Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards

Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points as you spend. Compare and apply for your card online.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 27th August 2020

Comparing Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards

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Velocity Frequent Flyer cards are a type of rewards points credit card. The cards are linked to Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program, and the card’s rewards points for spending on eligible purchases come in the shape of Velocity Frequent Flyer points directly credited to the cardholder’s Velocity Points account. These points earned ‘on the ground’ are exactly the same, and have the same value, as Velocity Points earned by taking Virgin Australia flights paid for with cash.

American Express and Virgin Money issue a range of Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards for personal and business use.

Velocity Points earning rates

Points earning rates are expressed as a number of points per dollar spent (e.g. 1.25 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases).

Each card has its own points earning rate, and cards with a higher annual fee tend to have a higher earning rate and more valuable complimentary benefits attached.

Earning rates may vary within the card, depending on the type of spending made. Government purchases such as paying tax bills, for example, tend to earn at a lower rate, while some cards have a higher earning rate for purchases made directly from Virgin Australia for flights and seat upgrades. Balance transfers do not earn points.

Points caps and thresholds

Some rewards credit cards have a cap on points earning, limiting the number of points that can be earned in any month or year, meaning that the points earning rate falls to 0 points per dollar for the remainder of the period once the cap (e.g. 5,000 points or $5,000 of spending) has been reached. At the time of writing this, there were no Velocity Points credit cards with an absolute cap on points earning.

But there are Velocity Points cards with a points threshold, where the earning rate falls after the threshold has been reached (e.g. 0.66 Velocity Points per dollar, up to a threshold of $1,500 spending per month, 0.5 points per dollar thereafter).

Points expiry

Velocity Points expire if there has been neither points earning activity (e.g. from credit cards, or from making flights where the fare was purchased with cash) nor points spending activity (e.g. booking an award flight with points or making other points redemptions) within the previous 24 months. In other words, make sure there’s some points earning or redemption activity at least once every two years, and your Velocity Points will be safe from expiry.

Indirect Velocity Points cards

There’s a huge number of credit cards which allow you to earn Velocity Points indirectly. That is, you first earn your points in another rewards program linked to your card, and then convert those points into Velocity Frequent Flyer points, at exchange rates which vary depending on the primary rewards program in which the points were earned.

Credit card rewards programs which have conversion to Velocity Points as a redemption option include:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • ANZ Rewards
  • Bank of Queensland Rewards
  • Citi Rewards
  • CommBank Awards
  • Diners Club Rewards
  • HSBC Rewards
  • NAB Rewards
  • St. George/BankSA/Bank of Melbourne Amplify Rewards
  • Suncorp Bank Rewards
  • Westpac Altitude Rewards

Bonus points

Some Velocity Frequent Flyer Points credit cards offer large numbers of bonus points as an incentive to new cardholders. There is usually a target spending amount to be reached in order to qualify for these ‘first purchase bonus points’. For example, a new cardholder may receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points for spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of holding the card. Bonus points are particularly useful for anyone collecting points to redeem for a long-haul international award flight.

Velocity status credits

As well as offering bonus points to new cardholders, some Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards offer Velocity status credits from time to time (e.g. 50 Velocity status credits for spending $10,000 using your card during the first year).

If you can elevate your Velocity Frequent Flyer membership level to one of the higher tiers (Silver, Gold, or Platinum) by earning enough status credits, you can access privileges like higher points for flying, entry to airport lounges, priority boarding, advance seat selection, extra baggage allowance and exclusive upgrade offers. Status credits are mostly earned by purchasing Virgin flights or from retail purchases when linking your flybuys and Velocity accounts. So extra status credits earned via your credit card could be a useful way of maintaining or improving your status for the following year.

Learn about Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards

Find out how to take your points balance to the next level.

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

  • FAQs

  • Guides

Annual fees are probably going to be higher

Velocity Frequent flyer credit cards are likely to have a higher annual fee than cards with no rewards points or complimentary benefits. But you can still get a Velocity Frequent Flyer card with a fairly low or even no annual fee.

Benefits extend beyond earning points for free flights

Velocity Frequent flyer credit cards usually have complimentary benefits aimed at travellers. Examples include complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access, travel agency credit vouchers, concierge service, priority check-in and free or discounted flights.

Caps may limit your opportunity to earn points

Some Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards have points caps or points earning rate thresholds, meaning the number of points you can accrue would be limited in such cases.

Daily spending should cover annual fees and unlock benefits

In some cases the annual fee for a Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card may not be worth paying if you won’t spend enough to recover more than the fee cost by earning points or by making purchases which activate complimentary benefits (such as travel insurance).

Higher interest rates

In most cases, frequent flyer credit cards have very high interest rates payable on balances carried from month to month, unless there is an introductory interest rate in place on balance transfers or purchases – and these offers are only temporary.

Redeeming award seats can be challenging

Award seats can be hard to find because demand exceeds supply on popular routes at peak times.

There are fees and taxes on award flights

You still have to pay the airline carrier charges and any associated government or airport taxes when booking an award flight. For a long-haul flight this can add as much as $700 to the cost of a return journey. This cash payment is required in addition to the points redeemed.

Use sign up bonuses to reach your goal faster

Many Velocity Frequent Flyer cards offer substantial first purchase bonus points to new cardholders, in exchange for meeting an achievable spending target in the the first few months of holding the card.

Velocity points can be redeemed for flights with Virgin Australia's partner airlines

Virgin Australia has plenty of airline partners—Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Etihad Airways among others—so you’re not just limited to Virgin Australia flights when redeeming your points.

Your mileage may vary when redeeming points

Exchanging Velocity Frequent Flyer points for merchandise, gift cards or movie tickets may see you getting a lower value return than you would by using a standard rewards points credit card.

Be prepared to be flexible when booking award flights

If you can take a flexible approach when booking award flights, you’re more likely to be successful. It’s best to plan well ahead and avoid looking for flights on the most popular routes at peak demand times. There will usually be a few award seats available if you are prepared to fly on less popular routes at off-peak times or seasons.

Velocity award flights are released 330 days ahead of departure. The available seats will be disappear quite quickly after they are released, so plan your travel well ahead and diarise the release date for your desired award flight to improve your chances of success.

It’s also the case that some award seats are released within a few days, or even 24 hours, of a flight’s departure, possibly because of unexpected low demand, or cash booking cancellations. If you’re a Gold or Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyer you can also call the Velocity service centre and find out if they will make extra award seats available for you. So it’s always worth checking whether additional award seats have suddenly become available.

Choose a Velocity Points card that will pay for itself

Don’t automatically choose the card with the highest Velocity Points earning rate. It may not be the best one for you, because the amount you spend each year may not be enough to justify a high annual fee.

Start by working out how many Velocity Points you would earn in a year from your annual credit card spending, by checking your spending on your current credit card in the previous year. Multiply the dollars you spent by the Velocity Points earning rate per dollar on the card you are considering. Valuing each Velocity Point at a reasonably modest 1.0 cents, you’ll be able to decide if it’s worth paying the card’s annual fee.

E.g. Annual card spending $18,000 X 0.66 Velocity Points per dollar = 11,880 Velocity Points.

11,880 Velocity Points = $118.80. Annual card fee = $129. The conservative points value is slightly less than the annual fee, but recovers most of it. In fact, you should be able to extract a much greater value than 1.0 cents from each Velocity Point (depending on what type of award seat you are able to secure), easily recovering far more than the the cost of the annual fee. But avoid using your points for redemptions other than flights – you’re likely to get a value of only 0.5 cents per point, or even less.

Compare other card features, not just the points earning rate

Obviously, there’s not much point in paying for a credit card that merely recovers the cost of its annual fee in points value. So you’ll also want to compare each Velocity Frequent Flyer card’s complimentary benefits. They usually have free benefits aimed at travellers, such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, travel agency credit vouchers and free flights. Benefits vary significantly from card to card, so it’s worth comparing the details to work out which features have most value for you.

Redeem Velocity points for award flights and seat upgrades to get the best value

Redeeming Velocity Points for award flights and seat upgrades is usually the most cost-effective option. Virgin Australia is affiliated with many airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad and many more. This gives Velocity Frequent Flyers access to award flights with lots of flight operators. Long-haul flights and Business or First Class seats usually deliver a higher value per Velocity Point than short-haul Economy flights.

But you can also redeem your Velocity Points for other rewards. Visit the Velocity Rewards Store to view options, which include:

  • Consumer merchandise
  • Retail store gift cards
  • Cinema gift cards
  • Priority Pass and Virgin Australia lounge access
  • Restaurant gift cards
  • Charity donations

Use your Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card in a way that maximises points value and keeps costs low

Once you’ve made the decision about which Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card suits you best, you need to use it in the most efficient way possible to get the best value for your money.

  • Use it whenever you can, for all purchases, both large and small. Consider setting a digital wallet app (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay) on your phone, to make it easy to use your card for small purchases like takeaway coffee.
  • Be aware of bonus point opportunities, such as higher points for spending with Virgin Australia or other bonus points partners.
  • Keep card costs low by paying on time to avoid late payment penalty fees, paying off your purchases balance every month to avoid interest charges, and steering clear of cash advances (which attract interest charges immediately they are made).

Try to redeem your Velocity Points for the best value rewards, as explained above.

What can you use Velocity Frequent Flyer points for?

When you select a Velocity credit card you gain access to the Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards Program, which is Virgin Australia’s travel rewards scheme. The program allows you to earn and redeem Velocity Points whenever you travel with Virgin Australia, Velocity’s international airline partners and use your card with the worldwide network of program partners. This network of companies means that you can earn points by using your credit card to book accommodation, car rentals, travel assistance, insurance and much more. You also have the benefit of earning Points twice – both on your credit card and with the partnered company.

With the Velocity Program you can redeem your points for flights to hundreds of international destinations. The scheme offers Reward Seat redemptions for the lowest points cost, and if you can’t find a Reward Seat on the flight you want, you can always use your Points for Any Seat with the airline of your choice. Velocity rewards are not limited to flights – you can redeem points for a wide variety of products and services from partner companies including car hire, accommodation, travel and entertainment, retail rewards and charity donations.

The Velocity Program also features Status Credits, a tiered system that determines your membership level. Each time you fly with Virgin Australia and or one of Velocity’s international airline partners you earn Status Credits, earning more for higher fare classes and longer flights. When you join Velocity your membership is set at an entry level of Red. Your account is assessed daily and when you have earned enough Status Credits you are promoted to the next level, progressing through Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each time you increase your level of membership you start enjoying extra benefits.

What are the benefits of the Velocity Frequent Flyer?

With Velocity you can earn rewards quickly and easily if you are a frequent flyer, generating points each time you fly with program partners. The program also offers special low points priced flights with Reward Seats, starting at 6,900 points and an additional charge of $20. Europe Reward Seats start at 125,000 points plus taxes. Status Credits allow you to enjoy greater benefits the more you fly.

How do I earn Velocity points?

You earn points when you use your credit card with any of Velocity’s program partners. These include international airlines, car hire companies, hotels, resorts, apartments, travel and leisure services, online retailers, utilities, insurance and finance partners and business services.

Can I earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points while travelling abroad?

This benefit is one that many credit card reward programs overlook. Fortunately, this is not the case with Virgin Australia. When you are part of the program you are in position to earn points no matter where you are in the world. This holds true when shopping in person or spending money online. As long as you use your card, you are collecting points.

What rewards can I redeem points for?

Just as you can earn with Velocity program partners, you can also redeem points for a huge choice of rewards from these affiliated companies. Rewards include flights and travel services, retail products, business and leisure services, charities, food and drink, even space travel with Virgin Galactic.

What advantages does the Velocity program offer for families?

Coming soon, Velocity will offer specially designed Family Benefits. Families will be able to pool points and Status Credits in a single account, meaning you gain rewards and membership upgrades faster. New parents can pause their Silver, Gold or Platinum membership for six months after birth, picking up where they left off with the same membership level. Families will also be able to gain a complimentary Virgin Australia lounge pass each time they earn 100 Status Credits, and may transfer Velocity Points between membership accounts up to four times annually.

What extra family benefits do Gold and Platinum members enjoy?

Gold and Platinum members can make use of guaranteed Reward Seats for an annual family vacation. As a Gold member, you can redeem points up to four return Reward Seats for your family to any holiday destination within Australia. Platinum members redeem points up to four family members on return Reward Seats to a choice of hundreds of international destinations.

Does the program have any international airline partners?

Yes. When you fly with one of Virgin's international partners you can earn Velocity Points. The higher the fare and the longer your distance, the more points you will earn. Some of Virgin's international airline partners include: Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue, Air New Zealand, Delta, Skywest, Hawaiian Airlines, and Singapore Airlines just to name a few.

What are Status Credits?

This is the best way for the Velocity Frequent Flyer program to determine your level of benefits. In short, Status Credits determine your membership level. The higher your level, the more benefits you receive. With each flight that you book you will earn Status Credits.

Do my points expire?

If you do not earn or redeem points in a three-year period your account becomes inactive and it is possible that your points and Velocity membership will expire. The period starts from the last time your earned or redeemed Points, and you will be sent a reminder email 30 days before the date on which membership will be cancelled. To keep your account active you simply need to earn or redeem some points with any Velocity partner. Occasional point earning and redeeming will keep your membership ticking over, but to get the most out of a Velocity credit card you should use your card often, making membership worthwhile, earning points and increasing your Status, and enjoying the benefits of the program.