American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card Bundle (Velocity) | Details & Review

American Express Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle® (Velocity)

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$10,250
 
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American Express Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle® (Velocity)
Apply by 15 oct 19
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle® (Velocity)
Earn up to 120,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply for the two-card bundle issued by Westpac and Amex until 15 October 2019 (conditions apply).
Level up your tier by earning up to 75 Velocity Status credits (conditions apply).
Earn up to 2 Velocity points per $1 spent on eligible overseas purchases. (Amex).
Add to comparison
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.25 pts
per $1 spent
120,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn up to 120,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply for the two-card bundle issued by Westpac and Amex until 15 October 2019, are approved and meet the minimum spend for each card.
Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard®: 80,000 bonus Velocity Points, when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card: 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.
Earn up to 2 Velocity points per $1 spent on eligible overseas purchases. (Amex)
Earn up to 75 Velocity status credits: 50 Velocity status credits when you spend $10,000 (inclusive of $4k bonus points spend) on eligible purchases in the first year using your Mastercard and an additional 25 Velocity status credits when you qualify for your 40,000 bonus points on the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card.
Enjoy two (2) complimentary Economy X seat upgrade vouchers each year to use on selected domestic flights. Available when you spend with Virgin Australia on your Mastercard.
Enjoy 2x complimentary visits per year to the American Express International Airports in Australia. Two complimentary lounge visits using the Black Mastercard at the Virgin Australia Domestic lounge (eligibility criteria applies).
For information about Altitude points earning rate of this card, please click here.
*There is a $50 Velocity Rewards opt-in fee if you choose to earn Velocity Points through the Altitude Velocity rewards program.
The annual fee of $499* p.a. is quite high, which is computed as $250 p.a. (Mastercard®) + $199 p.a. (American Express) + $50 (Velocity Rewards opt-in fee).

The cash advance rate of 21.49% is only applicable to Mastercard®.
Purchase rate of 20.24% p.a. on American Express.
Receive both rewards cards in one single application.
Westpac Mastercard® issued and serviced by Westpac. AMEX Westpac Altitude Card issued & serviced by American Express.

Disclaimer (2): Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

Our review

Our review of the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle® (Velocity)Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor

You’re likely to be rolling in Velocity points and Velocity status credits if you own the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle (Velocity). First of all you’ll need to look beyond the high annual fee (knowing that you’ll reap benefits every year, benefits whose value is far greater than the fee) to appreciate the mammoth bonus points, the available status credits, the potential for a high ongoing points earning rate, and all the other perks that come with a prestige card.

This is a pair of cards – a Mastercard issued by Westpac and an Amex card issued by American Express – bundled together in one card account.

Up to 120,000 first-purchase bonus points

There’s the potential to earn a huge 120,000 bonus Velocity points in the first three months.

Spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with the Mastercard, within the first 90 days after account opening, and you’ll receive 80,000 points.

Spend a further $3,000 on eligible purchases with the Amex card, within the same first 90 days after account opening, and you’ll receive an additional 40,000 points.

That’s $7,000 worth of eligible purchases in three months. ‘Eligible purchases’ basically covers all spending except cash equivalents like cash advances, balance transfers, card interest charges and fees, purchases of foreign currency and traveller’s cheques, and (in the case of the Mastercard) government purchases (ATO, Australia Post, car registration, council rates, &c) and BPAY payments.

If you’re considering a prestige card like this, with an annual income requirement of at least $75,000, spending $7,000 in three months is probably not such a big deal. Make sure you spread your spending across both cards in order to meet the targets and maximise points earning. But if you think there’s a chance you won’t quite reach $7,000, aim for the $4,000 spending on Mastercard first (locking in the 80,000 bonus points) before turning your attention to the remaining $3,000 of purchases with the Amex card.

Unfortunately, you won’t qualify for the bonus points programs if you have held a Westpac Earth or Altitude card in the last 12 months, or American Express Westpac Altitude card in the last 18 months.

What can you do with 120,000 Velocity points?

With such a large number of points in your account, long-haul award flights with Virgin or its partner airlines become a possibility.

For 119,000 Velocity points, you could make a return Virgin Australia flight from Sydney or Melbourne to Hong Kong, in the comfort of Business Class.

Or you could fly to Singapore on Singapore Airlines, Business Class one way and Premium Economy on your return journey, a total of 117,500 points.

But there’s more – 75 valuable Velocity status credits can be yours as well

Frequent flyers will understand the value of airline status credits, which earn special privileges for travellers lucky enough to have them.

Let’s say you’ve already spent $4,000 in the first 90 days to earn your 80,000 bonus points for using the Mastercard. Spending a further $6,000 during the remainder of the year, bringing your Mastercard purchases to a total of $10,000 in the first 12 months, will earn you 50 Velocity status credits. If you’ve also already achieved your 40,000 bonus points spending target on the American Express card ($3,000 in the first three months) you’ll get a further 25 status credits, bringing your total to 75.

What will 75 Velocity status credits do for you?

Velocity Frequent Flyer membership is tiered, based on the status credits you earn by flying with Virgin Australia and/or linking your flybuys and Velocity memberships. Your status can be Red (entry level), Silver (earn 250 status credits in a year to upgrade from Red), Gold (earn 500 status credits in a year to upgrade from Silver) or Platinum (earn 1,000 status credits in a year to upgrade from Gold).

Those 75 status credits could be just the extra boost you need to promote you to the next level for the following 12 months. A higher membership tier could see you qualifying for benefits like higher points for flying, entry to airport lounges, priority boarding, advance seat selection, extra baggage allowance and exclusive upgrade offers.

Potential for a really high ongoing points earning rate

This card’s standard Velocity points earning rate on the Amex card part of the bundle is not exceeded by any of its competitors. But if you do quite a bit of your spending overseas (online, or in person while travelling), you’ll be looking at an earning rate which is exceptionally rewarding. The details are:

  • Mastercard: 0.75 points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases
  • Amex card: 1.25 points per dollar spent in Australia (except government spending)
  • Amex card: 2.0 points per dollar spent in foreign currency
  • Amex card: 0.5 points per dollar spent on government purchases

And there’s no points threshold or cap, so you can earn as many points as you like each month. Bring out the Amex card, for a better earning rate, wherever it is accepted without a surcharge.

Redeeming Velocity points

We’ve already discussed redeeming Velocity points for flights. Along with seat upgrades, flights are the best value use for your points. But you can also use them at the Velocity Rewards Store for retail, Virgin Australia and movie gift cards, a wide range of merchandise, and airport lounge passes. There’s no shortage of choice.

Economy X seat upgrade vouchers

Want a bit of extra pampering, without going all out and purchasing a Business Class fare? You can score two Economy X upgrades each year, just by using your Mastercard to make a direct purchase from Virgin Australia. You’ll then receive two upgrade vouchers which can be redeemed against standard Economy seats booked directly with Virgin Australia. Economy X gives you extra legroom, priority security screening, priority boarding and dedicated space in the overhead lockers.

Not two, but four lounge passes

Lots of premium credit cards offer two single-entry lounge passes to their cardholders, each year. This card bundle goes one better by offering four – two per card.

You’ll receive two passes to American Express international airport lounges, and two to Virgin Australia domestic lounges – all bases covered.

Complimentary insurance cover

The list of benefits goes on and on. Not only will you get a very comprehensive annual multi-trip overseas travel policy, with elevated claim limits and trip lengths, you’ll also get interstate flight inconvenience cover for domestic travel, transit accident cover for public transport accidents, purchase protection cover (four months protection against theft, loss and accidental damage, rather than just three months), extended warranty (up to two years extra warranty instead of just one), price guarantee cover (shop with confidence, knowing you’ll get the difference refunded if the price drops locally within a short time frame) and rental vehicle insurance excess waiver in Australia (not just when travelling overseas).

Westpac and American Express appear to have pulled out all the stops to make the complimentary insurance cover not just average, but exceptional.

24/7 personal concierge

Love it, or couldn’t care less? Either way, it wouldn’t be a prestige card without a concierge service to cater to your travel and entertainment needs. Your concierge can also help you choose a gift, plan an event, and book concert tickets at short notice.

Some boring numbers

The interest rates may not be particularly meaningful if, like most prestige card users, you intend to pay off your account balance in full every month. But, for the record, they are 20.49% p.a. for Mastercard purchases, 20.24% p.a. for Amex purchases, and 21.49% p..a for cash advances (only available on the Mastercard).

You’ll enjoy the benefit of up to 45 interest-free days on purchases each month, on both cards.

Some more significant numbers

So how much does it all cost? There’s a long list of benefits, so you won’t be too surprised to find that the answer is ‘Quite a lot’.

The annual fees are $250 for the Mastercard and $199 for the American Express card. Add to that the $50 Velocity rewards program fee, and the result is a fairly hefty $499 per year.

But the value of the overseas travel cover for a family easily exceeds the fee total in any year that you can use it. Include the other insurance policies (worth about $560 per year), and the lounge passes ($240 per year), and it’s clear that you’ll be well in the black without needing to factor in the seat upgrades, the status credits, and the heaps of Velocity points you’ll earn every year.

Take a look at the competition before you decide

If earning Velocity points is your main concern, compare this card bundle with other Velocity points cards on the Velocity page in our Features section.

But if you don’t care what kind of points you earn, as long as it’s a prestige card, you’ll want to check out the Citi Prestige Card, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card, and perhaps even the seriously pricey American Express Platinum Card.

A card for big spenders who prefer flying Virgin Australia

Not all big-spending travellers are rusted-on fans of Qantas. If you prefer to fly with Virgin, but appreciate the finer things in life that can be purchased with a high income, this may be your ideal card.

Disclaimer: Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Dual Card
Card tier
Black
Card type
Mastercard & Amex
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Good
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$75,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
1
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$15,000
Maximum credit limit
$75,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 45 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.79% 21.49% p.a.
Purchases 1.71% 20.49% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$499* p.a.
Cash advance fee
whichever is greater, $2.50 or 2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$2
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
$0

Rewards & points

Cool stuff you can get with your points

Disclaimer: Points required accurate as of the 31st March 2018.

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
120,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Spend required for bonus points
$3,000 (AmEx) and/or $4,000 (MC) in 90 days

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points (AmEx)
1.25 pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points (MasterCard)
0.75 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate (AmEx)
2 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate (MasterCard)
0.75 pts per $1 spent
Points cap per month (AmEx)
N/A
Points cap per month (MasterCard)
N/A
Points cap per year (AmEx)
Unlimited
Points cap per year (MasterCard)
Unlimited
Points earned on ATO payments (AmEx)
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Points earned on ATO payments (MasterCard)
N/A
Reward points (AmEx)
(refer to "Pro" section)
Reward points (MasterCard)
(refer to "Pro" section)

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
Yes
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
Yes

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $75,000 per year
Have a good credit history
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Austudy, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Youth Allowance are acceptable.
Joint applications are not allowed
Overseas Pension is not acceptable.
Carer's Allowance is not acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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