Win 1 Million Velocity Frequent Flyer Points

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American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
offer
card features
rewards program
earn rate
sign up bonus
your earnings
Bonus 50,000 points when you apply, are approved and spend $1500 on your card within the first 3 months.
A complimentary domestic return flight every year with travel insurance and entry into Virgin Australia Lounges.
Up to 3 points per dollar spent on purchases with Virgin Australia. 1 pts per $1 spent elsewhere.
Add to comparison
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1 pts
per $1 spent
50,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Escape much sooner with 50,000 points when you are approved and spend $1500 on your card within the first 3 months.
Good points earning rates which are tiered.
1 x complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every anniversary year.
2 complimentary single entry passes to the domestic Virgin Australia lounge each year at selected airports.
Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
No extra cost for additional card holders.
Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product offered by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for the sign up bonus points.
The complimentary flight is not eligible for Velocity Points and/or Status Credits earn.
If you’re doing a balance transfer then there’s a 1% balance transfer fee.
The introductory points offer excludes existing American Express Card Members.
Not all businesses accept American Express and some of them will add surcharges to your purchases.

Review

Our review of the American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

AmEx is making sure that it has all bases covered with its American Express Velocity Platinum Card. While thrifty Virgin Australia customers may be attracted by the Amex Velocity Escape Card, truly frequent flyers—for whom both domestic and international travel is a regular occurrence—will be looking for something more. The inclusion of the word ‘Platinum’ in this card’s title is a sure indication that they will find all that they are expecting, if not more.

Sorting out the dollars

Let’s get the housekeeping out of the way by crunching the mundane numbers to begin with.

  • Minimum income requirement: You’ll need to demonstrate an annual income of at least $65,000.
  • Annual fee: Yes, you will pay an annual fee – $349 p.a. every year – but if this is the kind of card you are looking for you will understand that some contribution must be made to the cost of the so-called ‘complimentary’ benefits. In reality you are buying extensive insurance, travel benefits and accelerated rewards earning at a heavily discounted rate. It’s a bargain if you can make good use of them, but a waste of money if you can’t. Supplementary cards are provided at no additional cost.
  • Balance transfer offer: There’s a token balance transfer offer, allowing you to bring across up to $7,500 and pay 0% p.a. interest for 12 months. However, you will also pay a 1% credit plan establishment fee, lifting the effective annual interest rate to over 3%. Add to this the fact that you’ll lose any interest-free days on purchases while you have a balance outstanding (interest will be applied from the date of each individual purchase until your payment date) and the offer doesn’t look very tempting.
  • Interest rate: The ongoing purchase interest rate (and balance transfer revert rate) is 20.74% p.a., a typical level for a platinum card. Amex is probably assuming that platinum card users will not be planning to maintain an unpaid purchase balance for long periods. Cash advances are not available on this card, so there’s no cash advance interest rate quoted.
  • Interest-free days: You won’t get any long introductory interest-free period on purchases, but, thanks to the monthly billing cycle, Up to 44 days on purchases each month. While this will end up costing you more than a card with 55 days interest-free each month, the difference is not material given the current low interest earned by cash on deposit. You will in effect pay 132 days earlier every year (12 months x 11 days), which means that a $4,000 average monthly balance would cost you around $43 in lost interest on the earlier payments, if you are removing the cash from a deposit account earning 3%.

Now that you know how much the card is going to cost you—perhaps $392 a year when compared with a ‘no annual fee’ 55-day card—it’s time to look at the rewards points, travel benefits and insurance that you will get for your money.

High points earning potential

You’ll earn uncapped points in Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program when you use your card for purchases, and you can redeem the points for flights and seat upgrades with Virgin and its global airline partners, as well as for other kinds of travel, accommodation, car hire, and gift cards or merchandise from the Velocity Rewards Store. Securing award flights is the most productive way to use the points, giving them a redemption value of at least 2 cents per point compared with only about 0.5 cents per point if used for gift cards.

The points earning system is tiered, allowing you to earn more points when purchasing Virgin Australia products, eating out and travelling. Here’s how it works:

  • 3 Velocity points per dollar spent on Virgin Australia products such as flights and holidays
  • 3 points per dollar at “tens of thousands” (Amex’s words) of Australian restaurants
  • 2 points per dollar at other airlines and major cruise and tour operators
  • 2 points per dollar of AUD equivalent of foreign currency transactions, overseas or online
  • 0.5 points per dollar spent on utilities (gas, water, electricity, telephone, internet), non-AmEx insurance and government bodies (ATO, Australia Post &c)
  • 1 point per dollar spent anywhere else

This means that you’re getting an extra point per dollar for your Virgin Australia, restaurant, travel and foreign currency spending, when compared with the Amex Velocity Escape Card. If you were to spend a total of $10,000 a year on these items and use the extra points for flights, the higher earning rate would be worth $200 per annum.

50,000 points

Using the same estimate of two cents per point (for award flight redemptions), it’s possible to put a value of $1,000 (or seven flights from Sydney to Melbourne) on the ‘Welcome aboard’ bonus points that you’ll receive for spending $1500 in the first three months of holding the card. Unfortunately, you won’t qualify for the bonus points if you’ve held any kind of Amex card in the last 18 months.

Travel benefits

  • Free flight: AmEx wishes you a Happy Anniversary with a complimentary return domestic economy flight every year following your first card spend in each 12 month period. The long list of domestic destinations provides a flexibility not matched by cards linked to Qantas, which usually offer complimentary flights between mainland state capitals only. A Virgin return flight between Melbourne and Brisbane is worth at least $378.
  • Lounge passes: Each year you’ll get two complimentary single entry passes to the domestic Virgin Australia lounge at selected airports. Depending on your Velocity membership level, lounge access costs at least $300 per year, or $65 for a single visit, so these two passes are worth $130 if you are the kind of traveller who uses and appreciates an airport lounge.
  • Business class fare discounts: AmEx promises you “substantial savings” when you and a travelling companion fly business class to selected Virgin Australia international long haul destinations, including Etihad and Delta codeshare flights to Europe and the US.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance: You and your family will be covered for emergency medical expenses, flight delays and missed flights or cancellations, transport accidents, personal liability and lost, damaged, delayed or stolen luggage, when you purchase your full trip fare with the card or with Velocity points. (Note that supplementary cardholders are not covered unless they are the spouse or child of the primary cardholder, and there’s no rental vehicle excess cover.) This type of multi-trip travel insurance costs at least $450 for a fairly basic policy.

Additional insurance cover

Personal items purchased with the card are covered against theft, loss or damage for 90 days—they’ll be repaired or replaced—and if a retailer refuses to accept return of an unused item within 90 days, Amex will provide a refund instead. It’s difficult to ascribe a price to this kind of insurance, but it can be valuable if you ever need to use it. There’s no extended warranty or purchase price protection insurance, however.

AmEx’s award-winning service is also a kind of insurance, providing 24/7 card support worldwide, online fraud protection and emergency card replacement.

Cost versus benefit

The annual cost of holding this card was calculated as $349 p.a. (annual fee) + $43 (lost interest income compared with a 55-day card) = $392.

The annual benefits to which a value can be assigned are:

Higher points earning rate: $200
Free domestic return flight: $378
Lounge passes: $130
Travel insurance: $450
Total: $1,158

The business class fare discounts and additional insurance cover are not included in the above calculation, and the once-only 50,000 points (potentially worth $2,000) are also excluded. But it’s easy to see that this is a card which could deliver positive financial benefit to a frequent flyer who travels and entertains extensively, both in Australia and overseas, while choosing to fly with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines.

The competition

Virgin Australia has its own card offering Velocity rewards—the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card—with a lower annual fee but a much less attractive points earning rate. The NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Credit Card allows you to earn a pleasing 1.5 points per dollar, but there’s no bonus rate for spending with Virgin Australia. Check out the various benefits against your own spending pattern and lifestyle, and choose a card which will deliver for you.

User reviews

4.3 out of 5.0 based on 5 reviews100% of reviewers would recommend this card.

Rates and fees
Rewards
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.

Small business supporter

Reviewed and recommended by Dominica on 25 Sep 2016

In the six months that I’ve had my AmEx card I have been extremely impressed with it. There are so many offers and benefits that it makes it very worthwhile. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is eligible. I particularly like that they aim to support local small businesses and give users extra bonuses for shopping at these stores.

Well worth the annual fee

Reviewed and recommended by Ameng on 02 Jul 2016

The major draw was the 100,000 (or 80,000) Velocity points for signing up, and while some people might be put off by the $349 annual fee, this is balanced out by the 1 free domestic flight per anniversary year, 2 free domestic lounge entries, and 2 free AmEx Lounge entries at Sydney International airport. Add on the complimentary travel insurance (up to 60 days), 3 points per dollar booking Virgin flights, 2 points per dollar booking travel related items, plus 1 point per dollar for everyday purchases, and this card is very good value.

Great experience!

Reviewed and recommended by Stephanie on 26 Jun 2016

I loved maximising the platinum benefits of this card—great monthly partner offers, travel insurance, and an annual domestic flight free were the standouts. The card also gave free access to an international travel lounge at Sydney International, which we use quite a few times a year. All round, a great platinum AmEx offering for a low annual fee compared to other platinum cards on the market.

I froth on this card

Reviewed and recommended by Zub Mombolor on 24 Aug 2015

This was an absolutely smashing offer. After analysing card upon card in the market, this offer exceeded all expectations. I have greatly benefited from this points offer! I purchased a flight to LA with this bad boy and I have used one of the airport lounge passes already. First class service.

I love it!

Perfect for domestic travel and online shopping

Reviewed and recommended by Tronsky14 on 27 Oct 2014

While the $349 annual fee is on the high side, as a frequent traveller, the benefits more than make up for the fee. Living in Perth, I am able to treat myself to an annual flight to Sydney. It comes with two lounge passes, a perk normally reserved for Velocity Silver members and a decent travel insurance policy. In the internet connected world, ordering goods and services from online retailers will earn you two Velocity points per dollar. When travelling with Virgin Australia I earn 3 points per dollar, and when combined with the points from VA themselves you will net between 8 and 13 points per dollar, depending on your status level. The monthly bonus offers have proven to be worthwhile as well, as I have saved well over the annual fee on rebates from retailers I would normally use regardless.

It is true that American Express is not accepted everywhere, and that some places charge an additional fee, so this card is not the card for every situation, and you will have other cards at your disposal, but there are many situations where it does extremely well.

Overall I am happy that this card is a perfect match to my lifestyle and the rewards and bonus offers more than make up for the high annual fee.

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
$65,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
N/A

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
99
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$3,000
Maximum credit limit
$100,000

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 Platinum Credit 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
$349 p.a.
Cash advance fee
None
Dishonour fee
$6
Duplicate statement fee
$10
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

Where will your points take you?

Points:
 
Trip:
Origin:
    Rewards program:
      Class:

        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
        50,000 points
        Reward points expiry
        Never as long as you keep your account active
        Rewards program
        Velocity Frequent Flyer
        Spend required for bonus points
        $1500 in 3 months

        Earning points with this card

        Frequent flyer points
        1 pts per $1 spent
        Overseas earn rate
        Same as standard earn rate
        Points cap per month
        Unlimited
        Points cap per year
        Unlimited
        Reward points
        1 pts per $1 spent

        Additional benefits

        Airport lounge access
        Yes
        Complimentary flight voucher
        Yes
        Concierge service
        No

        Benefits

        This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $1,127

        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
        Travel
        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 for trips of up to 60 days. -Andrew Boyd
        $627
        Transit accident insurance
        Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
        $150
        Total estimated value$1,127
        Annual fee$349
        Net customer value$778
        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 $65,000 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
        Age Pension, Disability Pension, Overseas Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
        Austudy, Carer's Allowance, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Youth Allowance are acceptable.
        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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