Reviews

Review: American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, June 13 2017
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Notes
The Good
  • Access to Virgin Australia and AMEX airport lounges
  • Earn up to 2.5 Velocity points per dollar spent
  • Ability to earn 100 bonus Velocity status credits each year
The Bad
  • Reduced points earn on government charges
Added Value
  • Take a free domestic return flight every year

Introduction

The American Express Velocity Platinum credit card pairs points with privileges by offering a complimentary return domestic flight each year, access to Virgin Australia and AMEX airport lounges and up to 50,000 bonus Virgin Australia Velocity points for new AMEX credit card customers.

Suited to frequent jetsetters, cardholders can earn up to 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent with no points capping, while also receiving domestic and international travel insurance and more.

American Express Velocity Platinum card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: American Express
  • Loyalty program: Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
  • Points capping: Uncapped

Total Velocity Points earned per A$1 spent with...

  • Virgin Australia, such as when booking flights: 2.5
  • Governments, such as with Australia Post and the ATO: 0.5
  • Everywhere else, including spend with utilities and insurers: 1.5

Fees, charges and interest:

  • Annual fee: $375
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: N/A
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum household income requirement: $65,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $3,000

Earning points for free flights:

Apply, be approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months for a great welcome boost of 50,000 Virgin Australia Velocity points: enough for a one-way business class flight to Los Angeles with Virgin Australia, plus taxes and fees.

Thereafter, you'd earn enough Velocity Points for an almost-free Sydney-Melbourne flight after spending $3,120 with Virgin Australia; $5,200 almost everywhere else; or $15,600 with government bodies.

Further, American Express also throws in a free return domestic flight each year with Virgin Australia on selected routes, which may help justify the annual fee.

In addition to points, cardholders can also earn 100 bonus Velocity status credits each year when at least $50,000 is spent on the card annually.

Airport lounge access:

The AMEX Velocity Platinum Card covers you for both domestic and international travel with two complimentary visits to Virgin Australia's domestic lounges when flying with Virgin Australia...

Your credit card opens the doors to Virgin Australia's Brisbane Airport lounge...
Your credit card opens the doors to Virgin Australia's Brisbane Airport lounge...

... and two yearly visits to American Express airport lounges in Australia, available in Sydney and Melbourne.

Insurance and travel perks:

You're covered by domestic and international travel insurance whenever using either your American Express Velocity Platinum Card or your Velocity Points to book a return trip lasting 62 days or less, up to a maximum of 120 total travel days per year.

That's impressive on two fronts in that many credit cards only cover you when jetting abroad – not on home soil – and often provide no coverage when booking travel using your frequent flyer points rather than actual money.

Joining that is both purchase and refund protection for 90 days from the date of purchase and travel inconvenience insurance.

American Express Velocity Platinum Card: verdict

On value, the AMEX Velocity Platinum Card stacks up quite nicely, with the yearly return domestic flight mostly offsetting the annual fee.

For example, apply that to a Sydney-Melbourne-Sydney journey – a route where fares can often be found for ~$125 in each direction – and you've already saved $250 on a trip you'd probably have taken anyway.

That leaves you paying just $125 more for the promise of 50,000 Velocity points at the start and uncapped frequent flyer points thereafter, plus travel insurance, lounge access and more: not a bad deal in any respect.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Rigs

Rigs

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2015

Total posts 30

This is the card I use. I can't justify the 1200 bucks for the Platinum card.

MattJelonek

MattJelonek

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 222

The Amex to have in your wallet or ApplePay! Couldn't recommend it any more regarding points earn and value plus customer service and reward flights too.

johnaboxall

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 735

Good review. This is our #1 card. We put everything possible through it for personal and ditto the business version. 

Mavers

Mavers

13 May 2016

Total posts 32

I have this card, I couldn't recommend it enough! It's definitely the most value packed card I've used over the years. 

gwilli1

gwilli1

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 26

Extracted some great value out of this card in the last 18 months , including redeeming a PER-BME-PER free flight, which would normally be around $500....i'm already well ahead on the annual fee.   

desafinado74

desafinado74

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 23

I got this card when AMEX was offering 100k of Velocity points last year, and i found it great, since i dine out a lot, and do a lot of online shopping from overseas.

shane.tomlinson

shane.tomlinson

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2016

Total posts 9

This is the card I use. Unfortunately I missed out on the 100,000 poibnts bonus, but still got myself 50,000. Highly recommend this card.

nix584

nix584

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 250

I also have this card (first CC in about 12 years). I missed out on the 100k but got 80k, plus I signed up before the devaluation, so I still get 3 points/$ on VA and restaurants and 2pp/$ everywhere else (other than Govt payments). I used it in Singapore recently, where they welcome Amex almost everywhere, and was very happy to get 2 points/$ on my purchases!

Pointsman

Pointsman

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 10

Hi Chris, you say that the 100,000 point's is enough to fly business one way to LA!  I have been looking at some business class travel with Virgin to attempt to get platinum under the new rules.  However, 100,000 point's won't get me very far at all!  The reward seat on Business saver shows 111,200 to LA from Mlb, is that what you refer to, or, am I missing something?

Cheers

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2949

In the small print on the same screen it will also say 95,500 points + $xxx (an amount in money) - you just pay points plus the standard co-pay when given the option.

dkjnye99

dkjnye99

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 2

Hi Chris - isn't it bizarre that the least effective way to earn points these days is to fly.....VA Gold member gets just 1300 between BNE and Mackay - a couple of shops at Coles or a few online surveys gets you just as many points!!

DGB

DGB

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 5

Hi Chris, Got this card a few years ago with the 100k points and while it is a good points earner I am finding it harder to use the card. Many outlets now are asking for "additional surcharge" or not wanting to take the card (AMEX) at all. 

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2949

As always, it depends where you shop - personally speaking, I rarely encounter AMEX-specific surcharges (and avoid businesses like JB Hi-Fi which charge more for AMEX in favour of their competitors which don't) - so if a business isn't keen on accepting your payment, consider taking your business elsewhere where your card is more welcome.

jferris01

jferris01

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Jun 2017

Total posts 1

Hi Chris, any ideas on whether Corporate card holders are eligible for the promotion? The fine print seems to suggest not? 

"Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited, in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for the Bonus Velocity Points offer"

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2949

Hi jferris, generally if you're a primary cardholder you wouldn't be eligible, but if you're merely an AMEX additional/supplementary cardholder you should be eligible - but best to run your specific circumstances by AMEX who can give you a more definitive answer.

Valerio

Valerio

Velocity

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 12

Question - does the 100,000 points bonus 'for new Amex customers' mean existing non-Virgin AMEX options are not eligible? Just got the AMEX Global Traveller card with 100,000 ascent points, may have gotten the wrong one!

 

lw1962

lw1962

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Apr 2016

Total posts 24

Hi Chris, I refer to the complimentary domestic flight with this card. Do you know if it's possible to upgrade your seat to business with VFF points once you've made the flight booking?

I've heard conflicting stories and the most recent one infers it may have been allowed previously, but that the "loophole" has now been closed by Amex.

Thanks.


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