Last month we looked at the top credit cards for earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, so this time round for those who prefer to fly via Virgin Australia and its partner airlines we will be focusing on the alternative of accumulating points through the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.
When searching through our rewards credit card database our money experts found 6 credit cards that are directly linked to the Velocity FF program from three main providers.
Below is a rundown of each and we’ve also included the rewards redemption value after a year, assuming you’ve activated the bonus points that come with the card when you sign up and have an annual spend of $18k.
Velocity Escape Card – You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent and on top of this if you spend $300 in the first 3 months your rewards points pile will be boosted by 7,500 bonus Velocity points. No wonder the Velocity Escape Card was awarded one of the best rewards credit cards in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards. While the card has no annual fee, keep in mind there’s a 20.74% purchase rate.
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend: 25,500
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 3.7
Velocity Platinum Card – Just like the Escape card you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent and be charged the same 20.74% purchase rate if you get behind on your repayments. The real reason you’d go for the Platinum Card is due to the bonus points offer, as you’ll receive 50,000 Velocity points when you spend $500 on your card within the first 3 months. Of course since this is the premium plastic you’ll have to pay a higher annual fee of $349. To top things off the card comes with complimentary travel insurance and purchase protection.
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend: 68,000
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 9.86
Velocity Rewards Card – If you like flexibility, then you’ll love the Velocity Rewards Card offered by NAB. The card is basically two cards in one allowing you to spend via the AMEX network and rack up 1 point per $1 spent and through Visa earning you 0.5 points per $1 spent (capped at $20,000 monthly). You’ll also score a nice 30,000 bonus point bundle if you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days. The rewards card comes with a fairly low $95 annual fee and a 19.99% purchase rate.
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend (using AMEX network): 48,000
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 6.96
Velocity Rewards Premium Card – Another Mozo Experts Choice winner, this card supercharges the bonus points up for grabs, offering a mega 60,000 Velocity points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days. Just like the basic version, the premium card allows you to spend through two networks: You’ll earn the same 0.5 points per $1 spend through the Visa network but the AMEX points are lifted up to 1.5 points per $1 spent. Plus you’ll enjoy complimentary insurances like travel insurance and concierge. The $150 annual fee is fairly low considering this is the Premium version and you’ll be hit up with the same 19.99% purchase rate if you fail to pay the balance in full and on time.
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend (using AMEX network): 87,000
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 12.61
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card – Not only will you earn 1 Velocity point for every $1 spent (up to $1,500 a month and then 1 point for every $2) but your friends are sure to love you too, as up to 4 times a year you and a friend can save 50% off the base fare of a domestic Virgin Australia Saver Fare (conditions apply). You’ll also fly through the Christmas season interest free thanks to the 0% honeymoon offer for the first 12 months. But keep in mind, the card then reverts to a much higher rate of 20.74% and there’s also a $129 annual fee to consider too.
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend: 38,000
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 5.51
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card – This rewards card will pay you 1.25 Velocity Points for every $1 spent and reward you with 20,000 bonus points (10,000 after your first purchase in the first 3 months and another 10,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 in the first 3 months). The card comes with a 20.74% purchase rate and the annual fee is pretty high at $289 ($144 in the first 1 year) but in return you’ll receive some great complimentary features like travel insurance, concierge and purchase protection. You can also take advantage of the 50% Virgin fare discount for you and a friend four times a year (conditions apply).
- Points earned on $18,000 annual spend: 42,500
- Number of Syd-Mel flights earned (excluding taxes): 6.16
Qantas vs Velocity
When comparing Qantas and Velocity for points redemption on flights we found Velocity had slightly lower points requirements.
For instance, for a return ticket from Sydney to Melbourne you would need a minimum of 16,000 points with Qantas compared to just 13,900 with Velocity. And for a return economy flight from Sydney to London, Qantas requires you to have 128,000 points, while Velocity asks for 125,000.
While Velocity has slightly lower point requirements, the real deciding factor between the two should be whether you want to redeem points on flights with Virgin Australia and its affiliate airlines (e.g Air New Zealand and Etihad Airways) or with Qantas and its partner airlines like Jetstar and Emirates.
Once you’ve got that new rewards plastic in your pocket, make sure you adopt these thrifty tactics for ramping up rewards points fast.