*This post was written in May 2015 when the bonus was first offered.
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 100,000 (now reverted to 50,000) points for new American Express Velocity Platinum Card members. It’s not just the points that got me interested either, holders of this particular card also gain access to the new American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport which is reserved for Amex’s top tier card holders.
Here’s a quick run down on this epic card.
- 50,000 Velocity points → when approved and spend $1500 on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Access to the new American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport with presentation of the card.
- Two free Virgin Australia lounge passes each cardholder year.
- A free return domestic flight with Virgin Australia each cardholder year.
- Discount Business Class Companion Fares.
- Apple Pay capability.
- $375 p.a. annual fee.
- 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months. A one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1% applies.
- Earn 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent. With no cap on earn rate.
- A gross minimum salary of $65,000 AUD.
For people new to this, it’s best to look at where 80,000 points can actually take you and how quickly you can offset the $349 fee. You could fly from Sydney to Melbourne Business Class return twice, or upgrade from Economy to Business Class 8 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 when the service begins in July. 80,000 points will get you a Business Class fare to Singapore on Singapore Airlines while 175,000 will get you return to Singapore in their epic First Class Suites.
This points offer is available until July 31 for new American Express customers within the last 12 months before reverting to the original 50,000 Bonus on August 1st. You can apply here.
Check out our recent article on how to save 70% on First Class Fares.