American Express is offering 400 Airpoints Dollars for new Card Members of the American Express Airpoints Platinum Card until 30 March 2020.
Note that this offer is only available to new Card Members who must not have held a card issued by American Express NZ in the last 18 months. A minimum spend of $1,500 within the first 3 months from approval is also required to receive the bonus.
The Airpoints Platinum Card earns 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 spent. You’ll also receive two Priority Pass lounge visits, and two visits to the American Express lounge in Sydney or Melbourne too.
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, smartphone screen insurance|
The American Express Airpoints Platinum card has the following key benefits:
- The fastest way to earn Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars in New Zealand for personal credit cards at 1 APD earned per $59 spent
- Complimentary access twice per year to the American Express Lounge at the Sydney or Melbourne International Airport
- Two Priority Pass network lounge visits per year, including to the Strata Club 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
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 one of the highest earn rate for spend within New Zealand available – Westpac’s World MasterCard beats it for international spend, but that’s about 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 lower fee of $149.
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 our review of Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy
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 – along with priority check-in for Air New Zealand flights.
The standard joining fee of $255 is waived for American Express Airpoints Platinum Card Members, while the annual membership fee is reduced by $145 to $484 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 Card Members 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, plus smartphone screen insurance. You’ll need to check the terms of the insurance to make sure this will cover your own needs.
The smartphone screen insurance is unique in the market as a credit card insurance offering, and it will cover you for screen repairs up to NZ$500, with a 10% excess on the claim. If the smartphone is paid on a monthly contract, cover will start 30 days from the date of the first monthly payment on your card.
Summing up – American Express Airpoints Platinum
The Airpoints Platinum card is a faster Airpoints earning, less-complex card than the old Air New Zealand Platinum 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 and makes the card well worth considering. Particularly for those who are committed Air New Zealand frequent flyers looking to increase their potential for free flights by earning Airpoints Dollars and improving their status earn.
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