Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members can now earn 100 bonus status credits each year through the American Express Velocity Platinum credit card.
Unlike frequent flyer points, status credits can’t be spent on reward flights or upgrades to business class: instead, they’re used to determine your frequent flyer rank, whether that’s the entry-level of Red, the next step up at Silver, or the lofty Gold and Platinum tiers.
These bonus status credits are yours after spending at least $50,000 on the Velocity Platinum AMEX in what American Express calls your ‘membership year’, being the 365-day period in between annual fees for existing cardholders or the first 365 days for new applicants.
That money can be spent on anything throughout the year – it doesn’t have to be Virgin Australia flights – although amounts paid to AMEX in fees (such as the annual fee) aren’t counted, nor are interest charges or cash-like purchases such as buying traveller’s cheques or foreign currency.
In short, if a transaction earns Velocity points, it counts towards the $50,000/year tally, which you’d reach with a monthly spend of roughly $4,167.
That might be beyond the reach of some, but as AMEX allows you to add a supplementary cardholder (such as your partner or spouse) onto the account at no extra cost, using the Velocity Platinum AMEX to pay for all (or at least, most) of your combined spend could get you over the line.
Just note that these bonus status credits aren’t provided on a pro-rata basis, so you won’t earn 50 bonus status credits with an annual spend of $25,000, for example: only 100 bonus status credits if your yearly spend reaches or exceeds $50,000.
The AMEX Velocity Platinum Card does have a $375 annual fee, but it’s largely offset by the inclusion of a free economy Virgin Australia return domestic flight each year, two yearly Virgin Australia lounge visits and two further visits to the AMEX Sydney Airport Lounge every year also.
You can also earn 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on everyday purchases (including utility and insurance payments), 2.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on Virgin Australia flight bookings, and 0.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on government transactions (such as ATO payments), all uncapped.
Transactions made by supplementary cardholders also accrue points at the same rates, with all points automatically credited to the primary cardholder’s Velocity Frequent Flyer account every month.
To round out the deal, new customers direct to AMEX can also pocket 50,000 bonus Velocity points after spending $1,500 on the card in the first three months, over and above the amount paid for the annual fee.
Don’t forget, you can separately earn up to 120 bonus Velocity status credits each year by linking your Velocity and Flybuys accounts together and then scanning your Flybuys card at the register when shopping at Coles, First Choice Liquor and Liquorland (where AMEX is also accepted without a surcharge) to earn one bonus status credit per $100 spent, up to 10 status credits per month.
Looking for extra Qantas status credits instead? Apply for a new ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa by October 31 2017 and then book and take a return Qantas flight by February 28 2018 to earn 75 bonus status credits as a one-off boost.