The American Express Airpoints Platinum card has a 200 Airpoints dollar bonus with a $195 annual fee. It comes with some American Express and Priority Pass lounge benefits and the highest Airpoints Dollar earn rate on spend in NZ.
- 200 bonus Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars
- Earn 1 Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent
- 2 x Lounge passes to American Express Sydney International Lounge and 2 x Priority Pass lounge passes
- Earn 1 Air New Zealand status point for every $250 spent
- $195 p.a. annual fee
- Bonus requires minimum spend of $1,500 within first 3 months
Point Hacks earn up to $150 per applicant for this card. More about this →
American Express have reworked the Air New Zealand Platinum card, which is now labelled American Express Airpoints Platinum with a 200 Airpoints Dollar signup bonus on offer for new cardholders.
While visually the same, the benefits have been updated – with the key changes being the free domestic Air NZ flight on the old card being removed, the annual fee reduced to $195, some new lounge benefits (2 x Priority Pass and 2 x Sydney American Express Lounge access annually) – and most importantly, an increased Airpoints dollar earn rate of 1 APD for every $59 spent.
Existing holders of the Air New Zealand Platinum will see no changes in the short term – they still hold the same card without being automatically moved over to the new product and the associated changes. There are no immediate plans to move existing cardholders over either.
There’s also a limited time bonus of 200 Airpoints Dollars for new applicants, with a $1500 minimum spend in the first 3 months.
Digging into the details of the American Express Airpoints Platinum credit card
|Card||American Express Airpoints Platinum|
|Loyalty program||Air New Zealand Airpoints|
|Points earned from spend||1 Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent|
|Travel benefits||Access to the American Express Lounge in Sydney International Airport twice yearly, and two Priority Pass network lounge visits yearly|
|Included insurances||Medical emergency expense cover, travel cancellation cover, baggage/money/documentation cover, transport accident cover and inconvenience insurance (if your flight is delayed) when you pay for travel with the card|
The new American Express Airpoints Platinum card has the following key benefits:
- The fastest way to earn Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars in New Zealand at 1 APD earned per $59 spent
- Complimentary access twice per year to the American Express Lounge in Sydney International
- Two Priority Pass network lounge visits per year, including to the Emperor Lounge at Auckland International.
- Koru Club (Air New Zealand lounges) joining fee waiver, saving you $255, and a Koru Club annual discount of $145 for as long as you hold the card
- Air New Zealand status points earned too – 1 status point for every $250 spent
The revised card is simpler and less expensive than the outgoing card it replaces, the Air New Zealand Platinum card, with an annual fee of $195.
Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend
The American Express Airpoints Platinum will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent on the card, so an effective earn rate of 0.0169 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This is the highest earn rate for spend within New Zealand available – Westpac’s World MasterCard beats it for international spend, but that’s it.
Air NZ’s Airpoints program is not complex – 1 Airpoints Dollar = $1 of flight credit with Air New Zealand when it comes to redemption time and making use of the points earned with the card.
By comparison, the American Express Platinum Edge (which also comes with a free domestic flight) earns half the Airpoints dollars per dollar spent (outside supermarkets and fuel) when transferred to Airpoints, but with a much lower fee of $149.
Earning Airpoints Status from spend
Alongside the Airpoints Dollars earned, you also earn Airpoints Status Points with your spend, with an earn rate of 1 status point for every $250 spent.
The earn rates for Status Points on spend are not high enough to make significant progress toward status with Air New Zealand, with Gold membership requiring 900 Status Points and half of those have to be earned from Air New Zealand or Star Alliance partner flights.
To max out the eligible 450 Tier Points toward elite status with status points earned from your card you’d need to spend $112,500 on the card.
Koru Club fee reductions
Air New Zealand’s Koru lounge membership program offers Air New Zealand lounge access for a member and a guest when travelling on an Air New Zealand flight, regardless of class of travel.
You’ll also get access to Virgin Australia lounges when travelling with Virgin Australia in Australia, along with priority check in for Air New Zealand flights.
The standard joining fee of $255 is waived for American Express Airpoints Platinum cardholders, while the annual membership fee is reduced by $145 to $435 annually, which helps cover the cost of the annual card fee if you were going to be buying membership anyway.
Insurances and other benefits
Supplementary cardholders with the card are free, while the card also includes domestic and international travel insurance for you and your family, including coverage for medical expenses, cancellation and baggage/money/documents. You’ll need to check the terms of the insurance to make sure this will cover your own needs.
Summing up – American Express Airpoints Platinum
The change from the old Air New Zealand Platinum card repositions the card as a faster Airpoints earning, less-complex card. There are still benefits to holding the card each year outside of earning Airpoints Dollars, but these are less valuable now than the previous free flight.
That said, the annual fee of $195 hits a much more appealing price point to hold the card ongoing, and the free domestic flight had its own set of limitations which needed planning to get the most value from that benefit.
If you’re a committed Air New Zealand frequent flyer looking to increase their potential for free flights by earning Airpoints Dollars, and improve their status earn, the card is well worth considering.
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