Westpac Altitude Black Velocity Credit Card's | Details & Review

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Velocity)

Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Apply
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Velocity)
Apply by 15 oct 19
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Velocity)
Receive 80,000 bonus Velocity points (terms and conditions apply).
Level up your tier by earning 50 Velocity Status credits (conditions apply).
Enjoy two (2) Virgin Australia Lounge passes per anniversary year.
Add to comparison
-
20.49% p.a.
ongoing
$300*
ongoing

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Receive 80,000 bonus Velocity points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Exclusions apply.
Earn 50 Velocity status credits when you spend $10,000 (inclusive of min 4k bonus point spend) on eligible purchases in the first year using your Mastercard. (Status credits will be applied once spend is met, not on card anniversary.)
Be eligible for 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
Earn 0.75 Velocity points per $1 spent.
24/7 Altitude Black Card Priority Service line.
Feel secured with the complimentary Overseas Travel, Extended Warranty and Transit Accident Insurances.
Enjoy two (2) Virgin Australia Lounge passes per anniversary year.
Tap & go™ quickly and easily using your Mastercard® for a faster transaction.
*$50 Velocity Rewards fee applies if you choose to earn Velocity points through the Altitude Velocity rewards program.
The $300* p.a. annual fee is considerable.

Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

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 Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Velocity)Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Are you a frequent flyer looking for a prestige card from a major bank, but a card that earns Velocity points rather than Qantas points? You may have found what you’re looking for in the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Velocity). It has most of the features sought in a premium card: a large number of sign-up bonus points, a respectable ongoing points earning rate, airport lounge passes and complimentary travel insurance. But there’s so much more to this card, as you’ll discover.

80,000 bonus points for reaching a moderate spending target

Since you’ll need an annual income of at least $75,000 to be eligible for this card, you will probably have no trouble in using it for $4,000 worth of purchases – an average of just $1,333 per month – in the first 90 days of holding it. Do that, and you’ll see 80,000 Velocity points credited to your points account – a great start if you’re new to the program, and a significant boost if you’re an old hand.

Sadly, you won’t be eligible for the bonus points programs if you have held a Westpac Earth or Altitude card in the last 12 months

Suggestions for using those 80,000 points

While the Velocity Rewards program has all the usual redemption options (an online merchandise catalogue, and gift cards to spend at retail stores or on travel and entertainment) there’s no doubt that you’ll usually get a better return by using your points windfall for flights or upgrades with Virgin and its partner airlines.

For example, if you regularly travel between the east coast state capitals, you could upgrade from a one-way Economy Getaway fare to Business Class, eight times.

Or, if you’ve already got a few Velocity points in your account, it puts a Premium Economy return to Singapore (89,400 points) within your reach.

Satisfying ongoing points earning rate

While the ongoing Velocity points earning rate is not spectacular, it’s certainly high enough to see your balance growing at a respectable rate as you spend with your card. The rate is 0.75 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases, and there’s no points cap or threshold to slow down your points earning.

‘Eligible purchases’ effectively covers all spending except cash equivalents like cash advances, balance transfers, card interest charges and fees, purchases of foreign currency and traveller’s cheques, government purchases (ATO, Australia Post, car registration, council rates, &c) and BPAY payments.

Spend more and earn 50 Velocity status credits

If you can elevate your Velocity Frequent Flyer membership level to one of the higher tiers (Silver, Gold, or Platinum) you can access privileges like higher points for flying, entry to airport lounges, priority boarding, advance seat selection, extra baggage allowance and exclusive upgrade offers. Status credits are mostly earned by purchasing Virgin flights or from retail purchases when linking your flybuys and Velocity accounts. But what if you fall tantalisingly short of the number of status credits required to maintain or improve your status for the following year?

You can remedy that by making sure that you spend at least $10,000 on your new card during the first year of holding it, to earn 50 valuable Velocity status credits. If you’ve already made a good start by spending $4,000 in the first 90 days (to earn the bonus points), it means that you need to spend only a further $6,000 in the remaining nine months – an average of just $667 per month, easily covered by everyday expenses.

Upgrade to Economy X twice a year

Could you make good use of extra legroom, priority security screening, priority boarding and dedicated space in the overhead lockers? That’s what you get in a Virgin Australia Economy X seat, and you can enjoy those privileges twice a year, even though you’ve only paid for a standard Economy seat. Simply make at least one card purchase from Virgin Australia each year and you’ll receive two upgrade vouchers in your Velocity account.

Virgin Australia lounge passes

Each year you’ll also receive two single-entry passes to Virgin Australia domestic lounges. These passes are worth $65 each – the normal entry price. Use them both yourself, or use one to extend the privilege to someone travelling with you.

Free insurance policies for travellers and shoppers

Like most premium cards, this one protects you with complimentary insurance policies, but because it’s a prestige card it gives you a much higher than normal level of protection. The policies in question are:

  • An annual multi-trip overseas travel policy for the cardholder and immediate family, covering emergency medical expenses, luggage, documents, unavoidable trip cancellation or delay, rental vehicle insurance excess waiver, and more, with high claim limits and covering trips of up to six months’ duration
  • Interstate flight inconvenience cover for domestic trips up to 14 days long
  • Transit accident cover, providing compensation if you sustain a serious injury on public transport
  • Rental vehicle insurance excess waiver in Australia, not just when you’re travelling (many competing cards only provide this cover for overseas trips)
  • Extended warranty cover, doubling the manufacturer’s Australian warranty, up to a maximum of 24 extra months (not merely the 12 extra months offered by many competing cards)
  • Purchase security insurance, protecting your purchases against loss, theft or accidental damage for up to four months after purchase (one month longer than the period offered by many competing cards)
  • Price guarantee cover, providing a refund of the price difference if you see a recent in-store purchase advertised locally at a much lower price

You’ll need to use the card to spend at least $500 on pre-paid trip expenses to activate the overseas travel policy, and purchase your fares with the card in order to be covered by the other travel policies. For the ‘shopper’s insurance’, simply use the card to purchase the item to be covered.

Free concierge service

Regular travellers may appreciate having a personal assistant, accessible by phone or online, to help with advice and bookings for travel, accommodation, dining, entertainment, and even event planning and gift selection.

Predictable interest rates

Cards offering rewards points are only useful if you intend to pay off your purchases balance in full every month (since interest charges would cost more than the value of the points earned). So make full use of the up to 45 interest-free days allowed on purchases, then repay your balance on or before the due date. But, for the record, the purchases interest rate is 20.49% p.a and the cash advance rate is 21.49% p.a.

Annual fee has two components

For all these benefits, you’ll pay the standard Black Altitude card annual fee of $250, plus a $50 fee for the Velocity Rewards program, a total of $300 each year. It may sound steep, but it’s actually significantly less than the cost of many other prestige cards, and the value of the points you’ll earn plus the many complimentary benefits will recover that amount several times over, year after year.

Check out the competition to make sure you’re making the right choice

You may want to take a look at competing Velocity cards before you make up your mind. Head over to the Velocity page in our Features section in order to compare cards side-by-side.

Ticks all the boxes for a prestige Velocity card

If you’re looking for a combination of Velocity points and prestige card benefits, this card may suit you very well. It should have everything you’re looking for, and more, with a justifiable price tag that’s not too hard to swallow.

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
Single
Card tier
Black
Card type
Mastercard
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
$300* 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
80,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Spend required for bonus points
$4,000 in 90 days

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
0.75 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
1.25 pts per $1 spent
Points cap per month
Unlimited
Points cap per year
Unlimited
Points earned on ATO payments
N/A
Reward points
N/A

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.

Similar cards

More cards like this one

This card is listed in these comparisons

Featured in
Compare these cards: