The ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures credit card will no longer come with a complimentary annual return Virgin Australia flight or Virgin Australia lounge passes from December 2020.
As a result of this change, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures annual fee will also be reduced from $225 to $120. But the loss of the Virgin flight and lounge benefits makes this product significantly less attractive – even with the lower annual fee. For most cardholders, the Virgin Australia benefits are valued at far more than $105!
Current ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures benefits with Virgin Australia
Currently, cardholders receive one complimentary return Virgin Australia Economy class domestic flight for each year that they hold their card. This benefit can only be used on selected domestic routes, but there is an impressive range of routes available including Brisbane-Darwin, Perth-Broome and Brisbane-Mt Isa. Normally (but for WA’s state border closure) flights between the Australian east coast and Perth would too be available.
To book, ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures cardholders would need to call ANZ. The free flights would need to be claimed at least 60 days in advance and there would need to be availability in “T” fare class on the selected Virgin Australia flights.
Despite the COVID-19 travel shutdown, the Virgin Australia flight benefit has remained until now. But it has been difficult for many cardholders to use this benefit as it’s impossible to plan travel more than two months in advance at the moment. Many cardholders have also had their claimed Virgin Australia flights cancelled and have been issued travel credits in their place.
Currently, cardholders can also request two complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each year. But with Virgin Australia lounges closed since March, and no reopening date in sight, these currently have limited value.
Cardholders can still request their complimentary Virgin Australia flight and lounge passes until 30 November 2020. After then, these benefits will no longer be available. But you can book flights up to 11 months in advance.
If you have been unable to use your free flight or lounge passes, you may instead be able to request that your annual card fee is waived. The ANZ website states:
If you don’t want to use your Air Travel benefits due to the current travel environment and would like your Annual Account fee for the current account year to be reviewed please call ANZ on 1800 824 433 (Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm AEST). Please also call if you’d like to discuss whether this product is still right for you.
This is consistent with the experience of aussie flyer:
My experience with the Anz Travel Adventures, Last week got charged the annual fee (totally forgot to close it), called up and said i have been stood down from work and waived the whole annual fee no problem. Then noticed the flight had to be booked by end of November, managed to call up and get a flight booked and lounge passes requested, and on top of that managed an upgrade to J with points. But i know of other people who Anz made pay the rewards fee in order to keep the travel benefits, seems pretty inconsistent reading on here. Just my 2 cents, hope it helps.
Is the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card still worth it?
The ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures credit card has been very popular with frequent flyers for its Virgin Australia benefits, as well as having no international transaction fees on foreign currency purchases. Cardholders can also earn ANZ Rewards points on purchases, which can be transferred to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Air New Zealand Airpoints. (You can also normally transfer ANZ Rewards points to Velocity Frequent Flyer, although this has been suspended since Virgin Australia entered voluntary administration in April 2020.)
But there are plenty of other credit cards that earn points, offer complimentary travel insurance or have no international transaction fees. Many AFF members believe this card will no longer be worth its annual fee once the Virgin Australia benefits are removed. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
I am surprised they couldn’t get a deal with the new VA owners to keep the benefit going, I guess ANZ must have felt it’s just too hard to keep the flight benefit with the covid-19 situation, but surely they could have think of something else to replace the flight benefit? As it stands this is easily the worse credit card out there, you are effectively paying $120 for the benefit of not paying FX fees on foreign transactions.
Maybe it is time that they got rid of the cap on rewards points earn (1.5 pts up to a max of $2000 per statement period, and then 0.5 pts thereafter). Or at least changed to cap for the higher points earn rate to a more reasonable $5000.00
Unfortunately, the effective annual fee reduction, in its own right, is not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of the one return flight per year benefit.
American Express continues to offer a complimentary return annual Virgin Australia domestic flight with its $375/year Velocity Platinum credit card.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure Card