Win 1 Million Velocity Frequent Flyer Points

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American Express Velocity Escape Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
offer
card features
rewards program
earn rate
sign up bonus
your earnings
No annual card fee to pay each year.
Base earn rate is 1 pt per $1 spent. Get 2 points 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
7,500
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

7,500 points Velocity Points when you apply, are approved and spend $750 In 3 months, for New Card Members and bank-issued Amex companion cardholders.
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 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.
Existing American Express Card Members won’t get the bonus points.
Not all businesses accept American Express and some of them will add surcharges to your purchases.
You won’t qualify for the bonus points if you have held any kind of AmEx card in the previous 18 months.

Review

Our review of the American Express Velocity Escape Card

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.

For every dollar spent using the card you’ll get one Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer point, and the rate doubles to two points per dollar when you use your card to purchase Virgin Australia products such as flights and holidays. There’s no monthly or annual cap on points earning.

Bonus points to get you started

Boost your Velocity points right at the start. 7,500 points Velocity Points when you apply, are approved and spend $750 In 3 months. (existing AmEx cardholders excepted). Points can be redeemed for Virgin flights to almost 600 global destinations, and for accommodation, holiday packages and car hire. (Offer is available to new American Express Card Members only).

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 6,900 points for Sydney/Melbourne or Sydney/Brisbane, so you’re already flying with your bonus points.

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.

Up to 44 days on purchases interest free

Providing you don’t have an uncleared balance transfer or purchase balance owing, the normal billing cycle means that you will receiveUp to 44 days on purchases Per Month. In effect you will lose the benefit of 132 days interest per year on the cash you use to make repayments, when compared with a 55 days interest-free card, but in the current low interest environment for bank deposit accounts the difference is not material. An average monthly balance of, say, $3,000, is only going to cost you about $32 per year in lost interest at 3%. Many 55-day cards charge far more than that as an annual fee.

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: Provides 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. 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.

Before you decide

You’ll want to be satisfied you’re getting the best deal for your circumstances before you make a final decision. There are plenty of ‘no annual fee’ cards, including the Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card, but in spite of the name it doesn’t come with Velocity points, or any kind of points. You can earn rewards points, however, with the ‘no fee’ HSBC Platinum Credit Card, in its own Rewards Plus scheme, linked to the usual merchandise and gift cards redemptions as well as air miles with Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

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
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.

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.

Basic details

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 44 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

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
7,500 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Spend required for bonus points
$750 In 3 months

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
Unlimited
Points cap per year
Unlimited
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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