Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Credit Card

Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Credit Card

Highlights

  • Earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,500 on eligible purchases within 4 months of card approval. Terms and conditions apply.
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers (no balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.69% p.a.
  • Get an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent on eligible transactions up to $8,000 and 0.5 points per $1 on spending thereafter.
  • Two single entry passes for Virgin Australia domestic lounges every year.
  • Flight voucher worth $129 each year.
  • Comes with International Travel Insurance and Extended Warranty Service.
  • Works with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

Cons

  • The ongoing annual fee of $289 p.a.
  • Earn rate is tiered, although the base tier is enough for more people.
  • Only up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.
  • There's an annual fee per additional card.

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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.

Up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points

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.

What you can do with 80,000 Velocity Points

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:

  • Shopping and gift cards at the Velocity Rewards Store or MYER.
  • Use your Velocity Points to buy from a selection of wine, beer and spirits at the Velocity Wine Store.
  • Redeem points or use a combination of Points + Pay for booking hotels worldwide.
  • Redeem your Velocity Points or use a combination of Points + Pay for car hires.
  • Use your Velocity Points to upgrade to Business Class on Virgin Australia Domestic Flights and partner airlines.
  • Use Points for booking International Reward Seats on selected airlines.

Earning Velocity Points on your everyday spending

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.

Points earning rate

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.

Maximising your earnings

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:

  • international airlines;
  • restaurant booking service OpenTable;
  • CruisePilot cruise booking service;
  • BP service stations;
  • Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar;
  • hotels;
  • and many more.

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.

Airport lounge passes

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.

Flight Benefit gift card

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.

Complimentary insurance to suit travellers and shoppers

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:

  • International travel insurance to protect you and your spouse and children. It’s an annual multi-trip policy covering emergency medical expenses, lost or stolen luggage, and more.
  • Transit accident insurance provides compensation for some types of accidental injury, or death, sustained while travelling as a passenger on planes or public transport overseas.
  • Purchase protection for three months, against loss, theft or accidental damage, for items bought with the card.
  • Extended warranty cover, doubling the manufacturer’s Australian warranty up to a maximum of 12 extra months.
  • Guaranteed pricing scheme for goods not bought online. If you see it advertised locally for a lower price, up to 60 days after you purchased it, you can claim back the price difference (minimum claim $75).

A low-interest balance transfer if you need it

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.

Interest rates and fees

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.

Annual fee

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.

Who will get the most from this card?

The ideal ‘high flyer’ for this card will be:

  • a Velocity Frequent Flyer program member;
  • a regular flyer with Virgin Australia rather than Qantas or Jetstar to extract maximum value from the gift card and lounge passes;
  • open to the idea of booking a holiday through Virgin Australia holidays to earn extra points;
  • someone who travels overseas with reasonable regularity and would benefit from international travel insurance and extra points from Velocity partner airlines;
  • someone with their finances in order with an annual income of at least $75,000 who can disregard the high overdue balance and cash advance interest rates (which they will never need to use) and take advantage of up to 44 days interest-free each month.

Yvonne Taylor

Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Lead Product Analyst

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