* This post was written in May 2015 when the bonus offering was 100,000. It has since been reduced to 50,000 points, (80,000 with the referral code below), however the perks outlined below remain the same. Read on.
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 points for new American Express Velocity Platinum Card members or 110,000 (now 80,000) when referred by a card holder. 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.
- 80,000 Velocity points when using a referral from an existing cardholder → then approved and spend $500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. (50,000 points without the referral).
- 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 domestic flight with Virgin Australia each cardholder year.
- Discount Business Class Companion Fares.
- Apple Pay capability.
- $349 p.a. annual fee.
- 0.99% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 6 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 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). 80,000 points will get you a Business Class fare to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, and to put it in perspective, 175,000 will get you return to Singapore in their epic First Class Suites. It’s not quite the previous 110,000 points, but it’s a seriously good foundation to start building those points for your First Class Suites (which I did a earlier this month) trip to Singapore.
This points offer is only available to new American Express customers within the last 12 months. You can reap the benefits right here!