The five best credit cards for earning Virgin Australia frequent flyer points

By Chris Chamberlin, March 18 2016

When used responsibly, credit cards are a great tool for notching up frequent flyer points on money you'd be spending anyway. Here are five credit cards to skyrocket your Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points balance.

1. NAB Velocity Rewards Premium

With an affordable annual fee of just $150, NAB’s Platinum-grade Velocity Rewards Premium American Express card is great for everyday transactions, serving up 1.5 Velocity points per dollar wherever AMEX is accepted on spends of up to $20,000 each month.

That's paired with a Visa to use everywhere else included with the same annual fee, netting 0.5 Velocity points per dollar with spends on this card also counting towards the monthly $20,000 threshold.

While certainly less impressive than the AMEX, the duo is boosted with a generous 60,000-point bonus deal: just apply by April 30 2016 and spend at least $1,500 on either card within 90 days of opening the account.

2. Diners Club + World MasterCard

Next in line is the Diners Club + World MasterCard combo which balances more frequent flyer points earned per dollar spent against generally lower Diners Club acceptance outside of the big chains and brands, and too comes with a 'backup' card when the primary card isn't welcome.

You'll pay a $389 annual fee which covers the lot, after which you can earn three Diners Club Rewards points per dollar spent on the Diners card (= 2 Velocity points) and 1.25 Diners Club Rewards points per dollar via the MasterCard (equal to 0.83 Velocity points).

There's no limit to the number of points you can earn via either card, and although Diners Club also offers a standalone Diners card (sans the companion MasterCard), adding the MasterCard to your account oddly gives you more points when you pay with Diners Club.

3. American Express Business Accelerator card

Consultants, business owners and sole traders, meet the American Express Business Accelerator card – churning our 2 Membership Rewards Ascent points per dollar spent – equal to 2 Velocity points – with an annual fee of just $160.

Following AMEX's usual conventions, transactions made with most insurance providers, utilities and government bodies accrue a lower 0.5 MR points per dollar spent, and after earning 100,000 MR points in a year, your 'everyday' earning rate lowers to a still-reasonable $1=1 MR point.

As hinted by the name, you'll need an ABN to apply for this card but with a minimum income requirement of only $24,000/year, you don't need to be running a multi-national to slip this one into your pocket.

4. ANZ Rewards Black

Don't like annual fees but still want a truckload of points? Take a look at ANZ Rewards Black, pairing an American Express and a Visa on the one account but with no annual fee in the first year (usually $375) and a bonus 75,000 ANZ Rewards points for new customers.

When converted on a 2:1 basis to Velocity, that's an easy 37,500 Velocity points up for grabs for cardholders who spend at least $2,500 on everyday purchases in the first three months. On top, you'll also earn the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per dollar spent on the AMEX with no capping or tiering.

Through recent changes to ANZ's credit card line-up, whipping out the Visa now also nets 0.625 Velocity points per dollar (1.25 ANZ Rewards points), also with no cap.

5. Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Visa

There's one rather important caveat to the great earning rates of the cards above, and that's the acceptance of premium cards like American Express and Diners Club, which many larger businesses welcome but some smaller outlets may not.

How you'll fare depends on your spending habits, but if you're frequently reaching for another card type, consider something like the Velocity High Flyer Visa Signature from Virgin Money: yours for $144 in the first year and $289 thereafter.

From April 1 2016, cardholders can earn 1 Velocity point per dollar on spends of up to $10,000 per month, after which they'll get 0.5 Velocity points until their next statement cycle begins.

What's more, from the same date you can earn 3 Velocity points per dollar when booking Virgin Australia flights (currently 1.25 Velocity points per $1 on all spend), with 20,000 bonus Velocity points up for grabs after spending $10,000 within three months of card approval.

Also read: Virgin Australia tweaks Velocity Frequent Flyer points scheme

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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!

Demonoid

Demonoid

29 Apr 2014

Total posts 22

Should the Citibank Prestige Visa not be on this list as well? I had this card up unitl last year and it effectively earned 1.33 Velocity Points per dollar spend domestically (as far as I know the best earn rate of any Visa/mastercard) and 3.33 overseas. Steep $700 fee to overcome but could be worth it for the one year for the one off bonus points. I was also able to get my annual fee halved every year by threatening to quit. Not sure if new Citibank points earn rate has affected the Citi Prestige...if not, 1.33 points/$1 is nothing to sneeze at.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

Hi Demonoid, that's a great question – you may not be aware of changes that Citibank has made to its credit cards which for the most part took effect from today.

See: Citibank cuts credit card frequent flyer points

(Citibank used to be in the top 5, but due to those changes it no longer makes the cut.)

For Citi Prestige users, the changes are to the conversion rate from Citi points to Velocity points (now 2:1 rather than the previous 1.5:1), which takes the 'effective' earning rate to just 1 Velocity point per dollar spent in Australia (being 2 Citibank points), and 2.5 Velocity points per dollar spent overseas (being 5 Citibank points).

It's still a great earning rate on foreign spend and a respectable earning rate in Australia, but with a $700 annual fee we don't feel it's as competitive as the cards included above on a fees vs points basis. :)

trundle1

trundle1

22 Apr 2012

Total posts 5

Hi - thanks for the article. I too am curious about Citi (though the cheaper signature Visa). My take on it is that even post the recent changes, it still has an effective earn rate of 0.75 SQ/VA points per $1. For a visa earn rate with multiple airline partners it still seems the best option. Unless I'm missing something? Happy to switch if so! 

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

You're correct in that the Citi Signature card earns the equivalent of 0.75 Velocity Points or SQ miles per dollar up to $20,000 per statement period (domestic spend) and with no cap on foreign spend.

Another to look at is the St. George Amplify Signature Visa which earns 0.825 FF points in AU and 1.65 FF points overseas including the card's 10% birthday bonus, with no points capping.

Your airline choices are Qantas (via direct opt-in), or manual transfers to Velocity, SQ and MH.

traveller1

traveller1

18 Mar 2016

Total posts 10

I think the Amex Velocity Platinum is worthy of a mention

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

It's a great card, but which only earns 0.5-1 Velocity point per dollar spent on everyday purchases (our comparison here), whereas every other non-Visa/MasterCard product included above earns 1.5/$1 or more on practically everything. If you spend heavily on flights or on the card's other bonus categories, it could be a great fit, but as an all-rounder, not so much.

Truie

Truie

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 44

Does anyone still accept Diners Club any more? Haven't seen a sign for it for ages.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

It's accepted by most airlines, hotels and car hire companies, many restaurants, many major chains (Woolies, Coles, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, BP, Big W, Target, Kmart, BWS etc etc) and many car parks (particularly Secure Parking). It's less-accepted in smaller 'mum and pop' stores, of course, and despite the name not all restaurants accept Diners either - really depends on where you spend. :)

andyrgalvin

andyrgalvin

23 Mar 2016

Total posts 1

Hi, What about the Westpac Altitude black Cards, I thought that they would have made the list.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2951

The short answer: higher fees to earn the same number of points as those cards above. It could have well made fifth place, but realistically American Express isn't accepted 100% of the time and many readers will be looking for a Visa/MasterCard that also delivers a solid number of points, thus Virgin Money was included in spot #5.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on The five best credit cards for earning Virgin Australia frequent flyer points