Free Virgin Australia domestic return flights!

Amex Map

Living in Sydney, we frequently visit our friends and family in Brisbane, so we’re always looking out for great deals to reduce the cost.

The ‘deal’ I’m referring to in this post is not as much as a deal, but rather a free domestic return Virgin Australia flight every year as part of one of the benefits attached to our American Express Platinum Edge credit card.

American Express. I know, what is this doing here? Well, this is my favourite Australian credit card in terms of travel benefits. I say this because you have to be an Australian resident to sign up to the card.

In my opinion it’s affordable, the rewards are great and it’s always easy to cancel if you change your mind. Some of the benefits attached to the American Express Platinum Edge credit card are:

  • Complimentary domestic return Virgin Australia flight every year (could almost immediately pay for the cost of the card!).
  • Complimentary domestic and international Travel Insurance when you pay for your travel on the card.
  • Purchase Protection for items lost, stolen, damaged or refused a refund on an item within 90 days of the purchase date. (There are thresholds on what you can claim, but this was extremely handy when water was spilled on our 2 week old MacBook Air!).
  • Receive 15,000 Membership Rewards points if you use my referral link and and you spend $550 in the first 2 months of Card Membership. If you sign up with Amex directly, you’ll only receive 10,000 points.
  • Complimentary Membership Rewards Ascent program.
  • Points earned per $ is maximised for your everyday spend. You receive 3 reward points at supermarkets, 2 points earned on fuel, and 1 point on all other purchases excluding utilities, insurance, telecommunication providers and government bodies in Australia where you earn 0.5 points.

The cost of the card is $195 p.a. which in my opinion can easily be recovered through the redemption of the domestic return flight. Even when you select one of the cheaper options, for a Virgin flight you should recover this cost. Let alone the other benefits attached to the card.

Note: We have been American Express members since 2006 and frequently use our American Express Platinum Edge credit card, especially to receive the benefits of the complimentary travel insurance. We will receive reward points if you sign up through the referral link, this varies depending on promotional periods and therefore I have not stated the number of points.

Of course, as with any credit card, travel insurance and other benefits, there are terms and conditions. I certainly have not listed each and every item in this post. I am not a financial adviser and therefore cannot provide you with advice. Signing up for any credit with a financial institution is based on your own assessment and acceptance to the product disclosure statement and any terms.

Back to the post headline – if you found this interesting and you’re considering signing up (or have already signed up), I have included a quick guide on how to redeem the flight below.

Guide for using the free Virgin Australia domestic flights with American Express – Platinum Edge Credit Card

There’s a few things to know to be able to use the flight for maximum value, so I thought I’d run through some of the detail on how to redeem the flight and do so most effectively.

Destination Guide

The list of available destinations is dependant on your departure airport, which must be from one of the capital cities. The map below will link to the American Express destination guide which will allow you to quickly select your departure airport to see what routes are available:

Amex Map.PNG

How to book your flight

I would always recommend starting your search for available dates and flights on the Virgin Australia website, the flights that generally seem to be available for bookings are those marked as saver fares. For obvious reasons weekends are the most popular so it’s a great idea to lock in your flights as early as possible. We generally use it for weekends when we know we will be visiting, for example, birthdays or weddings where the dates are fixed.

Once you lock down a couple of options, you’ll need to call American Express using the number on the back of your card. The number is 1800 059388, then select option 2 for your free flight redemption team who will be able to assist you with the booking.

Things to consider

I listed a couple of items as tips, or rather reminders that I identified over time.

  • The flights can be booked in your own, or someone else’s name. This is great as it gives you a bit more flexibility for how you would like to use the flight.
  • The complimentary flights are recurring, meaning you will receive another complimentary flight the following year once you renew the card and annual fee is charged to your statement.
  • The flight booking itself does not need to be within the 12 month card anniversary period, i.e. you as long as you make the booking within the period, the flight itself can be well past your card anniversary date, providing with a few more options to redeem the free flight.


I hope you found this guide helpful. If you have any other tips attached to the redemption of the flights, please share these with us!



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