Both the AMEX Velocity Platinum Card and the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Visa include a complimentary return Virgin Australia flight every year to help offset their annual fees – and it’s a great perk, provided you put it to good use.
Here’s how you can plan and book that free trip with each card.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card: free Virgin Australia flight
Slip an American Express Velocity Platinum credit card into your wallet and you’ll be entitled to a complimentary return domestic flight every year with Virgin Australia, once the card’s annual fee of $375 has been charged to your account and you’ve used your card to make at least one purchase after that.
Where you can travel depends on where you live. Here’s where you could fly to from Sydney…
… while from Melbourne, you can travel as far north as Hamilton Island:
Brisbane’s central location on the east coast sees flights to Cairns, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin available…
… and if you live in Perth, your free return flight can take you across to Sydney and back – but note that if you live in Sydney, you can’t book a return ticket to Perth – only the cities mapped above.
For journeys beginning in other cities, use the interactive map on the AMEX website to see where you could travel.
Flights can only be booked in economy class, don’t normally earn points or status credits, and can’t be upgraded using Velocity points or cash. However, you can book your complimentary flight in another person’s name, such as for your partner to join you on a business trip, or as a gift.
Just keep track of when your credit card annual fee falls due every year, because the free flight credit doesn’t carry forward into your next AMEX ‘membership year’ if you haven’t used it, and when your annual fee hits your account, that signals the start of your next AMEX ‘membership year’.
You can normally book flights for travel up to 11 months in advance, however, so you do have the option of travelling during your next membership year – you just need to make that booking this membership year to avoid this year’s free flight going to waste.
To book, head to this page on the Virgin Australia website, login with your Velocity details and follow the prompts. That is, unless you're wanting to fly from Perth to Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide; or from Darwin to Sydney or Brisbane, for which you'll need to call 1300 153 006 instead.
Don’t already have the AMEX Velocity Platinum Card? Eligible new customers who apply, are approved and spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months can earn 50,000 bonus Velocity points, with other perks included too such as AMEX and Virgin Australia lounge access.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Visa: free Virgin Australia flight
With ANZ, the ‘free flight’ concept is very similar to American Express, except that ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures cardholders can travel on a wider variety of routes, including cross-country flights to Perth originating on the east coast, and journeys to Darwin.
Here’s where you could fly from Sydney…
… from Melbourne…
… from Brisbane…
… and from Perth, for example:
However, in return for access to a broader flight network, these tickets must be booked through ANZ at least 60 days before departure on flights which have T-class (Getaway) fares available, and can only be taken by the primary cardholder – not used by somebody else.
Just like AMEX, these flights won't ordinarily earn any Velocity points or status credits, and can't be upgraded using money or Velocity points.
You’ll unlock the free return flight after spending $500 on eligible purchases using the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card within the first three months and paying the card’s $225 annual fee, with the free flight benefit recurring every year until the card is cancelled.
To confirm and book, call ANZ on 1300 367 763 (+61 2 9352 3254 from overseas) between 8am and 8pm AEST, Monday-Friday. The same number can be used to change your flights, but only between 9am and 5pm AEST, and may incur a fee. Once booked, your flight credit cannot be reused if you cancel your ticket or miss your flight.
New ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures cardholders can also earn 40,000 bonus Velocity points after spending $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months, with some of the card’s other benefits including two Virgin Australia lounge passes each year, and no international transaction fees on overseas purchases.