How to fly for free with the Amex Velocity Platinum Card

It’s rare to find a card offering a free flight these days, but the American Express Velocity Platinum Card does exactly that.

Offered annually, the complimentary Virgin Australia domestic return flight unlocks savings of hundreds of dollars on travel.1

By planning ahead, it’s possible to snag a flight booking that would normally cost more than the $375 annual card fee.

Plus, from selected departure cities, start your journey in style at the Virgin Australia lounge by using one of two complimentary entry passes included each year2 with the American Express Velocity Platinum Card.

Where the free flight could take you

The free flight is available to book between many cities across Australia.

There are too many individual routes to cover in this post, but you can view the full list by clicking here.

Here are some of our top picks for using the free return flight:

  • Embark on a tropical getaway from Sydney to Hamilton Island
  • Take a transcontinental journey from Perth, flying to Melbourne or Sydney
  • Explore the Red Centre, travelling from Adelaide to Alice Springs
  • Chase the sun from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast
The complimentary flight benefit is available to use departing from 21 cities across Australia
Caption The complimentary flight benefit is available to use departing from 21 cities across Australia

While the list of bookable domestic itineraries on the Virgin Australia network is extensive, not all routes are covered. As an example, it’s possible to book a trans-continental flight from Perth to Sydney or Melbourne return, but not originating the other direction.

How to book your flight

Velocity offers a dedicated booking portal for the complimentary flight benefit, making it an easy process to book this benefit in.

From the portal, simply follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Velocity Frequent Flyer Account linked with your American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card
  2. Search an eligible origin and destination airport with your preferred dates
  3. Follow the prompts to select a flight (if available)
  4. Enter the nominated passenger’s details, and
  5. Select ‘Complete Booking’ at the bottom of the screen.

Tips to maximise value from the free flight

Not all flights are equal, with some routes offering a more compelling value proposition than others.

Here are our top three tips:

Opt for longer routes: The complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card flight can be used to fly from Perth to Melbourne or Sydney, a return flight that would usually cost upwards of $400 AUD or more in economy.

Choose an exotic destination: A range of popular regional and tropical routes are on offer (think Sydney to Hamilton Island). These routes can often command hefty flight ticket prices.

Book early to snag flights during peak travel periods: The price of flights can also be significantly higher during popular travel periods, including school holidays, so it can be handy to have a free flight benefit banked up for use during these times. If you’re looking to use the free flights for peak periods, you should look to book six to nine months in advance for the best chance to secure your preferred dates.

Who can use the free flight benefit?

The complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight isn’t tied to the primary Card Member.

So, if travel isn’t on your radar, this could present an opportunity to surprise a friend or family member with a holiday.

You can book a flight for any family member or friend of your choosing, provided they are not an unaccompanied minor.

american express velocity platinum seat image

When does the free flight benefit expire?

The complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight is issued after your first Card spend in the first year, and then after your first Card spend each Membership anniversary year, FROM the first month the Card Account is opened. The benefit expires 12 months after it has been issued.

It’s possible to book travel using your credit for a future date well beyond the 12 month period, provided an eligible flight is available to book via the Velocity Complimentary Flight portal.

For example: A complimentary flight benefit issued in February 2024 could be booked up until January 2025. Since Virgin Australia’s booking calendar opens 330 days before departure, it would be possible to book the flight benefit in the last month of validity, unlocking travel as late as December 2025.

Important things to know about

Like any card benefit, there are important things to know about the complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight. Here are the key takeouts to be aware of before booking your flight (with the full terms and conditions for the flight benefit found in the product PDS):

  • Both legs of the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight must be booked on Virgin Australia.
  • Multi-city bookings are not possible, as the flight benefit can only be redeemed as a direct return journey between an approved arrival and departure city. The complimentary flight is redeemable as a single one-way flight sector, providing additional flexibility here. Note that it isn’t possible to fly the return leg as part of a separate future booking.
  • Once booked, the complimentary flight can’t be voluntarily cancelled by the guest. However, Card Members can look to change the time and/or date of the flight by directly calling Virgin Australia on 1300 153 006 (domestically) or +61 7 3119 7006 (from overseas) for assistance.
  • Seats are subject to availability – not all flights on a preferred route will be available. You’ll have the best chance of using your complimentary flight for peak holiday periods if you look to book as early as possible.

This post has been prepared in partnership with American Express.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Complimentary Flight

The complimentary domestic economy Virgin Australia return flight is only available between selected Australian cities and is available for booking by American Express Velocity Platinum Card Members after your first Card spend in the first year, and then after your first Card spend each year after the anniversary of your Membership. All flights are subject to availability and neither Virgin Australia nor American Express guarantees that seats or tickets will be available on the dates or at the times you may wish to fly. Seat availability may be limited to certain dates and/or flights and it may be more difficult to book seats around public holidays, school holidays or special events. Some flights may not have any seats available for redemption. Route availability is subject to change without notice. All travel is subject to the American Express Velocity Platinum Card Benefits Terms and Conditions available here and travel is subject to Virgin Australia Conditions of Carriage available at virginaustralia.com.

  1. Virgin Australia Lounge

Two Single Entry passes to the Virgin Australia lounge will be activated on the Primary Card Member’s Velocity Membership Card annually on or after each annual Card fee renewal date. Virgin Australia lounge entry passes are subject to the American Express Velocity Platinum Card Benefits Terms and Conditions. Single entry passes are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. The Virgin Australia Lounge is operated by Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd in selected domestic airports in accordance with the Virgin Australia Lounge Terms and Conditions, and Lounge Rules as amended from time to time. Visit the Virgin Australia website for up-to-date information on Virgin Australia’s Lounge network.

  1. Bonus & Eligibility Offer 

Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online though the link on this page by 6 February 2024, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months from the Card approval date. This offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. If you are an existing David Jones Card Member and don’t hold or have previously held any other American Express Card(s) in the past 18 months, you will be eligible for the offer. All other Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited, in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. Eligible purchases do not include Card fees and charges, for example annual fees, interest, late payment, cash advances, balance transfers, traveller’s cheques and foreign currency conversion. Velocity membership and Points earn and redemption are subject to the Velocity Membership Terms and Conditions, as amended from time to time. This advertised offer is not applicable or valid in conjunction with any other advertised or promotional offer. 

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