Virgin Velocity Escape Card

An American Express Virgin Velocity Escape Card review is long overdue – it’s something I’ve been using to collect reward points for over five years. The Virgin Velocity Escape Card offers some nice perks, like the ability to collect Virgin Australia reward points, plus no annual fee.

It’s also a credit card suited for the modern traveller but can also punch above its weight when needed. Since making the switch to AMEX, I’ve amassed airline miles well into the 6-figure mark. All without spending any more than usual.

Although the Virgin Velocity Escape Credit Card does have its limitations, it still remains a worthy travel companion and a solid choice for those looking to earn extra rewards points.

The Virgin Velocity Escape Card comes with:

  • no annual fee
  • interest Rate of 20.74% p.a on purchases
  • interest-Free for up to 55 days

It also has benefits such as.

Earing Virgin Velocity Points

Like many others considering the Virgin Velocity Escape Card, the main reason for me signing up was for its ability to earn Virgin Australia reward points.

While airline miles don’t hold much value if you don’t use them, once exchanged for travel upgrades, some would argue they are priceless.

Virgin Australia Velocity points earned with the card are transferred automatically to my Velocity account each month. Once in my Velocity account, the points can be redeemed all for the good stuff like flights, accommodation, car hire, gift cards and a bunch of other things.

I haven’t checked the full range of travel options available for redemption but Virgin Australia state there’s over 500 destinations to choose from within Australia or overseas.

 

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Reflections on the tarmac. ✈️ Great photo at Auckland Airport by @airside_with_richard #virginaustralia #avgeek #boeing

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Reward Rate

The rewards rate for the Virgin Velocity Escape Card is set at 1 Velocity Point per $1 AUD spent. Any purchases made through Virgin Australia for flights will also earn an additional 1 Velocity point per $1 AUD spent.

One feature I particularly like about the card the ability to ‘double dip’ on point when making purchases through other companies affiliated with Virgin Australia.

When double dipping you can receive Velocity Points first for the purchase, then secondly for using your rewards credit card to pay.

There’s plenty of companies affiliated with Virgin Australia who you can do this with. Some of the favourites I regularly use for travel are:

Balance Transfer

One feature I didn’t get a chance to use when signing up was the balance transfer. It may be an attractive feature for those who have existing credit card debts as there is 0% p.a. offer on balance transfers for the first 12 months.

No Limit

With the Virgin Velocity Escape Card, a big bonus is there’s no limit cap on the number of Velocity Points you can earn.

While I don’t see myself spending any more than usual this year, it’s nice to know they won’t limit points on significant spends. This can be great for those planning on using the card to make a large business or house expenses.

Using Virgin Australia Velocity points for travel

Other Features

Online wallets – compatible wallets are Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

Refund protection – American Express will credit your account when refused a refund on an eligible unused item within 90 days of purchase.

Purchase protection – if eligible items are accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase they will be repaired or refunded.

Online Fraud Protection

One area where I found American Express shines and is a step above other banks. They spotted a fraudulent overseas transaction on my account and called to say they had blocked it before I had even noticed it.

It was an impressive level of service and very proactive on their behalf.

Yet meanwhile, when banking with Westpac the same thing also happened. It took an epic five phone calls and another four visits to the bank to get one fraudulent transaction (which turned into twelve during the melee) fixed.

Two banks with a vastly different approach to solving the same problem.

Emergency Card Replacement

Nice to know that American Express state they can typically get a replacement Card to you within one working day virtually anywhere in the world.

Additional Travel Offers

Whenever you login into your American Express account there a range of travel offers and discounts displayed at the bottom of the page.

Additional American Express travel offers

As a Travel Companion

All these features and services are great on paper but how does the Escape card compare in the real world?

It was when I signed up and still is one of the best no fee reward credit cards in Australia.

It’s possible to amass points quickly using the card. Especially when combing purchases made with Virgin Australia partners.

While American Express currently doesn’t have any sign-up bonus point offers for this card, it’s still a great rewards card. My option after 5+ years of use is that the Virgin Velocity Escape Card is the perfect choice for those who want to earn points but don’t need a full range of travel extras included.

The main limitation of the Virgin Velocity Escape Card is it doesn’t come with all the ‘bells and whistles’ that some of the other American Express Cards.

Many of the added features a business traveller would enjoy such as free lounge access, travel insurance and a pair of domestic return tickets are only included with the Premium Velocity Card.

However, it’s also worth noting that these extras don’t come for free – the Premium AMEX has a $375 AUD yearly fee.

Which for many (including me) is a big step up.

Overall

Though the Virgin Velocity Escape Card doesn’t come with as many travel extras, it’s still my personal choice for earning Velocity points.

There aren’t many decent reward credit card options available in Australia with no yearly fee. The only other real contender is the Qantas American Express Discovery Card which is a great card but not much use if your goal is to collect points with Virgin Australia.

As mentioned before, it’s great that with the Velocity Escape card you still get the same high level of customer service from American Express. Who in my case called to let me know they had stopped a fraudulent attack.

While those who travel extensively for business might want to consider the Premium Velocity card, overall the Virgin Velocity Escape Card suits my travel needs.

It’s a rewards card I recommended to friends and those who want to earn rewards without any additional costs involved.

Both myself and girlfriend have one each and regularly fly for free every year using points earnt.

Just make sure you pay the bill off each month to avoid any interest charges!

Eligibility for the Escape Card:

If you wish to apply for the American Express Virgin Velocity Escape Card, it’s best to make sure you can say yes to the following:

  • Aged 18 years or over
  • Have no history of bad debt or payment default
  • Have an annual income of $40,000AUD or more
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident or hold a current Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)

2 Comments

  • Navodaya
    Posted October 13, 2018

    thanking you for giving grate review, and provide me better solutions on the card

  • Darren
    Posted October 3, 2018

    Looks like a great card. Is Virgin Australia free to join or do you have to pay like Qantas and some others?

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