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Diehard Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer points collectors have a relatively limited choice when it comes to direct points earning via credit cards, unlike Qantas Frequent Flyers who have possibly too many options. One upside is that it makes comparing the cards on offer relatively easy, especially when it comes to the points earning rate.
The NAB card is in fact a pair of cards – a Visa card and an AmEx 'companion’ card – on one account. Its annual fee is clearly the lowest, but how does it compare when the points earning rate and other benefits are taken into account?
Mid-range points earning rate on the NAB card
The NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card’s earning rate is comparable to the rate on the more expensive Virgin Australia High Flyer Credit Card. It has different points earning rates depending on which of your two cards you use for a particular purchase:
While the Visa card’s rate is a little low, most savvy cardholders will use their AmEx card at every available opportunity for regular purchases at supermarkets, department stores and petrol stations, and for many online payments including utility bills in some cases. Meanwhile, the Visa card provides a useful points-earning backup for when AmEx cards are declined or attract a surcharge.
Points are capped
There’s a points cap of 5,000 spending per month. That is, after you have made $5,000 worth of purchases in any month, you won’t earn any more points in that month. This may cause some frustration on a month where you have made a major purchase.
Competing cards have higher earning rates or less restrictive caps
The Virgin Australia High Flyer Credit Card earns 1.0 points per dollar up to a threshold of $8,000 per month, after which it declines to 0.5 points per dollar. The American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card earns 1.5 points per dollar with no cap or threshold, although spending with government bodies is rewarded at only 0.5 points per dollar. As well, both the Virgin and American Express cards are offering first purchase bonus points, but they do have a much higher annual fee.
Other ways to earn Velocity points
It’s good to know that there are other ways to earn Velocity points, so that you can see your points balance grow quickly. Velocity Frequent Flyer members can earn points by flying not just with Virgin Australia but with Velocity’s airline and travel partners around the world.
You can earn points by flying with Air New Zealand, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America, among others. Plus you can earn points for buying wine, booking restaurants and accommodation, buying fuel at BP service stations and hiring a car, and by converting your flybuys points into Velocity points.
Ways to redeem Velocity points
Once earning points is sorted out, you’ll want plenty of options for spending them, and the Velocity rewards program does not disappoint. Here are the many ways you can use both the bonus points and those you will regularly acquire on an ongoing basis with this card:
Points + Pay (for when you don’t have quite enough points for your preferred redemption) is available for most options.
Zero interest offer on balance transfers
Although NAB have a standard balance transfer interest rate of 0% p.a. for 6 months, with a 2% upfront fee, for a limited time you can take advantage of the balance transfer without the 2% fee. You would save $978 in interest charges over 6 months by transferring a balance of $10,000 from a 20% p.a. card.
Revert interest rate is very high
The balance transfer revert rate is 21.74% p.a. (the cash advance rate), and the ongoing purchase interest rate is is 19.99% p.a. So, best look for a low-interest-rate card instead if you expect to have any uncleared balances after the introductory offer has expired.
The most extensive insurance cover available with a fee this low
NAB’s premium credit cards, like this one, come packaged with a wider range of complimentary insurance than any competing cards, except those aimed at business travellers and accompanied by a truly hefty annual fee. The policies are there to encourage you to make this card your first choice when travelling or shopping, and some of them are indeed worth having. Here’s the full list:
Insurance is activated by using the card for 100% of the purchase cost of the item to be covered or 100% of the travel fare, except in the case of overseas travel insurance where the requirement is merely that the card must be used for at least $500 of the trip’s prepaid expenses. This last stipulation is much more lenient than the conditions set by many competing cards.
And yet more security and convenience
Any hesitation about credit card security on the part of the buyer may mean that the card issuer misses out on profitable business, so it’s not surprising that NAB, AmEx and Visa have combined their resources to make customers feel safe and confident whenever they use their card. Together, here’s what they provide:
Platinum lifestyle benefits
NAB and Visa combine to bring you a platinum concierge service (travel, dining and entertainment information and bookings).
Visa Front Line Access makes reserved event seating available before tickets go on sale to the general public.
American Express Connect makes it possible to get a cashback on your card account for directing your spending to selected retailers. The cashback amount can be as much as $15 for spending as little as $50, and the offers change regularly.
Up to 44 days on purchases every month
If you have a balance transfer, you won’t be able to benefit from the normal interest-free days on purchases until the balance is repaid. After that, interest charges on your purchases will not be applied until 14 days after the close of the monthly statement period. So, as long as you clear the account balance by paying it off in full and on time, you will never pay any interest.
There are lots of cards with more generous interest-free periods each month. In fact, many cards offer up to 55 days, and Coles cards extend up to 62 days interest free. You will need to consider whether this card’s many benefits outweigh the shorter interest-free period.
Annual fee is reasonable, given the benefits
With no additional charge for a supplementary cardholder, the $150 p.a. annual fee is quite moderate for a rewards card, especially one with a reasonable points earning rate and many other benefits. While it’s unlikely that you would be able to use all of the complimentary benefits every year, in any year that you could do so they alone would be worth almost ten times the annual fee.
Who will get the most out of this card?
The NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card is best suited to someone who chooses to fly with Virgin or its partner airlines to maximise points earning. Regular travellers will derive advantage from the four types of travel insurance as well as the platinum travel and lifestyle benefits, while enthusiastic but security-conscious fans of retail therapy have also not been forgotten. And it has by far the lowest annual fee of the three Velocity premium cards.
So I hunted for a while to find another card to earn points for overseas flights. I found this little gem and got a great deal – 75,000 points on application.
It as a decent yearly fee and good insurance cover. I use the AmEx card for larger purchases because it has a higher earn rate.
Rewards don’t mean anything in today’s society. I haven’t got anything out of this card other than being hit with interest and stuff. The rewards make you want to spend every dollar on the card, but there’s no benefit.
Velocity is a crap rewards system and by rights I should have a gold Velocity membership. However, I’m still stuck on red due to the flawed status credit system. It’s just not good value.
Great Interest-free period, amazing service, very happy with this card. It has great interest rates and it’s always a trusted bank to deal with.
Security is great, used both domestically and internationally for travel.
Points earning is great also, particularly if you can use the AmEx card as much as possible. It is handy having both the Visa and AmEx option.
It is useful to get the accompanying Visa card, as not everywhere accepts American Express. I got the card to save up Velocity points to use on flights.
The fees are good as they are packaged with our home loan. We also received 20,000 bonus points. The cards have been good so far.
I have been very happy with this credit card offer. Excellent bonus points are awarded once the minimum spend is reached and it is easy to reach the minimum spend with both an AmEx and Visa card included.
The yearly fee is absolutely reasonable given the points able to be accrued.
The NAB iPhone app is also very easy to use, and handy whenever I am on the go.
I got this card as part of my home loan package, so the initial sign-up rewards were great!
At places which accept American Express you earn 1.5 Velocity points for every dollar spent, and for those that don’t you can at least use the Visa that earns 0.5 points per dollar spent, so it all adds up. The Virgin Velocity program is still pretty attractive at the moment, so you can redeem for flights, upgrades, or even other merchandise — good rewards for spending what you would normally spend anyway.
I reckon that if they keep the sign-up or renewal incentives attractive, even if you have to pay the annual fee, it may be worth it.
This card offers both a Visa and Amex, linked to the same account. I like that you earn most with Amex (1.5 points per dollar), but for places that don’t accept it, you can hand over your Visa (0.5 points per dollar). I’ve just started earning frequent flyer points, and with their great sign-up bonus I now have over 100,000 points in just six months.
I compared all of the cards out there before I chose this one (I have a preference for flying Virgin), and I’m glad I chose it. It does have an annual fee, but it’s not too high compared to some others that I’ve seen. The only downside is that some places don’t accept Amex, and also sometimes it doesn’t work. But I don’t believe this is an issue with the card, more likely with the retailers. Hopefully more places will start to accept Amex.
I think the annual fee is more than I’d feel comfortable with, but I get it free as part of my mortgage. The rewards are OK, but they have reduced the number of reward points earned per dollar—it used to be much better. I don’t think I would have this card if it wasn’t for my mortgage.
Never had a problem dealing with staff and/or getting something refunded. The card offers a high return on Velocity points with an annual fee of $150. For more than 6 years this card has travelled with me overseas and as long as I let the bank know of the travel I can continue using my card without any hassles. Thanks NAB!
Great Velocity points upon signup— I got 70,000 points for a relatively low annual / application fee. Havig Visa and AmEx cards on the one account is excellent because, where possible, you can use the AmEx to maximise Velocity rewards. NAB online card management makes it easy to track spending. No charge for a second card for spouse / partner. I’d definitely recommend this card.
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||6 months||2%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
You can't balance transfer to the NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||6 months||2%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
|Cash advances||1.81%||21.74% p.a.|
Secure Sentinel lost or stolen card service
Valuation based on Secure Sentinel's membership fee spread over 5 years.
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $250 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for all-encompassing extended warranty insurance covering more than one item, so no premium saving.
Guaranteed pricing / price protection insurance
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $100 claim once every 10 years. Extensive conditions apply. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
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.
Domestic hotel burglary insurance
Valuation based on making a $500 claim once every 5 years. Limited to a maximum claim of $2,500. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
Overseas travel insurance
Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online for trips of up to 60 days.
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
|Total estimated value||$1,458|
|Net customer value||$1,308|