NAB ditches direct earn Velocity credit cards: where to get your Frequent Flyer fix

Earlier this week, NAB discontinued its Velocity Rewards and Velocity Rewards Premium credit cards, leaving Velocity Frequent Flyers with two less plastic options to choose from and Mozo did some data crunching to see which cards now offer travellers the best Velocity bang for their buck.

NAB was just one of three credit card providers to offer direct earn Velocity Frequent Flyer cards, and now that the big bank has axed them, the cards are available only from Virgin Australia and American Express. NAB customers can instead opt for the bank’s proprietary Rewards range and convert NAB Rewards Points into Velocity Points.

The downside with this is that when it comes to earning free flights, each NAB Reward Point a cardholder earns can be cashed in for just 0.5 Velocity Points.

For example, while the NAB Rewards Platinum and American Express Escape Card both earn 1 point per $1 spent, having to convert the NAB Rewards Points into Velocity Points means a cardholder needs to spend twice as much to bag a free flight.

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“For cardholders who are only after Velocity Points, a direct earn card will usually offer better value, because there’s no conversion to worry about - points are credited straight to your Velocity Frequent Flyer acount,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.

How much do you need to spend for a free flight?

Points earn rateSpend to earn Syd-Melb flightSpend to earn Syd-London flight
NAB Rewards0.75 points per $1 spent (1 point buys 0.5 Velocity Points)$20,800$318,933
NAB Rewards Platinum1 point per $1 spent (1 point buys 0.5 Velocity Points)$15,600$239,200
NAB Rewards Signature1.25 points per $1 spent (1 point buys 0.5 Velocity Points)$12,480$191,360
Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent up to $1,500 per month, then0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent$11,818$181,212
Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card1 Velocity Point per $1 spent up to $8,000 per month, then0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent$7,800$119,600
Amex Velocity Escape1 Velocity Point per $1 spent$7,800$119,600
Amex Velocity Platinum1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent$5,200$79,733

On the other hand, for cardholders after a general rewards program that lets you redeem your points for retail products, gift cards, cashback or travel, then the NAB Rewards Program might still work.

“What it comes down to is finding the right credit card for your needs. And that means taking into consideration not only the rewards on offer - which have become notoriously low value lately anyway - but also things like the annual fee, interest rate and interest free days,” said Lamont.

If you’re after a new frequent flyer credit card to help you bag some free travel, head over to our rewards card comparison table to check out some of the top options around.