Update: As of 1 December 2020, this benefit is no longer available to cardholders of the ANZ Reward Travel Adventures Card. Please click here to read our updated card guide.

One of the best features of the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card is the complimentary return economy domestic flight operated by Virgin Australia that you get every year, which can definitely bring you more value than the $225 annual fee if used on flights to certain destinations.

You unlock the flight benefit by spending at least $500 in the first three months of every new card anniversary year. The main restrictions to note are:

  • It has to be booked under your (the cardholder’s) name
  • The flight must be at least 60 days out and consist of a simple return booking
  • It is only valid for selected routes and where ‘Getaway’ (cheapest) Economy tickets are still on sale

With up to 75 different routes on offer, including long transcontinental flights, here is a selection of routes where you could get the most value out of it. Check out the ANZ website to see an interactive map of where you could go.

1. Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth

Other credit cards that offer a complimentary domestic Virgin Australia flight, such as the American Express Velocity Platinum, excludes journeys from the eastern states to Perth.

Screenshot of ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card free flight interactive map

However, with the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card, you are able to book from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth return, which is a great benefit for those located in east coast cities.

Sale fares tend to hover around $398 return ($199 each way), but regular return fares are usually much higher and can easily exceed $500.

Most flights from Melbourne and Sydney are operated by Airbus A330 aircraft, which offers a comfortable Economy experience with in-seat screens, and the latest Business Class suites if you can somehow wrangle an upgrade.

Virgin Australia A330 domestic

Virgin Australia’s Airbus A330s offer the best domestic flight experience

Route (return)Typical 'Getaway' fareTypical savings from $225 annual fee
Sydney to Perth$199 one way /$398 return$173 overall
Melbourne to Perth$199 one way / $398 return$173 overall
Brisbane to Perth$215 one way / $430 return$205 overall

2. Perth to just about anywhere

Screenshot of ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card free flight interactive map

Perth is well known for its isolation from other major cities. But that is also what gives the WA capital a big advantage when it comes to flights.

Competition between Qantas and Virgin Australia on the transcontinental route led to Perth flights getting international-grade business class services.

In terms of the complimentary flight from ANZ, you have got four options to the east: Perth to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane which usually start at $398 return ($199 each way).

Up north, there are seven WA towns and Darwin, all of which usually attract high fares due to the remote location. Base-level Getaway fares start at $278 return ($139 each way) for Geraldton, all the way to $598 return ($299 one way) for Kununurra.

Route (return)Typical 'Getaway' fareTypical savings from $225 annual fee
Perth to Kalgoorlie$199 one way / $398 return$173 overall
Perth to Karratha$269 one way / $538 return$313 overall
Perth to Kununurra$299 one way / $598 return$373 overall

3. Anywhere regional or remote

In the same vein as the Perth example, the Virgin Australia flight benefit will generally yield good value on any regional route around Australia, most of which are included in the flight offer.

This is equally great for catching up with family members or exploring our beautiful country in more depth. Destinations include Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) from Sydney, Hamilton Island from Melbourne, and Mount Isa from Brisbane.

Screenshot of ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card free flight interactive map

Just three examples out of many destinations available out of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

Route (return)Typical 'Getaway' fareTypical savings from $225 annual fee
Melbourne to Hamilton Island$205 one way / $410 return$185 overall
Sydney to Ayers Rock$229 one way / $458 return$233 overall
Brisbane to Mt. Isa$365 one way / $730 return$505 overall

When NOT to use your ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card’s free return flight

There are only a handful of routes where it is generally not the best value to use your free flight option.

These include the busy links between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which can often go for below $95 one-way at the ‘Getaway’ price. Although prices during peak periods will get much higher, the ANZ complimentary flight would not cover it when there are no more seats at the lower price point.

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Summing up

A good approach to take is to find a flight combination that would normally cost more than $225 return ($112.50 each way), as it will completely cover the value of your annual fee.

Nearly every route offered by ANZ and Virgin Australia will usually cross that threshold, so although the maximum value can be extracted by flying to far-away or regional towns, the best real-life value to you will be if you can redeem it to a place you actually want to visit, whether it be for social, work or leisure reasons.

Whatever the purpose, be sure to plan it well in advance as it will need to be at least two months out from today and still have cheaper ‘Getaway’ seats available. Call the ANZ Rewards Centre on 1300 367 763 between Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST.

When it is time for your trip, do not forget to utilise the two free Virgin Australia Lounge passes that also came with your ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card.

Best destinations to maximise the free flight benefit on the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card [no longer available] was last modified: May 18th, 2022 by Evin Tan Khiew