Winter has just arrived, but that doesn't mean the country's credit card frequent flyer points are about to ice over, with generous offers from American Express, ANZ, Bank of Melbourne, Citibank, NAB, St. George, Virgin Money and Westpac placing over 650,000 Virgin Australia Velocity points on the table for eligible new customers.
You could even pocket as many as 100,000 bonus Velocity frequent flyer points from single personal or business credit card application – so if your current credit card is about to lose its shine, take a look at June's top deals: including how to earn those bonus points, what you'll pay in fees and the points you can also earn as you continue to spend on the card.
1. American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Taking out the gold – well, platinum – this month is the American Express Velocity Platinum Card with a sizeable bonus of 100,000 Velocity points for eligible new customers, plus a free return Virgin Australia domestic flight each year, two Virgin Australia lounge passes and two visits to the AMEX Lounge at Sydney Airport.
You'll pay an annual fee of $375 to cover all of those perks, and can earn that nice 100k bonus when applying by July 31 2017 and spending at least $1,500 on purchases within the first three months – not to mention, 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on most transactions, uncapped.
That's increased to 2.5 Velocity points per dollar when using the card to book Virgin Australia flights (over and above the points you'd normally earn from flying), with government transactions such as ATO payments earning 0.5 Velocity points per dollar spent.
2. American Express Platinum personal, business charge cards
Also on the podium, the American Express Platinum Business Card with an offer of 120,000 bonus Velocity points (as of July 5 2017), and the personal version of the same card – American Express Platinum Charge Card – which also tempts spenders with 100,000 bonus Velocity points.
For ABN holders, that's achieved when applying for the business charge card by October 2 2017 and spending at least $5,000 on purchases within the first two months: delivering 120,000 Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points, which are equal to 120,000 Velocity points when converted at a 1:1 rate.
Don't run your own business? Look to the personal card instead to earn 100,000 bonus Ascent Premium points when applying by October 2 2017 and spending at least $1,500 within the first three months – again, converting to Velocity at a 1:1 rate, giving 100,000 Velocity points.
You can also collect up to three Ascent Premium points per dollar spent (equal to three Velocity points) via the personal card at an annual fee of $1,200, or could earn up to two Ascent Premium points per dollar (worth two Velocity points) through the business card against a $1,500 annual fee.
3. Virgin Money Velocity Flyer, Westpac Altitude Black
Next in line: both the Virgin Money Velocity Flyer Card and Westpac's Altitude Black American Express + Mastercard combo, each offering the equivalent of 40,000 bonus Velocity points to eligible new cardholders. Here's how that's achieved:
- Virgin Money Velocity Flyer Card: You'll need to be quick, as this offer ends on June 15 2017 – but if you apply on or before that date, select 'promotional offer 3' during the application process and you can earn 10,000 bonus Velocity points per month in each of the first four months where at least $1,500 has been spent, up to 40,000 bonus points in total. You'll pay an annual fee of $129 and can also earn 0.66 Velocity points per dollar spent up to $1,500 per month, and 0.5 Velocity points per dollar spent thereafter.
- Westpac Altitude Black: Apply by October 26 2017, select Altitude Rewards as your loyalty option and spend at least $5,000 on the account within 90 days of approval to earn 80,000 Altitude points, equal to 40,000 Velocity points when converted on a 2:1 basis. You'll also earn the equivalent of 1.25 Velocity points per dollar spent on the AMEX and 0.625 Velocity points per dollar spent when using the Mastercard, both uncapped.
4. American Express Explorer, ANZ Rewards Black, Citi Signature Visa
- AMEX Explorer: Apply, spend $1,500 on the card within the first three months and pay an annual fee of $395 to earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Gateway points (new offer as of July 2017), which you can convert to Velocity on a 4:3 basis (75,000 Velocity points). A $395 annual fee applies but which is offset by a $400 travel credit each year to spend on flights, hotels and car hire, and an earn rate equal to 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on all but government charges, which accrue 0.375 Velocity points per dollar.
- ANZ Rewards Black: Pay no annual fee in the first year (normally $375) and spend at least $2,500 on purchases within the first three months to earn 75,000 bonus ANZ reward points, equal to 37,500 Velocity points (2:1 conversion). New cardholders can also collect 2 ANZ reward points per dollar spent (worth 1 Velocity point) uncapped until August 5 2017 and on the first $5,000 of monthly spend thereafter, and 1 ANZ reward point (0.5 Velocity points) per dollar spent in excess of that amount.
- Citi Signature Visa: Lodge your application by June 30 2017 and make a purchase at least once in the first 90 days to earn 75,000 bonus Citibank Rewards points, equivalent to 37,500 Velocity points when converted at a 2:1 rate. A reduced annual fee of $199 applies in the first year (normally $395), and as of June 15 2017, cardholders will earn no points on government and government-related spend; 0.5 Velocity points per dollar on most everyday charges; 0.75 Velocity points per dollar at major supermarkets, petrol stations and national retailers; and 1 Velocity point per dollar with airlines, hotels and restaurants in Australia and on all overseas transactions.
5. Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card
Citibank makes a second appearance this month with an offer of 35,000 bonus Velocity points through its Citi Prestige Visa Infinite credit card, served up as 70,000 Citibank Rewards points and again converted to Velocity on a 2:1 basis, provided you apply by June 30 2017 and make at least one purchase within 90 days of approval.
There's a $700 annual fee to pay, but do be sure to choose the 'Citi Rewards' option during sign-up rather than 'Citi Qantas Rewards', otherwise – you guessed it – you'll earn Qantas Points instead.
From June 15 2017, cardholders will be able to earn the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per dollar at Australian restaurants, hotels and airlines plus on all overseas spend; one Velocity point per dollar at major supermarkets, petrol stations and national retailers; and 0.5 Velocity points everywhere else, except on government and government-related spend where the earn rate is zero, as with the Citi Signature card.
Honourable mentions: unique offers from Bank of Melbourne, NAB, St. George
Some interesting sign-up offers are also on the cards from Bank of Melbourne, NAB and St. George, giving a serving of points when you first meet the spend requirements and then continue to provide bonus points in the first year – potentially fetching you more bonus points overall, provided you keep and continue to use the card.
Here's what's on offer:
- Bank of Melbourne's Amplify Signature Visa promises 60,000 bonus Amplify points (equal to 30,000 Velocity points) when you apply by September 20 2017, spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 90 days and pay an annual fee of $279. Then, you'll earn a further bonus of 30,000 Amplify points (15,000 Velocity points) in a year's time after you've paid the annual fee once more.
- Grab a new personal NAB Rewards Platinum card to earn 50,000 bonus NAB Rewards points (worth 25,000 Velocity points) when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening and pay an annual fee of $195. You'll also receive one bonus NAB Rewards point (=0.5 Velocity points) for every dollar spent for the first six months, up to 60,000 bonus NAB Rewards points. That's worth a further 30,000 Velocity points, but is a goal only achieved after spending a whopping $60,000 on everyday purchases, or $10,000 per month.
- The St. George Amplify Signature Visa mirrors the Bank of Melbourne offer with 60,000 bonus Amplify points delivered after you reach the same spend requirement and a further 30,000 Amplify points in a year's time when you renew the card, giving you up to 45,000 bonus Velocity points.