Free flight: how to level up travel with the ultimate Velocity card perk

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

Offered once each Card membership year, the complimentary American Express Virgin Australia domestic return flight offers savvy travellers the potential to save hundreds of dollars on travel.

In fact, simply by using this one benefit, there’s the potential to fully offset the $375 annual card fee. Here’s how to use the complimentary flight to maximum advantage.

Where can I use the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Flight?

First things first, the complimentary flight is available to use between a large number of origin and destination cities across Australia.

The flight map on the American Express website sets out the routes that are currently available for redemption.

As an interactive tool, the flight map makes it easy to view origin and destination airports where the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight can be used.

Here’s the current list of flight routes available from Sydney:

And below you’ll find the current routes available to fly ex Melbourne:



Here are three of our favourite routes, current at the time of writing:

  • Perth to Sydney (Please note this benefit is not available when flying Sydney to Perth, but it’s worth noting that savvy travellers who plan ahead could use this benefit to construct two one way trips!)
  • Melbourne to Sunshine Coast
  • Brisbane to Darwin

Booking the Complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Flight

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

From the Complimentary Flight portal, you’ll simply need to 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.

There are no hidden fees and nothing else to pay for your flight once the booking has been successfully completed.

Tips for maximising value

Not all flights are equal when it comes to the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight, with some routes offering a more compelling value proposition than others.

For example – the complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum 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 (note this benefit is not available in the opposite direction).

The complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight is also redeemable for a range of popular regional destinations (think Hamilton Island). These destinations can often command hefty flight ticket prices.

These two examples show how using the complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight on a costly or high-demand route could see Card Members effectively offset the annual fee each year.

Use the Complimentary Flight to benefit the person of your choosing

When it comes to using the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight, it’s helpful to know that it isn’t tied to the primary Card Member.

Rather than using it for yourself, it’s possible to book flights for a family member or friend, provided they are not an unaccompanied minor.

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

The complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight is valid for 12 months, so there’s potential to extend its usage much further into the future – perhaps for a special occasion in mind – provided you book within the 12-month period for a future eligible flight.

Important things to know about

Like any benefit, there are important things to know about booking in the complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight.

From an itinerary perspective, be aware that both legs of the complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight must be booked on Virgin Australia flights.

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. However, the complimentary flight is redeemable as a single one-way flight sector.

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).

Lastly, it’s important to note that seats are subject to availability, and not all flights on a preferred route will be available. You’ll have the best chance of using your complimentary Amex Velocity Platinum flight for peak holiday periods if you look to book as early as possible.

The full terms and conditions for the flight benefit can be found in the product PDS.

virgin australia plane taking off

When does the Complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Flight benefit expire?

The complimentary American Express Velocity Platinum Card domestic return flight is issued each anniversary year, from the first month the Card Account is opened. The validity is for 12 months, and it must be redeemed within 12 months from when it is issued.

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

Let’s look at an example: A complimentary flight benefit issued in April 2023 would be valid for use up until March 2024. Virgin Australia’s booking calendar opens from 330 days before departure. So, Card Members looking to book the flight benefit in the last month of validity could access flights for travel up until January or February 2025.

Summing up

It’s extremely rare to find a Card offering a complimentary flight these days, with this benefit positioning the American Express Velocity Platinum Card ahead of the pack. In fact, simply by using this benefit, it’s possible to extract enough value to fully offset the $375 annual fee.

To learn more about the American Express Velocity Platinum Card, head here.

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