The American Express Velocity Escape Card is the base level American Express-Velocity co-branded card in the Australian Market. This card will appeal to those who want to kick off their Velocity points earning journey, but don’t wish to pay hundreds of dollars per year in fees on more premium cards.
Prominent Features & Fees
- Annual Fee – $0, Foreign currency transaction fee – 3%
- Welcome Bonus – Nil
- Rewards Program – Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Airline Partner : 1
- Insurance – Purchase & Refund Protection
The Velocity Escape card is a no annual fee card, which is pretty good for a rewards card. Most of the other rewards card in the Australian market charge some degree of annual fee, which makes this card stand out. You can also order up to 4 additional cards for family members for no additional cost.
There is a 3% foreign currency transaction fee though, which is applied to the converted Australian dollar amount.
There is no publicly available welcome bonus on offer, which is understandable for a no annual fee rewards card. In the past, new cardmembers have been able to earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Velocity points by applying through a personal referral link. That benefit is not currently available.
I will update this post and put a link out if and when the offer is reintroduced.
The American Express Velocity Escape card earns Velocity points. The card earns uncapped 0.75 Velocity point per $ on all spends, except on payments to Government bodies, where it earns 0.5 Velocity point per $. This isn’t a lot, but is better than several Visa & Mastercard issued cards which don’t earn any points on Government spend.
However, the card really shines on purchases made with Virgin Australia, such as on flights and holiday packages, where the earnings rocket to a very impressive 1.75 Velocity points per $.
Earn 1.75 Velocity points per $ spent with Virgin Australia
At the end of each month, once your monthly statement is generated, these points are directly transferred to your linked Velocity account.
There are several American Express cards in Australia which earn Membership Rewards points. These points can subsequently be transferred to a number of different airline partners. The Velocity Escape card though, earns Velocity points exclusively, and as such, is targeted at those prioritising Velocity points.
That said, you are able to transfer your Velocity points to Singapore Airlines’ Krisflyer Program, thanks to the close partnership between the two airlines. The transfer ratio at 1.55:1 (1.55 Velocity points becomes 1 Krisflyer mile) is not the best, and although you can redeem flights on Singapore Airlines with your Velocity points, access to Krisflyer Miles can be very beneficial as it opens up redemption possibilities at dozens of other Star-Alliance partner airlines too.
Transfer Velocity points to Krisflyer and redeem for Lufthansa Business Class
You can read more details about this partnership and how to initiate the transfer over here.
The American Express Velocity Escape card is insurance-light. There is no complimentary Travel Cover, Rental Car Damage Waiver or Smartphone Screen Protection etc. If those are important to you, you may want to consider getting The American Express Explorer Credit Card. That said, the card does offer a couple of handy protections.
Under Purchase protection, you are covered for up to $10,000 per year and up to $2,500 per claim ($50 excess applies) on items stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase. To activate this cover, you must have paid for your purchase with The Velocity Escape card.
This is another useful cover to have for situations where you have simply had a change of mind after the purchase, and for whatever reason, the retailer will not take it back. Under these circumstances, items paid for by the Velocity Escape card can be returned to American Express, who will reimburse you with an amount specified under the terms of the cover.
There are conditions attached to each of these cover and it’s important that you familiarise yourself with them by referring to The American Express Velocity Escape Card Insurance Terms & Conditions.
Who can apply?
This brings us to the last but an important question, who can apply for this card?
You are eligible to apply for this card if you meet the following conditions:
- You are at-least 18 years old.
- You are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or on long term visa. (1 year or over).
- You have pre-tax income of $40,000 pa or more.
- You have a good credit history and no payment defaults.
The American Express Velocity Escape Card is NOT targeted at advanced points collectors. There is no welcome bonus on offer, which is pretty much the norm for a no annual fee rewards card. The regular earning rate is fairly respectable and like all American Express Cards, The Velocity Escape also comes compatible with both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
If your intention is to rack-up hundreds of thousands of points in a short period of time, this card won’t do that. However, if you are someone who wish to slowly establish their feet in the points and miles universe, but don’t want to shell-out for the privilege of doing so, this card should be in your consideration.
If you are considering getting the card, apply here to be taken directly to the American Express website.
The views expressed in this post is author’s personal opinion, it does not constitute advice of any kind and must not be relied on. You must assess your own personal circumstances and needs before applying for this product.
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