American Express offers instant Velocity Gold, Platinum status

By Chris Chamberlin, November 3 2017
American Express offers instant Velocity Gold, Platinum status

American Express Platinum charge card, Business Platinum Card and Centurion Card holders can now enjoy 12 months of complimentary Virgin Australia Velocity Gold or even top-tier Velocity Platinum frequent flyer status, simply by converting credit card points into Velocity points this month.

Between October 30 and November 30 2017, shipping across at least 250,000 Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points to Velocity lands one year of Velocity Gold status, while a transfer of 500,000 or more Ascent Premium points provides a year at the top rank of Velocity Platinum.

That’s all that needs to be done – you don’t need to take a Virgin Australia flight, or earn any status credits in the Velocity program: merely transferring a chunk of points from AMEX can literally take you from Red to Platinum (or Gold).

Virgin Australia is also throwing in a 20% bonus on those points transfers during the same period: making 250,000 Ascent Premium points equal to 300,000 Velocity points, and 500,000 Ascent Premium points on-par with a whopping 600,000 Velocity points, as opposed to the usual 1:1 conversion.

The added perks of Velocity Gold, Platinum

Of course, the three American Express cards eligible for this offer already provide unlimited Virgin Australia domestic lounge access – one of the key perks of Velocity Gold and Platinum membership – but these tiers do come with other privileges which may be more beneficial.

In addition to lounge access, Velocity Gold members also get access to Virgin Australia priority check-in and boarding lanes, and can use Virgin Australia Premium Entry in Sydney and Brisbane for fast-tracked entry into the lounge from outside the terminal via a private security screening point.

Velocity Gold also provides access to airline lounges when travelling overseas with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines – such as to Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways lounges – and Velocity Gold members can use Velocity points for upgrades on the airline’s Hong Kong and Los Angeles flights, among other benefits like Fly Ahead.

Qualify for Velocity Platinum instead and you’ll get all those benefits with the addition of four complimentary upgrades to Virgin Australia business class on domestic or short-haul international flights, and free extra-legroom Economy X seating when flying economy on those same routes.

AusBT review: Virgin Australia Economy X

Velocity Platinum members can also bring three guests into Virgin Australia domestic lounges – as opposed to one guest for Velocity Gold and AMEX Platinum/Centurion visitors – and have some improved airport lounge access options, including to the Etihad Airways first class lounge in Abu Dhabi.

Velocity Gold, Platinum fast-track: the fine print

One great aspect of this promotion is that the required number of points for your desired status can be transferred across multiple transactions, so you don’t have to transfer all those points in the one hit.

That means if you’ve already transferred some Ascent Premium points across to Velocity since October 30 2017, you can simply transfer the difference between your original transfer and the number of points needed by November 30 2017.

For example, if you converted 50,000 Ascent Premium points to Velocity on November 2, you’d only need to transfer a further 200,000 Ascent Premium points for Velocity Gold or 450,000 Ascent Premium points for Velocity Platinum: not the full slog.

Whichever status you qualify for, the 12-month period in which you can enjoy its benefits will commence “from the end of the promotion period”, says AMEX – so as this promotion ends on November 30, expect your status to be upgraded around December 1 2017, and to be valid until the same time in 2018.

Sneakily, existing Velocity Gold and Platinum members can also use this promotion to extend their reign at the top by transferring the appropriate number of points, but rather than a 12-month boost on top of their current membership year, their status will simply be valid for 12 months from the end of the promotion period.

Say your current Velocity Gold card expires on April 31 2018. Transfer 250,000 Ascent Premium points to Velocity this month, and rather than losing Gold at the end of April next year, your Gold status would instead be valid until early December 2018 instead.

After the 12-month grace period is up, members will need to have earned the applicable number of status credits and ‘eligible sectors’ to retain their status for a further year during that 12-month period (in line with all other Velocity members), otherwise they’ll drop from Platinum to Gold, or from Gold to Silver.

Retaining Velocity Platinum requires earning 800 status credits and eight eligible sectors, while Velocity Gold commands 400 status credits and four eligible sectors to retain – being fewer status credits than are normally needed to earn those same tiers for the first time.

Finally, this offer is not available to any other American Express cardholders: you’ll only qualify by holding the American Express Platinum charge card, the American Express Business Card or the invitation-only Centurion Card, so cards like AMEX Explorer and AMEX Platinum Edge don’t qualify.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

06 Jul 2017

Total posts 22

Others may disagree, but to me, Ascent points are way too precious to transfer a heap of them to Velcocity, particularly if you don't have any travel plans, and particularly its so easy to rack-up Velocity points from other sources.

IMO, the AmeEx Ascent points are best utilised flying premium cabins in SQ, EY. EK or CX.

Don't forget that you can convert Velocity points into SQ KrisFlyer miles, so rather than converting from AMEX straight to SQ at a 1:1 rate (1 AP point = 1 KrisFlyer mile), you could transfer to Velocity with the current 20% bonus and then convert onward to KrisFlyer at the usual 1.35:1 rate, which gives you 0.888 KrisFlyer miles per 1 Ascent Premium point taken from your account at the end of the day.

Certainly not as favourable as a direct transfer if KrisFlyer miles are your goal (1=1 beats 1=0.888, naturally), but if you're sitting on heaps of points, an 11.2% 'loss' could well be worth it for free Velocity Gold or Platinum, depending on your circumstances.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 55

if the primary goal is to transfer points for premium long haul tickets from varies airlines, than I don't see the point of getting gold on virgin since you are likely to redeem business class tickets anyway.

I do agree if one does a lot of economy travel within the country on virgin, the status could be useful.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 190

if you already fly on business or first class ticket this virgin gold card means nothing-good for pax who fly on economy and can take all their friends to the lounge so can get really crowded!

anyway I got gold and took up the option for a hertz gold membership through virgin site as they offered it and still no news about it after 2 weeks hello anybody at virgin cares about this?


03 May 2012

Total posts 114

I am not going to do this, but remember, if you are Red or Silver, and want to redeem business class flights, picking up Platinum status will vastly improve your chances of getting seats when you want.

That's true with Qantas, but not with Velocity: Platinum members have exactly the same access to business class frequent flyer reward flights as Red members, except in the case of long-haul flight upgrades which are only offered to Gold and Platinum members.

For economy reward flights, VA Platinum members do have the benefit of the yearly 'economy reward seat guarantee' though when planning a family holiday at least six months in advance (where you can book economy rewards on flights which show no reward availability), but this isn't available for business class, has to be booked over the phone and can only be done once per year.


03 May 2012

Total posts 114

Good to know Chris. Thank you for taking the time to correct my misleading post. Appreciate it.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 7

Sorry for my lack of knowledge in these areas - i am a little confused and new to these points systems so i am just learning how to make it worth my while.

I am currently amex platinum - with it earning velocity points already - does this automatically give me the status credits option? Or do i need to contact Virgin or Amex for this?

Hi Bee, which card do you have? You need the $1,200/year AMEX Platinum Charge Card to take advantage of this. As you've said you're already earning Velocity points (as opposed to Membership Rewards points as you'd earn via the Charge), it sounds like you might have the $375/year AMEX Velocity Platinum credit card instead? If so, that card isn't covered by this offer: only the charge cards named in the article.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 7

Thanks Chris. Appreciate the info.

Yes that is correct. I have the $375/yr platinum.

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