For just $150/year, the NAB Velocity Rewards Premium American Express + Visa credit card duo delivers up to 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent, a cool welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Velocity points for new customers and generous travel insurance that also covers flight delays and hotel burglaries on trips within Australia.
What's more, the card is relatively easy to qualify for with no defined minimum income level, and most spenders won't come close to the monthly points capping threshold, either.
Any points you do earn are automatically transferred to Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer program every month, and if you add an additional cardholder to the account (such as your partner or spouse), you could be earning points twice as quickly at no extra cost.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium cards: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: American Express + Visa
- Loyalty program: Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Velocity points earned per dollar – AMEX: 1.5
- Velocity points earned per dollar – Visa: 0.5
- Points capping: Earn points on up to $20,000 per statement period
Fees, charges and interest: 5/5
- Annual fee: $150
- Additional cardholder fee: $0
- Interest rate on purchases: 19.99% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
- Total international transaction fee: 3% (both cards)
- Minimum income requirement: No defined minimum
- Minimum credit limit: $6,000
Earning points for free flights: 4.5/5
New NAB credit card customers who apply and make at least one everyday purchase within 90 days of opening the account can pocket an easy 20,000 Velocity points to get them started on their frequent flyer journey.
That's enough for two one-way upgrades to business class on short Virgin Australia routes like Sydney-Melbourne when booked on the lowest-priced Saver tickets, or four upgrades on the same when flying on Flexi fares.
(Psst: If you search online, there's a hidden 75,000-point deal on the NAB website for the same card...)
Thereafter, you'll earn enough points for a near-free Sydney-Melbourne economy flight for every $5,200 spent on the NAB Velocity Rewards Premium AMEX and for every $15,600 spent via the companion Visa card.
That's true so long as you remain within the monthly $20,000 cap on points earning – spend more than that during any statement period and you'll earn no further points. Points are first calculated on any AMEX spend, and if you still haven't reached that cap, on any Visa spend up to that limit.
Payments to the Australian Taxation Office earn no points at all, however, and you'll earn no bonus points when using your card to book flights with Virgin Australia.
Inclusive international travel insurance: 4.5/5
You may be covered by NAB's free international travel insurance simply by charging at least $500 of your travel expenses to either card before your trip begins.
Whether that's your flights, pre-paid hotels or land tour costs is up to you, with cover extending to journeys of up to six months.
Just note, there's no automatic cover when booking your flights using frequent flyer points – even those accumulated via your NAB credit card – so you'll want to also pre-pay a hotel night or two to ensure you reach that minimum spend requirement.
Thrown in too: interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance, extended warranty cover and price protection insurance.
Trumping many other banks, NAB also offers domestic hotel burglary insurance of up to $2,500 to cardholders travelling within Australia and charging their full hotel costs to either NAB credit card.
Airport lounge access: 1/5
Complimentary access to airport lounges isn't a perk offered on these cards, although as your account includes an American Express card you can use it to buy your way into the American Express Centurion Lounges across the USA at a cost of $US50 per visit.
You'll find these in Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas, New York (LaGuardia), Miami, Houston and San Francisco, but access to the American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport is off the cards, even if you'd be willing to pay.
AusBT review: AMEX Centurion Lounge, New York LaGuardia Airport
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium cards: the verdict
The NAB Velocity Rewards Premium duo pairs a solid frequent flyer earning rate on the AMEX with above-average insurance cover at an affordable annual fee of just $150, which you could easily recoup through those points and perks.
It's for this reason the NAB Premium AMEX was crowned 'Best Credit Card for Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer Points' in the Australian Business Traveller Credit Card Rewards of 2015, although the earn rate on the Visa is less impressive.
If you'll be spending heavily where American Express isn't accepted or there's a surcharge you'd rather avoid, consider pairing the NAB Velocity Rewards Premium AMEX with something like the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Visa: leaving your NAB Visa at home.
That would enable you to earn 1.5 Velocity points per dollar wherever AMEX is welcome and up to 1.0 Velocity points per dollar everywhere else – along with three Velocity points per dollar on Virgin Australia flight bookings to boost your points even further.
Also read: ANZ Rewards (Velocity) Platinum card review
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT