American Express changes Qantas, Virgin Australia credit card rates

By David Flynn, April 8 2013
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

American Express is changing the number of frequent flyer points which cardholders can earn on its premium Amex Qantas and Virgin Australia cards.

Under new rules which come into effect from July 22 the Qantas American Express Premium Card, and Virgin Australia-linked Velocity Gold and Platinum Cards, will no longer earn a flat rate of frequent flyer points per dollar spent.

Amex’s current rate is pegged at 1.5 points per dollar on the Qantas Premium and Velocity Platinum cards, and 1.25 points per dollar on the Velocity Gold card.

The new earning table for these cards boosts the number of points you can pick up when booking flights and using other selected services – such as supermarket shopping with your Qantas card, and dining out at restaurants on your Velocity card.

Amex is changing the number of points you can earn on your Platinum plastic
Amex is changing the number of points you can earn on your Platinum plastic

However, most other card purchases will now attract only 1 point per dollar, while a large numbers of bills such as utilities, telecommunications, insurance and government bodies (including the Australian Taxation Office) have been downgraded to a meagre 0.5 points per dollar, or one-third of today’s rate.

The basic American Express Qantas Discover Card and Velocity Escape Cards are not affected by the change, and retain their current earns of 2 frequent flyer points per dollar on airline spends and 1 point per dollar on all other card purchases.

Here’s how the new earn rates play out from July 22.

Qantas American Express Premium Card

2 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Major supermarket and petrol stations in Australia
- Selected Qantas products and services in Australia

1 point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- All other providers, excluding those below
- Insurances offered by American Express

0.5 point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Utilities which are gas, water and electricity providers
- Insurance offered by companies other than American Express
- Telecommunication providers including goods and services purchased from phone, mobile and internet service providers
- Government bodies including the Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, federal/state and local government bodies

American Express Velocity Platinum Card

3 Velocity Points per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Virgin Australia
- Tens of thousands of restaurants in Australia

2 Points per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Airlines, accommodation, major cruise and tour operators paid directly or through travel agencies
- Spend in foreign currency when overseas and online

1 Point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- All other providers, excluding those below
- Insurances offered by American Express

0.5 Point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Utilities which are gas, water and electricity providers
- Insurance offered by companies other than American Express
- Telecommunication providers including goods and services purchased from phone, mobile and internet service providers
- Government bodies including the Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, federal/state and local government bodies

American Express Velocity Gold Card

2 Velocity Points per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- Virgin Australia
- Major supermarket and petrol stations in Australia

1 Point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at
- All other providers, excluding those below 
- Insurances offered by American Express

0.5 Point per dollar spent on eligible Card purchases at- Utilities which are gas, water and electricity providers
- Insurance offered by companies other than American Express
- Telecommunication providers including goods and services purchased from phone, mobile and internet service providers
- Government bodies including the Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, federal/state and local government bodies

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Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Platinum

18 Jan 2011

Total posts 84

The American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card, is also changing, along the same lines as the Virgin Platinum (3 points per $ for Qantas flights, then 2, 1, and 0.5 tiers below this).

The Amex Centurion charge card (and I assume the other charge cards?) changed to a tiered 2, 1 and 0.5 points/$ system last year... :(

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 4

Do you mind me asking where you've found out about the chnages to the Qantas Ultimate Card.

Qantas - Platinum

18 Jan 2011

Total posts 84

I recieved a letter (by post) from AMEX today.

It states that the changes are effective as of 22nd July 2013.

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 4

Great, thank you. I live overseas, so it takes longer for snail mail to make it to me.


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