Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card (Virgin Money, Visa Platinum)

Review: Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card (Virgin Money, Visa Platinum)

What's Hot

  • Up to 40,000 bonus Velocity points for new cardholders
  • No points capping (although tiering does apply)

What's Not

  • Relatively low frequent flyer earning rates
  • No comprehensive travel insurance

X-Factor

  • Cost of the annual fee is recouped with a Virgin Australia gift voucher given in the same amount

Introduction

Virgin Money's Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card allows you to earn frequent flyer points on your everyday Visa spends in exchange for a $129 annual fee, and thanks to a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher that you'll receive every year to spend on flights, this card becomes practically 'free'.

Added to that, there's no limit to the number of Velocity points you can earn, although the number of points pocketed per dollar spent isn't particularly high and does reduce as you spend more throughout the month.

Travel insurance that you'd expect to find of a Platinum-grade card is also absent, but with up to 40,000 bonus Velocity points for new cardholders and further bonus points when booking Virgin Australia flights, many travellers will still find value in this card.

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Velocity Frequent Flyer
  • Velocity Points earned per dollar – everyday spend: 0.66 up to $1,500 per statement period, 0.5 thereafter
  • Velocity Points earned per dollar with Virgin Australia: 1.0 on all charges
  • Points capping: Uncapped, but tiering applies as above

Fees, charges and interest: 3.5/5

  • Annual fee: $129
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $39/year
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 20.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.3%
  • Minimum income requirement: $35,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 3.5/5

Before frequent flyer points are even considered, cardholders can request a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year to spend on flights, provided their credit card account has been active for at least 30 days and they've used their card for a purchase (from any business) in the two months prior to making that request.

That voucher can then be used to purchase flights with Virgin Australia, and provided you'd have taken a trip each year, makes the card practically 'free' by offsetting the $129 annual fee.

Further, you can earn 0.66 Virgin Australia Velocity points per dollar on the first $1,500 of monthly charges and 0.5 Velocity points per dollar thereafter, with 7,800 Velocity points unlocking a one-way economy flight from Sydney to Melbourne, plus taxes and charges.

You'd earn those points by spending either $15,120 on the card within a single month or a lower $11,819 if spending less than $1,500 per month to continue earning points at the higher 0.66/$1 rate. Spending direct with Virgin Australia also earns one point per dollar, uncapped, giving you that near-free flight for every $7,800 you charge.

Finally, new cardholders can choose from a range of sign-up deals, with the most attractive for points hunters being 40,000 bonus Velocity points – delivered at 10,000 points per month in each of the first four months when at least $1,500 is spent in that month – and with the option of a 0% p.a. balance transfer for six months available too.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Access to airport lounges isn't a perk offered via this card.

If that's what you're seeking, look to the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card instead which includes two visits to Virgin Australia lounges each year at no extra charge.

Inclusive insurance coverage: 1/5

For a Platinum-grade card, most of the usual insurance covers you'd expect to find are absent, with only transit accident insurance thrown in plus access to a 'guaranteed pricing scheme' if a product you buy with the card is subsequently advertised at a cheaper price.

That still leaves you without cover for traditional issues such as flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage and legal liability abroad, for which you'd be wise to take out a separate policy.

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card: the verdict

If you don't spend much on your credit cards or you're just looking for an affordable back-up card to use where American Express (or Diners Club) isn't accepted, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card at least pays for itself, thanks to the Virgin Australia flight voucher you receive which is equal to the annual fee.

However, with an earn rate of just 0.5-0.66 Velocity points per dollar spent on everyday purchases, we'd suggest pairing this card with a higher-earning AMEX to make the best of both worlds: using the AMEX wherever it's accepted to earn the most points, and the Visa everywhere else to continue topping-up your Velocity balance.

Among your choices, the American Express Velocity Escape Card – earning one Velocity point per dollar on everyday spend and two Velocity points per dollar on Virgin Australia flight bookings, uncapped – which comes with no annual fee to pay.

Or, look to the American Express Explorer Card which can earn up to 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent via AMEX's Membership Rewards program, with a $395 annual fee that's again offset by a $400 travel credit, to spend on Virgin Australia or any other airline (or hotel) of your choosing.

Chris Chamberlin
Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin 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!
 

3 Comments

  • Jon W

    Jon W

    3 Mar, 2017 10:06 am

    This card used to be great when it was 1:1 and offered a 2-4-1 return flight promotion. It's now a hollow version of its former self. TBH the only reason I still have it is because every time I call to cancel it they waive the annual fee
    Member who gave thanks

    jmphoto

  • jmphoto

    jmphoto

    3 Mar, 2017 12:27 pm

    Exactly my thoughts on the card. It used to be a great card but I haven't paid for it in years.
    No member give thanks

  • Tyler

    Tyler

    3 Mar, 2017 11:54 pm

    An interesting aspect of this card with a recent enquiry is the 'Cash Limit' where Virgin offered an 8.9% loan of up to 36 months & sent the money as a cheque. Certainly beats a cash advance. 
    No member give thanks

  • Edwin Taylor

    Pointsman

    8 Mar, 2017 11:53 am

    I'm happy to have the Global Wallet pre-paid as a back up to the Amex along with the Coles fee free fly buy's card.  I went through all Virgin's cards, I really have trouble comprehending what use they are?
    No member give thanks

Guest

19 Dec, 2017 03:49 am

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