In the past year or so I’ve really stepped up my points game, following the best guys in the industry and joining more programs to optimise points through partnered airlines. Domestically, I’ve chosen to fly Virgin over Qantas and that’s for many reasons, most notably their alliance with Etihad and Singapore Airlines but also their Premium Entry at Sydney and Premium Exit at Melbourne, the two airports I spend the most time at.
In the last 6 months, my interest has revolved solely around status credits, earning enough points to get me to Gold so I had Lounge access and priority boarding. Now that I’ve reached Gold and charging along to Platinum I’ve begun to focus on earning as many points as possible to redeem for flights. Naturally, I was pretty impressed when AMEX and Virgin Velocity announced their largest sign-up bonus ever with the American Express Velocity Platinum Card members.
It’s not just the points that got me interested either, holders of this particular card also get lounge passes to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport which is reserved for Amex’s top tier cardholders and a complimentary return domestic flight each year. Last year Amex also announced that Virgin Frequent Flyers can earn 100 Status Credits each calendar year when a $50,000 spend criteria is met.
- *50,000 Velocity points after $3000 minimum spend in 3 months.
- Access to the new American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport with the presentation of the card.
- Two free Virgin Australia lounge passes each cardholder year.
- A free domestic flight with Virgin Australia each cardholder year.
- $375 p.a. annual fee.
- 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months, with a 1% establishment fee.
- 3 Velocity points earned per $ spent at restaurants and with Virgin Australia, 2 points earned per $ on other travel, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO.
- A gross minimum salary of $65,000 AUD.
For people new to this, it’s best to look at where 50,000 points can actually take you and how quickly you can offset the $375 fee. You could fly from Sydney to Melbourne Business Class return, or upgrade from Economy to Business Class 5 times on the same route.
My advice, however, is to save your points for the fares that cost the most (International Business and First). 59,500 will get you from Melbourne to Hong Kong in Business Class on Virgin (pictured above!) or you could transfer the points to Etihad or Singapore Airlines and put your points towards a Business Class flight to Abu Dhabi or First Class flight to Singapore.
This offer is only available to new American Express customers within the last 12 months. You can reap the benefits right here!Check out my guides to booking Singapore Airlines First Class with points and Etihad First Class with points. You also might enjoy my article on how to get 70% off First Class Fares!