Virgin Money's Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card allows you to earn frequent flyer points on your everyday Visa spends in exchange for an ongoing $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 60,000 bonus Velocity points for new cardholders, many travellers could 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 – all government spend: No points
- Points capping: Uncapped, but tiering applies as above
Fees, charges and interest: 3.5/5
- Annual fee: $129 (currently reduced to $64 in the first year)
- 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 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.
Finally, new cardholders can choose from a range of sign-up deals, with the most attractive for points hunters being 60,000 bonus Velocity points – delivered as 20,000 points per month in each of the first three months when at least $1,500 is spent in that month, when you apply by October 31 2018.
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, you could earn more points by pairing this card with a higher-earning AMEX to get 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 Platinum Card – earning 1.5 Velocity points per dollar on everyday spend and 2.5 Velocity points per dollar on Virgin Australia flight bookings, uncapped, against a $375 annual fee that includes a free return domestic flight and Virgin Australia lounge passes every year.
Or, look to the American Express Explorer Card which can also earn up to 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent via AMEX's Membership Rewards program (and other points like KrisFlyer miles and Etihad Guest miles), 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.