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The last few weeks have been insane with media coverage, Sunrise, News.com.au, Pedestrian, Ladbible, The Independent and about 20 other outlets. As a result of all of these publications, my email inbox has been absolutely flooded with questions, and support – Thankyou! and my apologies If I haven’t gotten back to you yet.
The majority of questions I’ve been getting are on the subject of credit cards, as they’re the main way to earn points. The card that has been mentioned the most is the Amercian Express Velocity Platinum Card which is one of my favourites. In this post, I’ll explain why it’s a brilliant card and explain the value of it.
If you travel with Virgin Australia often or plan to in the future, this is a card you must have. First of all, let’s quickly touch on the benefits and Important information:
- The annual fee for the card is $375 p.a
- The card has 55 days interest-free, and an interest rate of 20.74% on purchases p.a
- The card currently has a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Velocity points (which you’ll receive after spending $1500 in the first 3 months, this is available until the 31st of July) (If you’ve signed up for another American Express card in the last 18 months, you’ll be unable to get the bonus. Bank issued Amex cards can however get the signup bonus)
- You’ll receive a complimentary domestic return trip with Virgin Australia for every year you have the card
- You’ll earn 1.5 points per every $1 spent, except for government bodies which earn 0.5 points.
- You’ll earn 2.5 Velocity points when you spend on Virgin Australia
- You’ll receive 2 entry passes into the Amercian Express lounge in Sydney and 2 passes to use at selected Virgin Australia lounges in Australia
- The card also provides International and domestic travel insurance.
Virgin Australia has quite a large domestic network but a limited International network. The carrier flies from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles and soon Melbourne – Hong Kong. Availability for the U.S services are often difficult to find in advance, but at least 5 days out from departure, you’re almost guaranteed to get a Business or Premium award. As an example of how you could use your points, a one-way flight on the 777 to the United States is 44,8o0 points in Economy, 71,700 in Premium and 95,500 in Business. To learn how to use your points on the United States flights, click here. For the Hong Kong flights, click here.
Velocity also has some pretty fantastic partners, and my favourite is Etihad. Using Virgin points for Etihad Economy and Business is easy to book online but if you want First, you’ll have to ring the call centre. Also note that Virgin increased the fees for Etihad flights last year so the redemptions aren’t as valuable as they used to be sadly.
I’ve previously talked about the ability to transfer velocity points to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and how the options for travel really open up. Transferring your points gives you the ability to redeem for Singapore Airlines (Including suites), Lufthansa, ANA, Swiss and 24 other carriers in Star Alliance.
If you’re someone who flies Virgin Australia often or has a specific redemption in mind and needs a card with good earning rates and a big signup bonus, this card is a brilliant fit. If you’d like to find out more about the card or apply for it.