Virgin Money's Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card comes packed with perks beyond points, including a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher every year to spend on flights – negating the ongoing $129 annual card fee, which is also reduced to just $64 in the first year – joined by up to 60,000 bonus Velocity points for eligible new customers.
Of course, Velocity points can also be earned on everyday purchases, and at uncapped rates, although not at the same rates as higher-level (and higher-priced) Black credit cards.
While there's no travel insurance, as some might expect of a Platinum-grade card, for $64 in the first year and $129 thereafter, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card still has a lot to offer.
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
Using your card to unlock free flights: 4/5
Here's where this card is a little different to most – every year, cardholders are treated to a yearly $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher to spend on flights, which more than outweighs the miniscule $64 annual fee in the first year, and offsets the $129 annual card fee every year thereafter.
The voucher has to be requested from Virgin Money, but is available once your account has been active for at least 30 days, and when the card has been used to make a purchase (from any business) in the two months prior to making the request.
In the first year, there's also a range of sign-up deals to choose from, with the most attractive for points aficionados being 60,000 bonus Velocity points, provided as 20,000 bonus points per month in each of the first three months when at least $1,500 is spent in that month, when you apply by January 31 2019.
That's enough points for a one-way Virgin Australia business class flight from Sydney or Melbourne to Hong Kong, or a round-trip journey in economy on the same routes with 4,400 Velocity points to spare – and assuming you've simply used the card to pay for purchases you were going to make anyway, all that comes in return for the $64 annual fee in the first year.
But beyond sign-up bonuses and the yearly flight voucher, you can also earn 0.66 Velocity points per $1 spent up to $1,500 per month, reverting to 0.5 Velocity points per $1 spent thereafter (you need 7,800 Velocity points for a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy, for example).
That's certainly not as high as Black-level cards like Virgin Money's higher-tier Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card, but given this card already pays for itself every year through the recurring flight benefit, any points you do earn on everyday spend are essentially a bonus.
Airport lounge access: 0/5
Airport lounge access is not offered by this card, but if that's what you're seeking, the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card provides two complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes every year, albeit with a higher annual fee and minimum income requirement.
Inclusive insurance coverage: 1/5
While this is a Platinum card by design, most insurance coverage you'd typically expect of Platinum plastic is absent: but that's fair, considering this card's annual fee is more aligned to an entry-level credit card than something more premium.
You do still have access to 'transit accident insurance', and 'guaranteed pricing' – where if you buy an eligible item and it's later advertised at a lower price, you may be eligible for a refund of the difference, less an excess – but refer to the PDS for more information, to confirm whether you qualify, and to decide whether the cover available adequately meets your needs.
For the avoidance of doubt, 'transit accident insurance' is not a replacement for 'travel insurance', and affords no protection for flight delays, lost luggage and so on.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card: the verdict
With a low annual fee that's always offset (if not exceeded) by the benefits included with this card, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card certainly pays for itself every year, while also serving up uncapped frequent flyer points, even though the earning rate is mid-range compared to other, higher-earning cards.
That said, a minimum income requirement of just $35,000 per year to apply makes this card accessible to most full-time workers, and many part-time and casual employees, too, whereas the Black-level Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card requires an annual income of $75,000, which won't be in everybody's reach.
In any case, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card could also serve as a good 'backup' card for points-savvy spenders already using a higher-earning American Express or Diners Club card for the bulk of their spends, and who just need a card to keep in reserve for where AMEX or Diners isn't accepted, without forking out for another annual fee without getting anything in return.