Want to maximise the number of Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points you’re earning on everyday credit card purchases? Then take a look at the cards below, which offer some of Australia’s highest earning rates in the Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme.
By using the right card in the right place, you could be collecting up to two Velocity points per $1 spent on regular charges, uncapped – so without further delay, here are the cards that could turbocharge your Velocity balance.
1. Diners Club personal charge card with World Mastercard
Surprisingly, the best card for earning Velocity points on everyday purchases is now the Diners Club personal charge card, churning out two Diners Club Rewards points per $1 spent (except on government payments), which convert to Velocity at a 1:1 rate under recent changes made by Diners, giving two Velocity points per $1 spent.
However, there’s a catch – you only get that high earning rate when a companion World Mastercard is attached to the account, which bumps the total annual fee from $212 to $299 with rewards points, but in return, you’ll also earn the equivalent of 0.75 Velocity points per $1 spent on that Mastercard (again, except on government payments).
It’s a good backup card to have, because Diners Club isn’t as widely accepted as Visa, Mastercard or even American Express, but if you do spend where Diners is welcome – particularly at larger retailers, airlines and hotels, or in the USA where you can use Diners anywhere Discover cards are accepted, it’s an option to keep in mind.
2. American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card
Offering the equivalent of 2.5 Velocity points per $1 spent on overseas purchases and 1.5 Velocity points per $1 spent on most transactions within Australia is the new American Express-issued Westpac Altitude Black Card, costing an extra $199 when paired with a $250/year Westpac Altitude Black World Mastercard.
Points are earned through Westpac’s Altitude Rewards program and are converted to Velocity at a 2:1 rate – giving you those 2.5 Velocity points per $1 spent on overseas purchases from five Altitude Rewards points, for example – while the Mastercard pulls in the equivalent of 0.625 Velocity points per $1 spent.
Using the AMEX card to make government payments, such as to the ATO or at Australia Post, provides 0.5 Velocity points per $1 spent. ATO payments using the Mastercard don’t attract points, although new customers can earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity points by playing their cards right.
You’ll start with 40,000 bonus Velocity points (80,000 Altitude points) when applying by October 23 2018 and spending $3,000 on eligible purchases using the Mastercard within 90 days of approval, and a separate 20,000 bonus Velocity points (40,000 Altitude points) when spending $3,000 on eligible purchases using the new AMEX card within the same 90-day window.
3. American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take home an easy 1.5 Velocity points per $1 spent on most purchases with the American Express Velocity Platinum Card, with no points capping or tiering to get in your way, and a sign-up offer of 50,000 bonus Velocity points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
When using your card to book Virgin Australia flights directly with the airline, you’ll earn a higher 2.5 Velocity points per $1 spent – on top of the points earned by taking the flight – while on government payments, you’ll get 0.5 Velocity points per $1 spent. There’s also a free return Virgin Australia flight included every year to help offset the $375 annual fee.
You can add up to four supplementary cardholders onto the account at no extra charge to collect points from your entire family’s spend, and if you charge $50,000 or more to your card account each year (including from supplementary cards), the primary cardholder gets a bonus 100 Velocity status credits too.
4. American Express Explorer credit card
Another piece of plastic offering the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per $1 spent is the American Express Explorer credit card, where points are earned in the Membership Rewards Gateway program (two Gateway points per $1 spent) and converted to Velocity at a 4:3 rate.
While government transactions provide just 0.375 Velocity points per $1 spent, you’re in a good position to take advantage of the occasional ‘15% bonus’ promotion on transfers to Velocity to maximise your points, which could boost your everyday earn rate to 1.725 Velocity points per $1 spent.
There’s also a sign-up offer of 50,000 Gateway points (37,500 Velocity points, or 43,125 Velocity points if converting during a 15% bonus) when you spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months. A $395 annual fee applies but is offset by a yearly $400 Travel Credit (travel voucher).
5. Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Visa
While many other American Express cards offer one Velocity point per $1 spent on everyday purchases, the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Visa gives you the same, but with the wider acceptance of Visa, allowing you to earn those points in more places.
That applies on spends of up to $8,000 per month, after which you can continue earning 0.5 Velocity points per $1 spent, except on government payments which don’t provide points at any time, against an annual fee of $289: which buys you a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher every year and two Virgin Australia lounge passes, among other perks.
You can also grab up to 80,000 bonus Velocity points when you apply by September 2 2018 and spend $3,000 on purchases in each of the first five months – giving you 16,000 bonus Velocity points each month, totalling 80,000 Velocity points after month five.
Highly commended: ANZ Rewards Black Visa
Also offering up to one Velocity point per $1 spent is the ANZ Rewards Black Visa, giving you that high earn rate on spends up to and including $5,000 per monthly statement period, reverting to 0.5 Velocity points per $1 spent thereafter, via the ANZ Rewards program.
After your first eligible purchase in the first three months, you’ll nab 75,000 bonus ANZ reward points – equal to 37,500 Velocity points when converted at a 2:1 rate – along with $100 back on your statement which effectively reduces the card's $375 annual fee to $275 in the first year.
As with the AMEX Explorer card, if you were to hold out until the next Velocity bonus offer comes into play, often providing 15% on transfers from ANZ, but sometimes 30% or even 50%, depending on the promotion, your points balance could be boosted significantly.