Find out how you can enjoy a return flight in Australia or get credit towards your next travel booking with one of these American Express cards.
Choosing an Amex card that offers a complimentary flight or travel credit helps offset the higher annual fees that come with these premium options. For example, the American Express Velocity Platinum Card has a $375 annual fee and offers a return, domestic economy flight with Virgin Australia each year. As long as your return flight is worth more than this, you’d balance out the yearly cost of the card.
Whether you’re interested in getting a new Amex card or already have one that offers a flight or travel credit, use this guide to compare your options and find out how you can get the most out of this premium perk.
What you'll find in this guide
Compare American Express cards with complimentary flights or travel credit
What is the difference between a complimentary flight and a travel credit?
If you get an Amex card with a complimentary flight, you can only use the benefit for travel with a particular airline – Qantas or Virgin Australia, depending on the card.
Other cards that offer a travel credit allow you to put a fixed amount of money towards travel you book through American Express. This includes flights, as well as hotels, car hire or experiences (ie travel tours), which gives you more flexibility in how you use the benefit. Check out our guide for full details and steps to redeem American Express travel credit.
Where can I travel with an American Express complimentary flight?
With the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, you’ll get $450 towards either a domestic or international booking with Qantas. Put simply, you can use the credit towards any flight with a QF flight number.
With the American Express Velocity Platinum Card, you can choose from a selection of Virgin Australia domestic flight routes. The Virgin Australia flights available vary based on your location. For example, if you’re flying from Sydney, you’ll have over 15 destinations to choose from, while flying from Perth would give you 5 options. To find out exactly where you can go, check out the table below or visit the Amex complimentary flight map before you book.
How can I redeem a free flight with American Express?
Each Amex card has different requirements you need to meet before you can use your complimentary flight or travel credit benefit. Below, you’ll find the key requirements and redemption options for both the Amex Velocity Platinum and the Qantas American Express Ultimate.
American Express cards with complimentary flight and airline benefits
|Credit card||Benefit||Key details to redeem a flight|
|American Express Velocity Platinum Card||Complimentary return domestic flight with Virgin Australia, between selected Australian cities.|
|Qantas American Express Ultimate Card||$450 Qantas Travel Credit|
What else do I need to know about American Express free flights and travel credit?
Apart from the standard reserved rights to change any of these terms and conditions, American Express and its partner airlines have a few important conditions that you should be aware of before you redeem your complimentary flight:
- Yearly redemption. This travel benefit is available 365 days from the start of your membership year, ie the date you first got your Amex card. Your flight must be booked before the end of that year, and cannot be carried over to the next.
- Account status. You must have an active American Express account and have paid your annual fee before redeeming the flight or travel benefit. You also need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on each statement by the due date.
- Subject to availability. There is no guarantee that the flight or travel booking you want to make will be available.
- Bookings of a lower value. If your booking is worth less than the value of the Qantas Credit or Travel Credit offered on your card, you will forfeit the difference. For example, if you used the $450 Qantas Travel Credit to book flights worth $300, you wouldn’t get any value from the remaining $150 Qantas Travel Credit.
- Cancellations. If you cancel your booking, you won’t get money back from the portion of your booking that’s made with the flight benefit or Travel Credit.
- Ticket or booking changes. Any changes made after your initial booking will attract the airline or company’s usual fees, fare differences and applicable GST. Read through the terms and conditions of your booking to find out the potential costs involved.
- Fare class. With the Qantas American Express Ultimate, you can use the $450 flight credit to book in any fare class you like, from economy through to business or first class. However, with the American Express Velocity Platinum, the free flight is for an economy class “Saver” fare.
- Ticket restrictions. You may not sell, transfer, endorse, refund or exchange your ticket for cash, or combine this offer with any other promotion, discount, negotiated or corporate rate. You cannot redeem your ticket with a partner airline or codeshare flight, so make sure the booking has either a QF flight number (for Qantas) or a VA flight number (for Virgin Australia).
- Conditions of carriage. With the free flight benefit, your travel conditions are subject to the “Virgin Australia Terms and Conditions of Carriage” or the “Qantas Conditions of Carriage”, depending on which card you have.
American Express credit cards with complimentary flights or Travel Credit give you a clear way to balance out the annual fee, while also enjoying premium travel benefits and rewards. Just make sure you keep the terms and conditions in mind, so that you always get as much value as possible from this perk. If you’re still choosing a card, you can also compare these Amex options with other credit cards that offer flights or travel credit to help you find the right one for you.
Compare other credit cards that offer free flights or travel credit
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