The Air New Zealand Platinum Card is now unavailable to new applicants, being replaced by the new American Express Airpoints Platinum card. We’ve left our guide up for reference for existing cardholders.
The Air New Zealand American Express Platinum card is the high-end Amex account for devoted Air New Zealand Airpoints members.
The current bonus offer is $200 in Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars – the bonus is the equivalent to that amount flight credit to be redeemed with Air NZ.
The offer requires a $500 minimum spend within the first 3 months of ownership to trigger the bonus, and is worth considering for the committed Air New Zealand frequent flyer.
You could use Airpoints dollars to fly one way to Australia in Business Class – read the review of Business Premier between Auckland and Sydney →
Or fly to / from Australia in Premium Economy Class – read the review of Air New Zealand Premium Economy →
Digging into the details of the Air New Zealand American Express Platinum card
The Air New Zealand American Express Platinum has three key benefits, each of which we’ll get into in this guide:
- A free domestic Economy return flight with Air New Zealand each year, which helps offset the $395 annual fee
- Airpoints Dollars and Status Points on offer from your day to day spend
- $145 saving on your Koru Membership annual fee, and $255 joining fee waiver in the first year
Free domestic Economy return flight with Air New Zealand each year
The free return domestic flight each year kicks in with the date of activation, and then subsequent renewal of your card each year (it’s not based on a calendar year).
It’s valid for any direct routing (i.e. no connecting routes) on Air New Zealand’s network, but only in the cheapest fare buckets. To check availability and book your flight, you just call up American Express Travel on 0800 332 268.
You’ll need to book the flight before the end of your cardholder year otherwise it will be forfeit, but it can be booked for any time within the subsequent year, so you ultimately have nearly two years from the date you activate your card to travel with your first return flight.
The flight can be booked in anyone’s name, allowing you to gift it to a friend or family member if you won’t use it (or prefer to book yourself in Business Class or earn Airpoints Status on your paid flights instead).
Earning Airpoints Dollars from spend
The Air New Zealand American Express Platinum will earn you 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $75 spent on the card, so an effective earn rate of 0.0133 Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent.
I’m not going to Airpoints Dollars in detail here, leaving that to the intro guide to Airpoints. However, it’s not complex – 1 Airpoints Dollar = $1 of flight credit with Air New Zealand when it comes to redeeming them.
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.
Another data point – the Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard with a comparable annual fee slightly edges the Air New Zealand American Express Platinum with a touch more Airpoints Dollars and Status Points earned per $ on spend.
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 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 Status Points earned from your card you’d need to spend $112,500 on your Air New Zealand Platinum American Express 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
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 Air New Zealand American Express Platinum cardholders, while the annual membership fee is reduced by $145 to $435 annually, which helps cover the cost of the annual fee of the card 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 – Air New Zealand American Express Platinum
This card can typically be found with either a large Airpoints Dollars signup bonus, or sometimes with a no annual fee (with no bonus) offer in the first year.
The different offers have differing appeal to different potential cardholders – a large bonus is appealing for those looking to redeem the Airpoints Dollars into free flights quickly, while no annual fee is handy for Koru discounts and insurance.
The free domestic flight is a good win, especially as it’s usable by anyone you want to use it for, not just the cardholder.
Either way the Airpoints Dollars and Status Point earn rate is one of the best out there, so if you’re a committed Air New Zealand frequent flyer looking to increase their potential for free flights and improve their status earn it’s worth considering.
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