Not just a flyer, but a high flyer. That’s what Virgin Australia are promising with their newly-tailored Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Credit Card. You’ll get generous bonus Velocity Frequent Flyer points, an annual gift card, insurance cover designed for the regular traveller, airport lounge passes, and even a low-interest balance transfer if you need it.
This is a rewards card, so you’ll expect to earn points on your everyday spending. But it can be a hard slog getting to a points balance that can be redeemed for a reward, which is why Virgin Australia are kickstarting your points account for you. It’s a two-step process, but everyone can complete the first step:
Earn 25,000 Velocity Points per month, up to 4 months from card approval by spending $3,500 or more on eligible purchases.
You won't run out of ideas, even though you may run out of rewards points. Here's what you can spend your Velocity Points on:
The best part about a rewards credit card is that earning points can be painless.
There’s no need to adjust your normal spending level. Don’t make purchases you don’t really need, just in order to earn extra Velocity Points. Simply take every opportunity to charge to your card everything you would normally buy, and pay bills with your card using BPAY.
The standard earning rate is to 1 Velocity Point per dollar, capped at $8,000 per month. If you spend more than that, the earn rate for purchases above $8,000 will fall more sharply to 0.5 Velocity Points per dollar.
There are ways to ensure that you earn as many Velocity Points as possible without overspending. As well as channelling all your regular purchases through your card and paying bills with the card through BPAY, as previously mentioned, you can also earn extra points by shopping with Velocity program partners. Program partners include:
Watch out for emails from Velocity with special points offers from Virgin Australia and Velocity partners.
And of course, if you choose this credit card, you will also want to be a Velocity Frequent Flyer member, to earn extra points whenever you buy a Virgin Australia flight by simply quoting your Velocity Frequent Flyer number.
Cardholders receive two single entry Virgin Australia domestic lounge passes every year, added to their Velocity account on their credit card anniversary date. These can be used on two separate occasions, or once for you and a guest travelling with you. Simply present your Velocity membership number and boarding pass at the lounge reception desk.
Get a $129 gift voucher every year, able to be applied against any Virgin Australia fare or holiday package. You have to have made an eligible purchase with the card at some point in the two months before requesting the voucher.
Because you will be most likely to use your credit card when shopping and travelling, you will be able to take advantage of six complimentary insurance policies to add an extra level of security to your spending, provided you use your card to make the purchases or pay fares:
Some cards have an introductory offer allowing you to transfer a balance to your new card and pay no interest on it for an extended period. Virgin isn’t going quite that far, but they will allow you to transfer a balance and pay only 1.9% p.a. interest for up to 12 months. You can make considerable savings if you have a temporary liquidity problem, because you may be paying around 20% p.a. on unpaid balances on your existing card.
And it’s probably still worth taking up this offer just to put cash on deposit, or in your mortgage offset account, even though the difference in interest rates is small. For example, you’d still be ahead by $157 if you transferred a $5,000 balance and kept the money you would have used for repayment in a 5% mortgage offset account for 12 months.
Do bear in mind that having an unpaid balance means that you will sacrifice the interest-free days – up to 44 – that you would otherwise qualify for each month. So you would probably want to retain another card for purchases during the first 12 months, meaning that you would miss out on bonus points, regular points, the gift card, lounge passes and complimentary insurance. In total, they add up to a lot more than $157.
You won’t be selecting this card for its typical credit card interest rate of 20.74% on unpaid purchase balances, or the cash advance rate (and balance transfer revert rate) of 20.99%. There are plenty of low-interest credit cards to choose from if this is your priority.
Another rather unattractive feature is the higher-than-average 3.3% foreign currency transaction fee. Look at this carefully if you are a regular overseas traveller or if you make frequent online purchases in foreign currencies.
The ongoing annual fee for this card is $289, plus $89 for each supplementary card on the account. Considering the many complimentary benefits, this represents real value. The value of the flight voucher ($129) and lounge passes alone largely negate the annual fee.
The ideal ‘high flyer’ for this card will be:
Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor
Lead Product Analyst