The American Express Velocity Business Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
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rewards program
earn rate
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The American Express Velocity Business Card
No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Earn up to 2 Velocity Points per dollar spent.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Add to comparison
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1 pt
per $1 spent
-

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
Earn up to 2 Velocity Points per dollar spent.
Extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
Receive monthly statements that provide a detailed, itemised list of business expenses.
Cards are Chip, PIN and Contactless enabled providing enhanced security, speed and convenience when making a purchase.
Add up to 99 additional cardholders and manage through one account.
It costs $99 p.a. for every additional card added to the account. This can quickly add up if you have a lot of employees who need their own cards, and is on top of the standard $249 p.a. annual feel.

Review

Our review of the The American Express Velocity Business Card

As a business owner or self-employed person, could you make use of a handy app to track and itemise your expenditure, and that of any employees you have, to lighten the load when BAS and end-of-year tax time comes around? What if that same app rewarded you with loyalty points for the expenses it categorised, and provided a range of useful business insurance and perks at the same time? It may sound too good to be true, but you can carry this app around in your wallet (even your digital wallet) in the shape of The American Express Velocity Business Card.

It’s a charge card

One thing needs to be made perfectly clear at the outset: this is not a credit card but a charge card. So there are no interest rates advised, for either purchases or cash advances. You will be expected to pay your account balance in full at the end of every month, and cash advances are not available. As a result, there are no promotional interest-free periods on either purchases or balance transfers.

No fixed spending limit

Unlike a credit card, a charge card has no pre-set balance limit. This does not mean that limitless credit will be provided. Initially, your implicit restriction will be based on your current income and assets and existing spending and payment patterns, but it’s likely that the more you use the card and demonstrate your ability to pay promptly, the greater your freedom and flexibility will be.

Up to 51 days on purchases

Although the purchases charged to the card are not strictly ‘interest free’ (since there is no interest rate to apply), payment for the month’s expenditure is not required until 20-21 days after the statement date.

This means that purchases made at the beginning of the charge cycle do not need to be cleared from the account until 51 days later, while payment for expenditure charged at the end of the statement period will need to be settled within three weeks. It’s a useful cash flow management facility, despite not being a credit card.

Monthly statement packed with information

The monthly card account statement is an efficient business tool. All your monthly expenditure is categorised by type, with GST shown separately wherever possible. This means that the statement meets the ATO requirements for GST reporting, and you’ll only need to provide a tax invoice where a single purchase includes mixed supplies (i.e. some attracting GST and some GST-free) or where the GST status is unclear.

Since the statements are also approved by the ATO as proof of purchase for taxation purposes, they become a great boon at the end of the tax year. Your accountant will be impressed.

You can download monthly transactions directly into QuickenTM, MYOB® or Microsoft® Excel for an even greater reporting range. Go paperless with online statements to get your month-end accounting done even when you are travelling. You’ll get a reminder when your statement is available, and you can set up email or SMS alerts, free-of-charge, for the account balance and payment due date. American Express understands business.

Rewards points for business expenses

The pain of business costs is reduced when you know that every dollar spent brings rewards in the form of Velocity Points in Virgin Australia’s rewards program. The earning rates are:

  • Basic rate of 1 pt per $1 spent
  • 2 points per dollar spent on Virgin Australia flights and other products
  • 0.5 points per dollar spent with government bodies (ATO, Australia Post &c), utilities (gas, water, electricity, telephone, internet) and non-Amex insurance

Redeeming Velocity Points

When it comes to spending Velocity Points, there’s a host of options:

  • Book a Reward Seat or Any Seat (for more points) on Virgin Australia domestic or international flights, starting at 6,900 points for a flight between Sydney and Melbourne
  • Book a Reward Seat with one of Virgin Australia’s partner airlines: Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Virgin Samoa, Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, Air Berlin, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin America
  • Book Tigerair Australia flights to Bali beginning March 2016
  • Maximum flexibility: get a quote for paying with points for any seat on any airline, not just Virgin Australia’s partners
  • Upgrade to a higher cabin class on Virgin Australia domestic or short haul international flights
  • Redeem points with Virgin Australia Holidays for a stay at one of 75,000 hotels in 180 countries, plus tours, activities and cruises
  • Use points to acquire Virgin Australia lounge membership or single entry permits
  • Purchase gift vouchers, using points, to spend at Golf2Day or onsport.com.au
  • Hire a car through Europcar in Australia, New Zealand and Europe
  • Exchange for merchandise, gift cards (4,500 points for $20), movie tickets and theme park passes at the Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards Store

Most redemptions have a ‘points plus pay’ option, in case you don’t have quite enough points for the item or experience you have chosen.

Complimentary insurance targeting the business traveller

American Express knows that most business people are required to do a lot of travelling, both domestically and overseas. Add just one travelling employee and your risk is doubled, and with multiple employees the liability can become enormous. But both the primary and all supplementary cardholders are protected by a wide range of insurance policies, activated whenever the full trip fare is paid using the card or Velocity Points.

  • Medical emergency expenses and evacuation/repatriation cover when travelling internationally
  • Baggage, money and documents cover against damage, loss or theft, in Australia and overseas
  • Travel cancellation cover in specified unavoidable circumstances
  • Transport accident cover, providing compensation in the case of serious injury or death as a result of travelling as a passenger on a plane, ferry, train or bus
  • Card account balance waiver cover clears the card account balance (up to $20,000) if there is a successful transport accident claim
  • Travel inconvenience cover, in case of flight delays and cancellation, missed flights and luggage delays
  • Business trip completion cover pays for an alternative employee to complete a business trip in the event of serious injury, illness or death, or the death of a close relative
  • Personal liability cover, in case of unintentional damage to third party persons or property

This is clearly not the average set of insurance policies found on a regular credit card. It’s designed to give maximum benefit to the business traveller (although leisure trips are covered as well, and cover extends to spouses and dependent children accompanying the cardholder if their trip fares were also paid with the card).

Free Virgin lounge passes

Continuing the business traveller theme, you will receive two single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes each year, allowing you to either relax or work in comfortable surroundings before or between flights.

Virgin sells these passes at $65 each to passengers who are not Virgin Australia Lounge or Velocity Gold or Platinum members, so this benefit alone is worth $130 per year.

Convenient, secure digital wallet

American Express Velocity Business Cards are chip and PIN enabled, but they are also able to be used for contactless purchases under $100, combining extra security with additional speed and convenience.

The card is also ready to use with Apple Pay, recently introduced into Australia. Simply set up your card in Apple Pay on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch, and when you are ready to pay, hold your device near the terminal and use TouchID or unlock your Apple Watch. Presto! You now have a digital wallet, and your card details are never shared with the merchant.

An online fraud protection guarantee is provided, as well as emergency card replacement and 24/7 customer service throughout the world. Welcome to the future of fast, secure purchases.

How much will all this cost me?

Probably not as much as you expect. For an annual fee of $249 p.a. (which may be tax deductible if the card is used solely for business purposes) you get this super-functional card loaded with business-oriented benefits. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s no more than many regular credit cards, and a lot less than some.

For business owners with employees, supplementary cards (up to 99 per account) cost $99 p.a. each per year. It may seem expensive, especially if you have a number of employees travelling or authorised to make purchases, but it could save you heaps in admin time and accounting and insurance costs.

Is this card a good fit for you?

If you run a business (even if you’re a sole trader) you can rest assured that this card was designed for you. It will save you both time (itemised expense statements with GST details, Apple Pay or contactless payments, free account alerts) and money (rewards points, complimentary insurance, airport lounge access, possible tax-deductible annual fee and fewer tax accountant hours). It provides both safety (online fraud protection, secure digital wallet, emergency card replacement) and flexibility (a charge card with no fixed limit and Up to 51 days on purchases). Amex knows what business needs.

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Platinum
Card type
American Express
Card use
Business
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
N/A
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$24,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
N/A

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
99
Additional card fee
$99 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
N/A
Maximum credit limit
$25,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 51 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
100%

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases N/A N/A

Fees

Annual fee
$249 p.a.
Cash advance fee
N/A
Dishonour fee
N/A
Duplicate statement fee
$7
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$20
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
N/A

Rewards

Cool stuff you can get with your points

Disclaimer: Does not include taxes, fees, or charges. Accurate as of 25th January 2016.

Rewards program basics

Reward points expiry
No expiry as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Sign up bonus
N/A
Spend required for bonus points
N/A

Earning points with this card

ATO payment earns rewards
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points
1 pt per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
N/A
Points cap per year
N/A
Reward points
N/A

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
N/A
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Benefits

This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $1,694

TravelEstimated value
Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
$290
Overseas travel insurance
Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online. Includes cover for several items including card account balance waiver and business trip completion.
$1,254
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
$150
Total estimated value$1,694
Annual fee$249
Net customer value$1,445
Disclaimer: Details of who, what, and where coverage applies to, as well as its duration and any coverage limitations will be listed in the credit card insurance product disclosure statement (PDS) on the card issuer's website. The names/labels of complimentary insurance products may differ from one issuer to another. Terms and conditions apply. Always check the insurance PDS when considering a financial product. Accurate as of 31st October 2015.

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $24,000 per year
Have no history of bad credit
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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