Frustrating. They are figuring out what they will do for customers who applied on this basis. I will reply back when I hear more.

  20. Keith Author

    Hi Salem – I’ve been in touch with Amex about the PER-SYD flights and have been told that map you’ve linked is not valid now, with PER-SYD and PER-ADL not included any more. They are working out how to deal with customers who applied for the card on that basis, I’ll report back when I hear more.

  21. Marie


    Have you received a response from Virgin regarding what they are planning to do for cardholders who obtained the card (more than a year ago for myself) and got it specifically for the Perth-Sydney route which I use each year to fly my mum to Sydney.


    • Keith Author

      My focus so far has been on what’s happening for applicants under the current promotion rather than existing cardholders. As an existing cardholder you should talk directly to Amex and see if the benefit has been dropped for you as well (I’m not sure if it has), and if so, voice your displeasure. I will report back though if I find out what they are doing, if anything, for new applicants so you’re aware.

  22. Marie

    Thanks for your response Keith. Hopefully the same doesn’t apply to existing cardholders, I will phone them tomorrow.
    Love the info on this site btw, it’s very helpful. Cheers

  23. Rodney

    Hi Keith

    Any news on the Per-Syd routes? I applied and recommended to friends on that basis… Now I feel like a bit of a fraud!

    • Keith Author

      It’s a bit uncertain, to be honest. The current take is to try to book and test your luck, especially if you’re an older cardholder. Amex Travel have been saying it’s possible, Amex HQ are saying it’s not on the offer pages.

  24. frequentflyer

    Do you have any insights on either actual or quoted discount on non-flex business class fares? I’m just interested in ball park figures – is it 5-10% or 40-50%

    • Keith Author

      I don’t have any specific examples, but I understand it’s on the lower end. Give Amex Travel a call, they will probably do a quote for you if you say you are considering the card.

    • Keith Author

      Not to our knowledge – this is for the Virgin Australia lounges, right? They are digital passes so would ‘expire’ in your account, but then should be replaced by new passes for your next cardholder year assuming you renew and pay your annual fee…

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