The American Express Velocity Platinum credit card pairs points with privileges by offering a complimentary return domestic flight each year, access to Virgin Australia and AMEX airport lounges and up to 50,000 bonus Virgin Australia Velocity points for new AMEX credit card customers.
Suited to both frequent jetsetters and heavy spenders on travel and leisure, you'll also earn up to three Velocity points per dollar spent with no points capping, while also receiving discounts on Virgin Australia long-haul business class flights, domestic and international travel insurance, and more.
American Express Velocity Platinum card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: American Express
- Loyalty program: Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Points capping: Uncapped
Total Velocity Points earned per A$1 spent with...
- Virgin Australia, plus at most Australian restaurants: 3
- Other airlines, hotels, cruise companies, tour operators, travel agents and when overseas: 2
- Utilities, most insurers and on all government payments (including ATO): 0.5
- Everywhere else: 1
Fees, charges and interest: 4.5/5
- Annual fee: $349
- Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
- Interest rate on cash advances: N/A
- International transaction fee: 3.0%
- Minimum income requirement: $65,000 p.a.
- Minimum credit limit: $3,000
Earning points for free flights: 4.5/5
Apply, be approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first three months for a great welcome boost of 50,000 Virgin Australia Velocity points: enough for a one-way economy flight to Los Angeles or Abu Dhabi, plus taxes and fees.
Thereafter, you'd earn enough Velocity Points for an almost-free Sydney-Melbourne flight after spending $2,600 with Virgin Australia or at Australian restaurants; $3,900 with other travel businesses and when overseas; $15,600 with utilities, insurance and government bodies; or $7,800 everywhere else.
Further, American Express also throws in a free return domestic flight each year with Virgin Australia on selected routes, which may help justify the annual fee.
Airport lounge access: 4/5
The AMEX Velocity Platinum Card covers you for both domestic and international travel with two complimentary visits to Virgin Australia's domestic lounges when flying with Virgin Australia and two visits to the American Express Sydney Airport lounge each year.
If you travel overseas more frequently, you can also pay $55 at the door for any subsequent visits to the AMEX Sydney lounge, and US$50 to make use of any American Express Centurion Lounge in the USA including in San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas and Dallas/Fort Worth, among other cities.
Insurance and travel perks: 5/5
You're covered by domestic and international travel insurance whenever using either your American Express Velocity Platinum Card or your Velocity Points to book a return trip lasting 62 days or less, up to a maximum of 120 total travel days per year.
That's impressive on two fronts in that many credit cards only cover you when jetting abroad – not on home soil – and often provide no coverage when booking travel using your frequent flyer points rather than actual money.
Joining that is both purchase and refund protection for 90 days from the date of purchase, and a promise of discounted business class companion fares when booking Virgin Australia long-haul business class flights, or codeshare business class flights on Etihad and Delta for the primary cardholder and up to one accompanying traveller.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card: verdict
On value, the AMEX Velocity Platinum Card stacks up quite nicely, with the yearly return domestic flight mostly offsetting the annual fee.
For example, apply that to a Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney journey – a route where fares can often be found for ~$125 in each direction – and you've already saved $250 on a trip you'd probably have taken anyway.
That leaves you paying just $99 more for the promise of 50,000 Velocity points at the start and uncapped frequent flyer points thereafter, plus travel insurance, lounge access and more: not a bad deal in any respect.
Certainly, there are other American Express cards which earn more than one frequent flyer point per dollar spent on everyday transactions, but if your charges are geared heavily toward dining and travel – whether in Australia or abroad – building a mountain of points won't be a difficult task.