Velocity Global Wallet cardholders will earn fewer points on transactions within Australia from 4 May 2020. Fees for using the travel money card are also changing, with some charges being reduced or eliminated.
New Velocity Global Wallet earn rate
Currently, you can earn 1 Velocity point per $3 spent within Australia using the Velocity Global Wallet card. This is the prepaid Visa debit card that comes on the back of your Velocity Frequent Flyer membership card. But from 4 May 2020, this earn rate will reduce to 1 Velocity point per $4 spent in Australia, or 0.25 Velocity points per dollar. You can continue to earn 2 Velocity points per $1 spent in foreign currency on the card.
The revised Velocity Global Wallet earn rate on domestic transactions matches the Qantas Travel Money card earn rate of 1 Qantas point per $4 spent in Australia.
But this isn’t the only thing changing…
Fee changes & reductions
Some Velocity Global Wallet fees are being reduced or eliminated, in good news for cardholders. Specifically, the 2.25% non-native currency fee, charged if you spend money in a currency not pre-loaded onto the card, is being removed.
ATM withdrawal fees (previously $1.95 per transaction) are also being eliminated. This applies to both domestic and overseas withdrawals. But you’ll still be charged any ATM operator fees, if applicable.
There are already several Australian debit cards that do not charge fees for overseas ATM withdrawals, including the Citibank Plus, ING Orange Everyday and Ubank Usaver Ultra transaction accounts.
Meanwhile, the monthly inactivity fee – charged if there are no transactions in your Velocity Global Wallet account for 12 months or more – is changing. It is currently charged at a rate of $1.95/month. This will change to a percentage-based fee of 0.5% of the account balance, with a minimum charge of $1 per month. In addition, any foreign currency held on an inactive account for 2 years will be automatically converted back to Australian Dollars.
Changes to eligible earning categories
Bizarrely, Velocity Global Wallet is also changing the types of transactions that are eligible to earn points as of 4 May 2020. You’ll now only earn points when spending money with businesses that are specifically designated as “travel”, “entertainment” or “everyday shopping”, based on their Merchant Category Code.
This is how the updated Velocity Global Wallet Product Disclosure Statement defines the new earning categories:
Purchases at any merchant classified under Merchant Category Codes (“MCC”) 3000 to 4789 (inclusive) and 7011. For example, this includes airlines, airport retailers, lodging, including hotels, motels, resorts, vacation rentals (including vacation rental sites), car rentals, couriers, local and long distance delivery, ground transportation, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, tolls, bridge fees, and other transportation.
Purchases at any merchant classified under Merchant Category Codes 4899, 5733, 5815, and 7832 to 7999 (inclusive), with the exception of Betting and Lottery Merchants under MCC 7995. For example, this includes movies, theatres, museums, performing arts, bowling alleys, stadiums, sporting events, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos and other recreation and tourist attractions.
Purchases at any merchant classified under Merchant Category Codes 5122, 5300 to 5499 (inclusive), 5541, 5611 to 5699 (inclusive), 5732 to 5999 (inclusive), 7210 to 7278 (inclusive), and 7296 to 7299 (inclusive). For example, this includes consumer retail stores, online retailers, book stores, service/gas stations, grocery stores, supermarkets, department stores, bakeries, drug stores, clothing stores, clothing rental, restaurants, eating places, health and beauty spas.
Other debit cards that award frequent flyer points
There are many credit cards that earn Velocity points. But Velocity Global Wallet is unique because it is a fee-free debit card that allows you to earn Velocity points on everyday transactions within Australia.
There are currently a few debit cards in Australia that award Qantas Frequent Flyer points for transactions. These include the Qantas Travel Money card and Bankwest Qantas Transaction account – although the Bankwest Qantas debit card recently had a devaluation of its own.