American Express are offering 50,000 bonus Velocity Points for new cardholders of the American Express Velocity Platinum card. The card has a $375 annual fee, with the benefits helping to offset this in both the first and subsequent years, including a free domestic Virgin flight, and two Virgin Australia lounge passes for use in domestic Virgin lounges.
American Express also added another ongoing benefit to the Velocity Platinum card earlier this year, offering 100 Velocity Status Credits as a target for spending $50,000 in 12 months (your account membership year)—this applies to both existing and new cardholders and is a neat way of bumping up your Status Credits balance if you are on the hunt for Silver, Gold or Platinum Velocity status.
Note that American Express is adjusting both earn rates and points transfer rates for most cards effective 15 April 2019. Here is our take on the changes and further information from American Express.
How you could use the bonus points from this card
All redemption figures shown are examples only and exclude accompanying taxes and fees. Points redemption price data is provided by a third-party, so inaccuracies may be present. Please check with the airline directly for a complete and accurate total redemption cost.
This is still one of the highest Velocity Points-earning cards in the market and is handy for ongoing use for Virgin Australia frequent flyers and Velocity Points hunters.
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.
Travel between Sydney/Melbourne and Perth in Virgin Australia’s A330 Business Class for 35,500 Velocity Points, one of our favourite ways to use Velocity Points
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 accompanying lounge passes.
|Card||American Express Velocity Platinum|
|Loyalty program||Velocity Frequent Flyer|
|Points earned from spend||1.25 Velocity points earned per $1 on all eligible spend except for government bodies|
1 Additional Velocity point per $1 spent on selected Virgin Australia purchases
0.5 Velocity points per $1 on Government spend
Until 14 April 2019, earn an additional 0.25 point per $1 on purchases except government bodies in Australia
|Earns points at ATO||Yes (reduced earn rate of 0.5 point/$)|
|Travel benefits||Each year: 2x Virgin Australia lounge passes, 2x American Express Sydney/Melbourne 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 2.25 Velocity Points per dollar spent with Virgin Australia, and 1.25 Velocity Points per dollar on all other expenses except for utilities and the ATO.
Your Velocity Points will be swept over to your Velocity account on a monthly basis, and additional card members 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 American Express Ultimate card.
It differs depending on your departure airport (Sydney in the map below), however, in a nutshell, it is to/from most cities within a couple of hours’ flight time of the departure airport. Read the full guide below for more information.
Image courtesy 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. In 2015, American Express removed the option to redeem the free flight from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to Perth but not the other way around, which reduces the value somewhat for those who frequent Western Australia.
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. You can use these passes prior to travelling on a Virgin Australia domestic flight (not a Virgin Australia international flight or any flight with another carrier).
Virgin Australia Melbourne Lounge
If you don’t have Velocity status, 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 an American Express Lounge at Sydney or Melbourne’s International Terminal, plus two children travelling with you. You can also buy additional access at $55 per visit.
Notably, this benefit is only available to the top-tier American Express cards at most banks, so this is quite a perk for a card with a lower annual fee.
There is 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 card.
You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.
American Express Apple Pay & Android Pay support
American Express cards support both Apple Pay & Android Pay, meaning you can use this card on your smartphone for easier payments. Find out more in our guides for each of the compatible services.
Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express Card Members
American Express are quite specific about whether existing Card Members will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.
If you hold a bank-issued American Express – such as from Westpac, Commonwealth Bank or NAB – that 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.
However American Express don’t allow existing cardholders, even for different types of American Express cards (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family.
The Velocity Platinum American Express is aimed at those really looking to maximise their Velocity earn from spend.
The additional lounge access, insurance and other perks are nice to have but are secondary in importance compared to the high Velocity Points earn potential.
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