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Westpac have decided to expand their range by adding cards which earn Velocity points, and they’re launching them with a fanfare that will benefit new cardholders choosing the Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Velocity). Regular travellers in particular will enjoy the generous first-purchase bonus points, complimentary seat upgrade vouchers and travel insurance, to add to what is a reasonable ongoing points earning rate.
60,000 bonus points up for grabs
Spend a very achievable target of $3,000 in the first three months of holding the card and you’ll receive 60,000 Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Most people looking for a platinum card will have no trouble spending $1,000 per month on groceries, petrol, transport and utility bills – everyday expenditure – in order to qualify for a points bonanza that’s enough for a return Economy fare from Melbourne or Sydney to Singapore (55,600 points) or Perth to Auckland (44,600 points).
However, anyone who has held, in the last 12 months, a Westpac Earth Platinum or Black card, or Westpac Altitude Platinum or Black card, is not eligible for the bonus points offer.
Economy X upgrades for space seekers
Fancy a little more legroom and a few other perks not available to regular Economy passengers? If you apply for this card, that could be within your grasp twice a year, for no extra cost.
Virgin Australia’s Economy X service gives passengers extra legroom, priority security screening, priority boarding and dedicated space in the overhead lockers. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Cardholders can enjoy two Economy X seat upgrades each year. After using your card to make a direct purchase from Virgin Australia, two upgrade vouchers will be available in your Velocity Frequent Flyer account. The upgrades are redeemable against regular Economy flights booked directly with Virgin Australia.
Reasonable ongoing points earning rate
The ongoing points earning rate of 0.5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchase is not spectacular, but quite reasonable for the card’s annual fee. There is no points threshold or cap, so you can spend as much as you like each month and still earn points at the same rate.
If you’re looking for a higher points earning rate, consider the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card Bundle (Velocity), where you can earn points faster by using the Amex card included in the bundle.
Ways to spend Velocity points
You’ll almost certainly get the best value from your Velocity points by using them for award seats and upgrades with Virgin Australia and its partner airlines. But you can also head over to the Velocity Rewards Store and exchange points for a range of merchandise, retail gift cards, movie gift cards, Virgin Australia gift cards and airport lounge passes
Complimentary insurance cover for travellers and shoppers
Platinum cardholders expect complimentary insurance cover, and this card does not disappoint. Here’s what you’ll get:
To be covered by the shopper’s insurance policies you’ll need to use your card to purchase the item to be covered, and the overseas travel policy is activated when you use the card to spend at least $500 on your trip’s prepaid expenses (flights, accomodation, activities, &c).
Make use of the free concierge service to assist your travelling lifestyle
The free concierge service is an often underrated feature of platinum cards aimed at travellers. It can be a boon when you’re in an unfamiliar location, possibly not speaking the local language. A phone call or mouse click will put you in touch with English-speaking experts with local knowledge, to advise on travel, accommodation, dining and entertainment options, and book them if required – your free travel assistant and problem solver. And you can still make good use of the service in your home town.
Annual fee cost easily recovered in benefits value
The value of the bonus points knocks any consideration about the $200 annual fee ($150 card fee + $50 Velocity rewards program fee) right out of the park in the first year. In subsequent years, the seat upgrade vouchers will wipe out most of the fee cost if used for a long flight, if that’s the sort of benefit you appreciate, and if you can make use of them.
The overseas travel insurance is worth at least $240 for a single traveller in any year that they can use it, and at least $600 for a family on an extended holiday.
And we haven’t even begun to count the value of the annual 12,000 Velocity points (enough for a one-way Premium Economy flight between Sydney and Melbourne or Brisbane) you would earn by spending an average of $2,000 per month with the card.
There is no annual fee payable for an additional cardholder, who could help you earn points more quickly.
Check out the competition before you decide
You can compare this card’s benefits with other cards earning Velocity points. Just go to the Velocity page in our Features section.
Dedicated Virgin Australia customers will benefit most
There’s no doubt that this is a card for travellers who choose to fly with Virgin Australia rather than Qantas. They’ll score plenty of points without changing their spending pattern, and come out ahead cost-wise, year after year.
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