Virgin Australia Velocity credit cards compared

By David Flynn, November 30 2012

The Velocity Rewards credit card market is heating up, with the classic and recently re-branded Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card going head to head with the newly-launched American Express Velocity Escape card.

Both are being heavily promoted, but which of these two is the best choice for Virgin Australia’s frequent flyers? 

Peter Marshall from financial comparison website Mozo put together this analysis for Australian Business Traveller readers.

Velocity frequent flyer points earning

The points earned on your spend which is the ‘engine room’ of any rewards card, and here the American Express Velocity Escape card wins this hands down.

It has same one-point-per-dollar earn as most other rewards cards but without the impost of an annual fee.

On Australian’s average annual credit card spend of $16,000 you’ll earn the equivalent of 1.54 Sydney-Melbourne flights (costed as $208 each).

The Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card delivers the same point-per-dollar earnings but that’s offset by a $129 annual fee, leaving you with a far smaller net reward value of $79.

Bonus free flights

But the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer has something extra up its sleeve: a bonus deal of one free seat when you buy a ticket on any Virgin Australia flight, up to four times a year.

If you think you can make use of this deal it’ll quickly outweigh the cost of the annual card fee.

Introductory offers

Both cards are trumpeting introductory offers to entice new customers.

The American Express Velocity Escape Card is currently giving away 7,500 points for all applications approved by February 28, 2013, provided you spend $500 in the first the months.

The Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card counters with your choice of up to 15,000 bonus points or a reduced annual fee of only $50 in the first year.

You’ll get 7,500 points if you apply before January 9, 2013 and make just one retail purchase. A further 7,500 bonus points lands in your lap if you spend $5,000 on the card within the first three months.

Which Virgin Australia Velocity card wins?

This is a close call due to some of the special deals offered beyond the standard earn rate. But if you think you can use the free flights that come with the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card, this may tip the card into pole position.

Which of these two cards is likely to get your business? Let us know – share a comment below!


David Flynn

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.



Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

Worth Noting the 'High Flyer' Credit card too. Same deal with the free flights but the rate of earning velocity points is uncapped at 1pt per $1, where as the standard flyer is capped at $1,500 a month I think, before dropping to 0.5pt per $1. I think the annual fee jumps to $299 though.

I have the flyer card, and find the BOGOF flight offer excellent value. It's valid in all classes on all flights (Saver, Flexi and Business - not sale fares). You earn points and status as normal.

Perhaps the best part I have found for using the BOGOF is to buy flexi fares, then use a small amount of points (or platinum complimetary) to upgrade to business. It ends up that two people can fly J class MEL-PER for around $330 and a small amount of points.



Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 728

Velocity Amex Platinum is a winner for us. $349/year covers travel insurance and the 'Amex network' deals in the last few weeks paid for the card over again. 1.5 points/dollar, 3 points/dollar with Virgin. Thus being a platinum ff - total win - you get 13 points/dollar when flying Virgin... so a typical MEL-SYD return in flexi earns ~6500 points, subtract 4900 for the upgrade to J both ways - and you're still earning points. 



Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 9

Velocity Amex Platinum is a winner TRUE

I went to SYD-CNS Return this month  with my free flight with this Card plus the free flight is every year

I am not a frequent traveller so I used the 2 free lounges passes too

I also got 30,000 Velocity Points for joining up.



Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

27 Nov 2012

Total posts 40

I have an Amex plat reserve card that gives me 1.5 points per dollar which is held by Amex until I wish to transfer to VA, or Asia Miles (my 2 most used loyalties) at point for point rates. Still get one free trip on VA anywhere in Aus, or NZ. per year, and travel insurance.

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