American Express Velocity Escape Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
Rewards program
Earn rate
Sign up bonus
Points earned
No annual card fee to pay each year.
Base earn rate is 1 pt per $1 spent. Get an additional 1 point per $1 when spending with Virgin Australia.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
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 annual fee from year to year which is rare for a frequent flyer credit card.
The points earning rate of 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent for purchases with Virgin Australia is very good. For spending everywhere else (except government bodies) it’s a solid 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent.
Purchase protection and refund protection.
Online fraud protection guarantee.
The interest rate is as high as you’d expect for a premium credit card.
The small balance transfer fee.
Not all businesses accept American Express and some of them will add surcharges to your purchases.

Our review

Our review of the American Express Velocity Escape CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Who says you have to be a high income earner and pay a huge annual fee to get the benefit of frequent flyer rewards and world class credit card service? American Express certainly doesn’t. If rewards points and service are your top two priorities and you are a happy Virgin Australia customer, take a look at the American Express Velocity Escape Card.

Virgin Velocity points and no annual fee, ever

Credit cards with a frequent flyer rewards scheme attached usually have some associated pain in the shape of an annual fee, but not this one. You can also have additional fee-free cards for family members, and the qualifying annual income you need to demonstrate is a modest $40,000.

Points earning rate

Velocity points are earned at the following rates:

  • Base earning rate of 1 pt per $1 spent on most purchases
  • Double earning rate of 2.0 points per dollar when you use your card to purchase Virgin Australia products such as flights and holidays.
  • Reduced earning rate of 0.5 points per dollar for purchases from Government bodies (e.g. ATO, Australia Post, local government rates)

There’s no monthly or annual cap on points earning.

Velocity points redemption options

Points can be redeemed for flights with Virgin and its partner airlines to over 500 global destinations, and for flight upgrades, accommodation, holiday packages, car hire, BP fuel purchases, movie tickets and other entertainment, and retail gift cards. There’s an enormous amount of choice.

You could also use points to purchase products from the Velocity Rewards Store, but it’s generally agreed that buying merchandise is not the most cost effective way to redeem points. You’d have to spend $5,000 (or $2,500 on Virgin products) just to get a $25 David Jones gift card, which puts the value of each standard point at half a cent. Use them for Virgin flights, however, and you increase each normal point’s value to almost two cents. Award flights start at 7,800 points for Sydney/Melbourne or Sydney/Brisbane.

Virgin Velocity also has an exceptional 'Any Seat, Any Airline’ option, allowing you to redeem your points for flights almost anywhere in the world, not just with Virgin and its partners.

Zero-interest balance transfer available

Just to make sure they cover all bases, Amex have thrown in a moderate balance transfer offer as well. The ability to transfer up to $10,000 or 70% of credit limit isn’t gong to set anyone on fire, but it’s there if you need it, at 0% p.a. for 12 months.

The 1% credit establishment fee will reduce the amount you can save, but your interest cost would still decrease by over $1,800 if you transferred a $10,000 debt from a card where you are currently paying 20% p.a. .

The revert rate is the standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a.. Cash advances are not available, so there’s no separate cash advance interest rate.

Up to 55 days on purchases

Providing you don’t have an uncleared balance transfer or purchase balance owing, the normal billing cycle means that you will receive Up to 55 days on purchases per month on your purchases. Given that there is no annual fee, Up to 55 days on purchases each month is quite generous. That’s an extra 132 days per year during which your repayment cash can remain in a deposit or mortgage offset account.

A modicum of insurance

You don’t get much in the way of complimentary benefits with this zero fee card, but there is a token amount of insurance cover, which automatically becomes valuable if you need to use it. The policies you’ll get are:

  • Purchase protection, providing repairs or refunds for lost, stolen or damaged items for 90 days after purchase with the card. There’s a $50 excess and a limit of $2,500 per claim, with a $10,000 annual maximum.
  • Refund protection. If a retailer refuses to let you return, for a refund, an unused item bought with the card, Amex will provide a refund instead, for up to 90 days. The claim limit is $500 per item and $2,000 per year, and it excludes items like jewellery, antiques, artwork, phones and perishables.

Award-winning service

Even though this is in some respects a budget card, you’ll still qualify for Amex’s celebrated customer service. The Amex contact centre has repeatedly won customer service excellence awards, and their travel service has 2,200 travel and foreign exchange services located in over 140 countries, so help is never far away. Emergency card replacement usually takes no more than one working day, wherever in the world you happen to be.

In addition, you get the benefit of an online fraud protection guarantee, provided you stick to the rules and notify any fraudulent transactions immediately you discover them.

Most bases covered for your digital wallet

Most phone types are included if you want to link your card to your phone so that you can use your phone for speedy, contactless payments. The American Express Velocity Escape Card is enabled for Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

Is the Amex Velocity Escape Card the right one for you?

The profile of the ideal cardholder, in this particular case, is someone who probably prefers to fly with Virgin Australia and would rather save money on the annual card fee instead of paying for benefits that may never get used. So buy travel and extended warranty insurance only when you need it and subsidise your leisure trips with the Velocity points you earn, or reduce your business expenses even more with award flights and upgrades.

User reviews

3.6 out of 5.0 based on 1 review100% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Use it anywhere

Reviewed and recommended by Jonathan on 20 Sep 2016

It’s very effective and works very well, and also it’s reliable. Also you can use it anywhere around the country.

The colour of the card looks awesome as well. You can use it at any ATM too. I have used this card for three years and it’s great value.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Platinum
Card type
American Express
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$40,000
Minimum income for pensioners
$Same as standard
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
Unlimited
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$2,000
Maximum credit limit
$25,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2.5%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit20.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
$10,000 or 70% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the American Express Velocity Escape Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • American Express

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit 20.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases 1.73% 20.74% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Cash advance fee
None
Dishonour fee
$6
Duplicate statement fee
$7
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$30
Over limit fee
$15
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
$7

Rewards & points

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

First purchase bonus
N/A
Reward points expiry
Never 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

Frequent flyer points
1 pt per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
Unlimited
Points cap per year
Unlimited
Points earned on ATO payments
N/A
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
No
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Benefits

This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $60

ShoppingEstimated value
Purchase protection
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $200 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
$40
Refund cover if retailer refuses return
Most major retailers have 100% guaranteed returns, but not all do. Valuation assumes making a $100 claim once every 5 years.
$20
Total estimated value$60
Annual fee$0
Net customer value$60
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 $40,000 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
Joint applications are not allowed
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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