Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Air New Zealand Airpoints Credit Cards Guide

Air New Zealand have three of their own branded credit cards (Low Fee, Standard and Platinum), which are issued by Kiwibank.

These cards have the lowest international transaction fee of all the Airpoints earning cards – a low 1.85% of the New Zealand dollar amount once converted. They are also clever cards that can be used as an ‘ePass’ when travelling – just scan your Airpoints Standard credit card at the gate or a self-service kiosk.

This guide covers the different earn rates and benefits of each of these cards.

As most Kiwis and others with previous experience of the Air New Zealand’s Airpoints program know, it is not a complex program – 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.

Eligible spend for each of these cards excludes fees or interest, balance transfers, credit card repayment insurance, gambling chips, money orders, travellers cheques or foreign currencies in cash, cash advances or cash withdrawals made from an ATM, or any transaction that is reversed, refunded or charged back.

Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Mastercard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard earns Airpoints Dollar on spend, comes with two complimentary lounge passes, complimentary travel insurance and discounted Koru membership.

  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $75 spent on eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $65 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
  • Complimentary overseas travel insurance
  • Get a Koru Membership annual fee discount, usually $145 p.a.
  • Two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes for every $20,000 spent on your card in each year
  • Earn 1 Status point for every $200 spent
  • Up to 44 days interest free on eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $150 p.a.

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks do not earn commission on this card. More about this →

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard is the high-end Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars (APD) earning MasterCard issued by Kiwibank. Comes with waived joining fee and membership discount to Air New Zealand Koru Club and complimentary travel insurances.

Digging into the details of the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard

Card Details

CardAir New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Mastercard
Loyalty ProgramAir New Zealand Airpoints
Airpoints Dollars earned from spend1 Airpoint Dollar for every $75 spent on eligible purchases, or 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $65 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
Status Points earned from spend1 Status Point for every $200 spent
Travel benefitsFree Koru Joining fee and discount on membership, two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes for every $20,000 spent on your card in each year, up to 200 extra Airpoints Dollars in advance, and buy additional Airpoints Dollars online (for a fee)
Included insurancesUp to 40 days overseas travel insurance (PDS)
Annual fee$145 p.a.
Additional cardholder fee$15 fee for a joint or additional cardholder every six months
Foreign currency fee1.85% of NZD converted value of foreign currency transaction amount

Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend with the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $75 spent on the card in NZ equivalent dollars, with an effective earn rate of 0.013 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent.

While this is on par with other Airpoints Platinum cards issued by the banks, in terms of earn rate, the card is pipped by the American Express Platinum Airpoints which earns 1 APD for every $59 spent with a $195 annual fee.

Mastercard is however more widely accepted both in New Zealand and abroad.

For those loyal to Air New Zealand, you will earn 1 APD per $65 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand, at an effective earn rate of 0.015 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This includes car hire and accommodation booked through their site.

Airpoints Dollars Advance, Top-Up & Non-expiry

Air New Zealand will provide an extra 200 APD advance (kind of like an overdraft facility) to the primary card holder’s Airpoints account, a useful extra benefit of the card when just a little short of a chosen Airpoints dollar redemption with Air New Zealand.

The primary cardholder’s APDs will also never expire as long as the Airpoints member remains a current Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard cardholder.

In addition to the APDs advance, you can also purchase APDs to top up your balance – these can then be used not only on flights, but other purchases, such as through the Airpoints Dollars store, or for car hire. Just sign in to your Air New Zealand account, and click on ‘See My Balances’. Go to the ‘Credit Cards’ tab to display your credit card balance(s). Click on the ‘Top up your Airpoints Dollars’ button, enter the amount you need and your Airpoints credit card details. Your Airpoints Dollars balance will be topped up instantly.

There is a minimum $5 fee for purchasing Airpoints Dollars, and you must have enough available credit to purchase the requested top-up amount and to pay the fee. The fee is deducted automatically so you don’t need to add it to the amount to be purchased. Purchases of Airpoints Dollars are non-refundable so double check your purchase before you confirm. Customers who purchase international fares using Airpoints Dollars will be required to pay in cash, the government and airport taxes and costs.

All fares that are purchased using Airpoints Dollars are not eligible for accrual of Airpoints Dollars and/or Status Points. This includes fares purchased using Airpoints Dollars that you have purchased on your Airpoints credit card.

For flights, I would always firstly use the APD advance – it doesn’t cost you anything, and you can use either the full amount or a partial amount, and gradually ‘pay it back’ through further spend on your credit card.

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 $200 spent. This is the best Status Points earning rate from any credit card in New Zealand.

The earn rates for Status Points on spend are not high enough to make a huge dent in what you need to achieve 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.

Even if you maxed out the 450 Tier Points toward elite status, with the Status Points earned from the card you’d need to spend $90,000 to earn them. So for all but the biggest spenders, Status Points will just be a portion of your status earn to help top you up.

Koru Club fee reductions and free passes

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 the impressive LAX Star Alliance lounge, along with Virgin Australia lounges when travelling with Virgin Australia in Australia, and priority check-in for Air New Zealand flights.

Lax Star Alliance Lounge
LAX Star Alliance Lounge

The standard joining fee of $255 is waived for Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum MasterCard cardholders, while the annual membership fee is reduced by $145 to $454 annually, which helps cover the cost of the annual fee of the card if you were going to be buying membership anyway.

As an added bonus, you’ll also receive two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes for every $20,000 spent on your card in each year. Unfortunately, if you already have purchased Koru Membership, or have lounge access through elite status with Air New Zealand or another Star Alliance partner, you cannot gives these away, as they are electronically tied to your Airpoints account.

Travel Insurance and other benefits

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Mastercard comes with up to 40 days overseas travel insurance for the cardholder (and spouse and dependent children if they’re travelling with you), including coverage for medical expenses, cancellation and baggage/money/documents.

You’re covered automatically as long as you activate your cover before leaving New Zealand by using your card to buy:

  • your overseas travel tickets, or
  • one or more nights of pre-paid accommodation, or
  • a pre-paid rental car or pre-paid scheduled transport ticket, or
  • a pre-paid, guided tour.

You’ll need to check the PDS terms and conditions of the insurance to make sure the coverage is suitable to your own needs.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Cardholders also gain access to the Platinum Mastercard Concierge service, useful for arranging restaurant or ticket reservations, and the Mastercard Privileges program, offering exclusive travel and dining experiences across the globe.

Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard Mastercard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard earns Airpoints Dollar on spend, comes with two Air New Zealand Lounge passes and a low overseas transaction fee of 1.85% of converted NZ dollar value.

  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $120 spent on eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $100 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
  • Two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes for every $20,000 spent on your card in each year
  • Up to 44 days interest free on eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $65 p.a.

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks do not earn commission on this card. More about this →

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard is an Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars (APD) earning MasterCard issued by Kiwibank.

Digging into the details of the Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard

Card Details

CardAir New Zealand Airpoints Standard Mastercard
Loyalty programAir New Zealand Airpoints
Airpoints Dollars earned from spend1 Airpoint Dollar for every $120 spent on eligible purchases, or 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $100 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
Travel benefitsTwo complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes for each year that you spend at least $20,000 spent on your card, and up to 100 extra Airpoints Dollars in advance
Annual fee$65 p.a.
Additional cardholder fee$10 fee for a joint or additional cardholder every six months
Foreign currency fee1.85% of NZD converted value of foreign currency transaction amount

Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend with the Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $120 spent on the card in NZ dollars, with an effective earn rate of 0.0083 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This is on par with other ‘classic’ Airpoints earning cards in New Zealand.

In terms of cost and earn rate, the card is pipped by the American Express Airpoints card, which earns 1 APD for every NZ$100 spent with no annual fee. MasterCard is however more widely accepted both in New Zealand and abroad.

For those loyal to Air New Zealand, you will earn 1 APD per $100 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand, at an effective earn rate of 0.01 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This includes car hire and accommodation booked through their site.

Airpoints Dollars Advance, Top-Up & Non-expiry

Air New Zealand will provide an extra 100 APD advance (kind of like an overdraft facility) to the primary card holders Airpoints account, a useful extra benefit of the card when just a little short of a chosen Airpoints dollar redemption with Air New Zealand.

The primary cardholder’s APDs will also never expire as long as the Airpoints member remains a current Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard cardholder.

In addition to the APDs advance, you can also purchase APDs to top up your balance – same process as with the Platinum Mastercard, which you can read more about above.

Koru Club free passes

While there is no discounted Koru Club membership with this card, for each year that you spend at least $20,000 on your card, you will receive two complimentary Koru Club passes. Unfortunately, if you already have purchased Koru Membership, or have lounge access through elite status with Air New Zealand or another Star Alliance partner, you cannot gives these away, as they are electronically tied to your Airpoints account.

This is also a little different than the Platinum Mastercard – you will only receive a maximum of 2 passes on the Standard. On the Platinum, you will receive 2 passes for every $20,000 you spend per annum.

Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee Mastercard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee MasterCard earns Airpoints Dollar on spend with a low overseas transaction fee of 1.85% of converted NZ dollar value.

  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $160 spent on eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $140 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
  • Up to 44 days interest free on eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $25 p.a.

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks do not earn commission on this card. More about this →

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee MasterCard is an Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars (APD) earning MasterCard issued by Kiwibank. It is unique in being the lowest earning Airpoints card in New Zealand, but also the cheapest, with an annual fee of only $25.

Digging into the details of the Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee MasterCard

Card Details

CardAir New Zealand Low Fee MasterCard
Loyalty programAir New Zealand Airpoints
Airpoints Dollars earned from spend1 Airpoint Dollar for every $160 spent on eligible purchases, or 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $140 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand
Annual fee$25 p.a.
Additional cardholder fee$5 fee for a joint or additional cardholder every six months
Foreign currency fee1.85% of NZD converted value of foreign currency transaction amount

Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend with the Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard MasterCard

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee MasterCard will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $160 spent on the card in NZ dollars, with an effective earn rate of 0.00625 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This is the lowest earn rate on any Airpoints credit card in New Zealand.

For those loyal to Air New Zealand, you will earn 1 APD per $140 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand, at an effective earn rate of 0.007 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent. This includes car hire and accommodation booked through their site.

Airpoints Dollars Top-Up & Non-expiry

The primary cardholder’s APDs will never expire as long as the Airpoints member remains a current Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Rate MasterCard cardholder.

While this card does not come with an APDs advance facility, you can purchase APDs to top up your balance – same process as with the Platinum Mastercard, which you can read more about above.

Summing up – Air New Zealand Airpoints Credit Cards

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard and Platinum Mastercard earn rates are on par with other Standard and Platinum Airpoints credit cards issued by banks in New Zealand.
The Airpoints Dollars advance on the Standard and Platinum cards will pretty much ‘pay’ for your annual fee if you use these cards to book Air New Zealand flights.

For the Platinum Mastercard, many of the included benefits such as discounted annual Koru membership with no join fee, access to the Platinum Mastercard Concierge service, and included travel insurance could prove to be useful to regular Kiwi international travellers. The Platinum Mastercard also allows you to earn Air New Zealand Status Points, at a rate unbeaten by any other New Zealand credit card. If you put all your spend on this card, you should easily manage to recoup the cost of the annual fee.

The Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Rate Mastercard has a lower barrier to entry – both in terms of income, and with the $25 ongoing annual fee. However needing to spend $4,000 per year just to get value out of the annual fee seems a bit rough – aim for the Standard or Platinum cards if you’re eligible.

Air New Zealand Airpoints Credit Cards Guide was last modified: May 21st, 2017 by Daniel Kinnoch

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