The top five Virgin Australia credit card deals this January

The top five Virgin Australia credit card deals this January

Stuck with an old credit card that's not earning you points like it used to?

Then take a look at these top Virgin Australia credit card offers from American Express Australia, Westpac and Virgin Money, with up to three Velocity points to be earned per dollar spent and up to 100,000 Velocity points up for grabs from a single card application.

What's more, American Express Australia has recently tweaked its sign-up rules, so if you already have a credit card direct from AMEX Australia, you can still earn bonus points on a new charge card – and vice versa for charge card customers who don't yet have an AMEX credit card.

Wherever you stand, take a look at this month's top five Virgin Australia Velocity credit card sign-up deals which place over 300,000 Velocity points on the table.

1. American Express Platinum Charge Card

Start the year fresh with a new American Express Platinum Charge Card and earn up to 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points, equal to an impressive 100,000 Velocity points when converted on a 1:1 basis.

Those points come in return for paying the card's $1,200 annual fee and charging a further $1,500 to the card within the first three months, wherever American Express is accepted.

On those purchases, cardholders will also pocket three points per dollar spent at most Australian restaurants; two points per dollar on most travel-related charges and on all overseas spend; 0.5 point per dollar with utilities, most insurers and on government transactions; and one point per dollar everywhere else.

2. American Express Explorer credit card

The American Express Explorer credit card also teased an offer of 100,000 bonus points (now 50,000 points), but in the different Membership Rewards Gateway scheme – equal to 75,000 Velocity points when converted on a 4:3 basis (now 37,500 Velocity points).

There's a $395 annual fee to pay, but which is offset by a $400 travel credit every year to spend on flights and hotels – and after spending $1,500 on the card within the first three months (excluding the annual fee and when redeeming the travel credit), you'll pocket the full bonus of 100,000 (now 50,000) Gateway points.

Spending on this card also attracts the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent (2 MR Gateway points) – including on utility charges and insurance expenditure for which many other AMEX cards offer fewer points – with government charges instead reeling in 0.375 Velocity points (0.5 MR Gateway points) per dollar spent.

3. American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Taking out the Gold, Silver and Bronze on this month credit card podium, AMEX's Velocity Platinum Card delivers a solid 50,000 Velocity points to eligible new credit card customers, along with a free Virgin Australia domestic return flight every year with a $349 annual fee.

Just spend $1,500 on purchases within the first three months to unlock that bonus, and in addition, you'll also earn three Velocity points per dollar spent at most Australian restaurants and on Virgin Australia flight bookings, uncapped.

Most other travel-related spend such as hotel stays, bookings with other airlines and all overseas charges nets two Velocity points per dollar, while government, insurance and utility payments earn 0.5 Velocity points per dollar and all remaining spend within Australia earning an easy one Velocity point per dollar.

4. Westpac Altitude Black American Express, MasterCard

New credit card customers of Westpac can also pull in in 50,000 Velocity points via the Altitude Black American Express + MasterCard credit card combo, given as 100,000 Altitude Rewards points which convert to Velocity on a 2:1 basis.

Prepare to pay an annual fee of $395 and to spend at least $5,000 on purchases with the first 90 days to activate that bonus. Also be sure to apply for the dedicated (and sometimes hidden) '100,000 Altitude points' deal rather than the lower '50,000 Altitude points' offer as often appears by default.

All purchases made in Australia and overseas using the AMEX earn the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per dollar (three Altitude points) – and the same can be said when using the companion MasterCard on abroad – with MasterCard spend in Australia instead accruing 0.625 Velocity points per dollar (1.25 Altitude points).

5. Virgin Money's Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card

Virgin Money makes this month's 'top five' with 40,000 Velocity points on the table alongside a new Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card: yours for $129 per year.

But be quick: applications must be lodged by January 16 2017 and must be for 'promotional offer 3': giving you 10,000 bonus Velocity points in each of the first four months when you spend at least $1,500 on the card in that particular month.

Everyday spend also attracts 0.66 Velocity points per dollar on the first $1,500 charged each month and 0.5 Velocity points per dollar thereafter. All spend direct with Virgin Australia, such as on flight bookings in Australian dollars, instead earns one Velocity point per dollar (uncapped), which doesn't contribute to the regular monthly spending tally.

Also read: Melbourne's SkyBus offers Virgin Australia frequent flyer points

Connect with other business travellers in our Virgin Australia discussion group

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Marcus


    13 Jan, 2017 04:36 pm

    A question for the AMEX Explorer card. I currently have the AMEX Velocity Platinum card. (Since mid August 2015) If i apply and get approved for the Explorer card, am i entitled for the bonus 100k points ? 
    No member give thanks

  • john hauser


    13 Jan, 2017 09:44 pm

    reading the T&C's on the Amex site for the Explorer card, it says "Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Credit Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. " if your Velocity Plstinum is a credit card then you wont earn points. You will only earn points if you are a current charge card customer with no credit card

    No member give thanks

  • callan17


    17 Jan, 2017 11:19 am

    Doesn't the Amex Explorer convert to velocity/krisflyer on a 1:1 basis? it appears only emirates converts on the 4:3 basis, or am i misreading the information?

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin


    17 Jan, 2017 11:32 am

    The rates shown on the link you posted are for 'Membership Rewards Ascent', which is the loyalty program attached to cards like the Platinum Edge, not Explorer.

    AMEX runs four tiers of personal Membership Rewards, as follows

    • Ascent Premium (Platinum Charge, Centurion Card): 1:1 conversion to all airlines including Emirates, plus manual 1:1 conversions to Qantas too.
    • Ascent (Platinum Edge, Business Accelerator etc.): 1:1 conversion to most programs except Emirates which is 4:3, and no transfers to Qantas.
    • Gateway (Explorer, Essential, etc.): 4:3 conversion to all airline partners, no transfers to Qantas or Virgin Atlantic.
    • David Jones Membership Rewards (DJs cards): 2:1 conversion to all airline partners, no transfers to Qantas unless you opt-in for auto conversion.
    (There are even more options on business/corporate cards such as Membership Rewards Spirit, but these are the main four and cover all personal cards.)

    Member who gave thanks



24 Jun, 2018 12:12 am

50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points
The American Express Explorer® Credit Card

Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card in the first 3 months from the Card approval date. 

Apply Now
  • Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members, as well as Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders
  • Start exploring with a $400 Travel Credit every year
  • Enjoy two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge, located at Sydney International Airport or Melbourne International Airport
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months — A one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1% applies
  • No cap on earn rate. You can earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent, no matter how much you spend each month
  • Transfer your points to a choice of 8 Airline Partner Programs including Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines
  • Spend more and earn more points by getting up to 4 Supplementary Cards for family members at no additional fee
  • Travel with peace of mind knowing that you'll also enjoy extensive protection for you and your partner and dependent children when you pay for travel on your American Express Explorer® Credit Card

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