The American Express Platinum Edge Card has 20,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on offer along with a complimentary domestic Air NZ return flight.
- 20,000 Membership Rewards points
- Earn 3 Membership Rewards Points per dollar spent at supermarkets, 2 Rewards points at major petrol stations and 1 Rewards point on all other purchases
- Complimentary annual direct domestic return flight
- Annual fee: $149 p.a.
- Ability to transfer points to any of their seven airline partner rewards programs
- Minimum spend of $750 within the first 3 months to receive bonus points. Available to new American Express cardholders only
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American Express New Zealand are offering 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points with the Platinum Edge. The offer is available for new applicants who don’t already hold an American Express card.
The American Express Platinum Edge is an invaluable card for the avid New Zealand points collector.
The Platinum Edge earns points into the American Express Membership Rewards program, and offers triple points at major supermarkets and double points at major petrol stations – so there are plenty of opportunities to fast track your points earn through your everyday spend.
20,000 Membership Rewards points are transferrable to 10,000 Velocity Points, 10,000 KrisFlyer Miles, 10,000 Qantas Points, $150 with Amex Travel, or just over $114 AirPoints Dollars.
There’s a minimum spend criteria of $750 within the first 3 months to trigger the bonus points.
Also included is a free annual return Air New Zealand domestic seat and bag flight, along with complimentary domestic and international travel insurance for travel paid with the card – both of which can easily cover the $149 annual fee.
Digging into the details of the American Express Platinum Edge card
The American Express Platinum Edge credit card has been consistently my go-to card for many years. The points earn is one of the best in a limited NZ market, particularly when utilised with supermarket and fuel spend.
The added ability to transfer my Membership Rewards points to a number of travel partners such as Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia provides me with a truly flexible points earn and burn combination that I really value.
The Platinum Edge credit card accrues points in the American Express Membership Rewards program through everyday spend. Being a flexible points earning program, Membership Rewards points are one of the most valuable and flexible points for a variety of travel redemptions from New Zealand.
One of the best features of the Platinum Edge credit card when it comes to membership rewards point earn is the ability to collect triple points, just by doing your shopping at your local supermarket. The official wording is “Major Supermarkets”, however from American Express’ definitions in terms & conditions here and the table below, you’ll see that means effectively all of them.
|'Major Supermarkets' qualifying for triple bonus points with American Express|
|PAK n SAVE|
Not to be outdone, with fuel for the family car being possibly the second biggest weekly expense, you can also earn double membership rewards points when purchased from a “Major Petrol Station”. Also available at effectively all, as seen below.
|'Major Petrol Stations' qualifying for double bonus points with American Express|
|GAS (Gasoline Alley Services)|
The standard Platinum Edge card earn of one point per dollar spent will apply for all other general purchases. While this is fine in itself, you can also capitalise on the triple point supermarket earn for purchases at a number of other retailers.
How so? I’m sure everyone has seen the gift card stands in your local supermarket – well, as part of your shopping spend, purchasing these gift cards also delivers you triple membership rewards points.
Now it may not be worth the effort heading over to the supermarket to purchase a $20 gift card for making a purchase at your local bookstore. However making a $500 or $1000 purchase for electronic goods or renovation materials can net you an extra 1,000 to 2,000 points just by picking up gift cards for the purchase while you do your weekly grocery shop.
|Some useful big purchase Gift Cards available in local Supermarkets|
|Mitre 10 Mega|
|Restaurant Association NZ|
There are a number of ways to utilise Membership Rewards points, some worthwhile – some maybe not so much. Possibly the most worthwhile depending on your own requirements, would be the ability to transfer those points to one of the 6 Airlines and 2 Hotel transfer partner programs.
Transfer rates to partners from American Express Membership Rewards New Zealand are questionably weak when compared with it’s Australian Membership Rewards. However there is still value and opportunity to be had if you are needing to top up points for a reward through one of the transfer partners, or make your transfers during one of the bonus promotions occasionally offered by Qantas or Virgin Australia.
Card Benefits – Free Flight
Possibly the most useful, and most valuable perk of the Platinum Edge credit card would be the free annual domestic return flight with Air New Zealand. The flight is in seat and bag class and can be utilised for any direct flight within New Zealand’s domestic network.
The free flight benefit renews annually on your membership anniversary and can be booked easily through the American Express travel number found on the back of the card.
I have personally utilised this feature of the card numerous times over the years and typically had no issue finding flight availability. While generally classed as an award flight and therefore supposedly not linked to ticket value, I have often found a free flight available when the current revenue seat & bag ticket is less than $149.
I would always suggest booking as soon as you know what your travel arrangements are, however it’s comforting to know that availability is not just bound to the cheapest of the cheap seats.
You can book anytime between 9.00am and 5.30pm, by calling 0800 332 268, or +64 9 583 8287.
A little known extra benefit of the free flight, which I have just recently been able to utilise, is that it is possible to stack two available flights into one return trip. Contact the American Express Travel booking service around the time of your membership anniversary, ask them nicely, and they will let you book the free flight for the last year and the upcoming year together.
Due to a number of other travel plans last year I was unable to find the available time to book in a domestic trip where I could utilise the Platinum Edge free flight. After consulting with my son we decided to do a trip to Queenstown in November to run in the half marathon.
With the marathon being one of the most expensive times of the year to get to Queenstown, free tickets were not available. We opted for Christchurch instead and figured we’d drive to Queenstown.
On contacting American Express Travel, I requested if I could book both return awards together, which they informed me was certainly possible, provided the flight had 2 available award tickets. Departing Auckland there are several flights daily to and from Christchurch, therefore I knew we should have a number of flight options available, so we picked up the right option with times to suit.
As shown, if purchased through the Air New Zealand website, these flights would have cost a total $336.00 plus card booking fees, but were free thanks to this benefit of the Platinum Edge credit card. Of particular note also is that the amount saved more than paid for the 2 years of annual fee for the card.
Travel Insurance Benefits
The Key other benefits that come with the Platinum Edge credit card are:
- Domestic and International Travel Insurance Cover
- Overseas Medical Emergency Expenses and Repatriation Cover
- Personal Liability Cover
- Travel Cancellation Cover
- Baggage Cover
- Travel Inconvenience Cover
The Travel Insurance Cover that accompanies the American Express Platinum Edge card requires the pre-purchase of some travel expenses to be made prior to the commencement of travel in order to be eligible for the benefits.
The coverage and benefits conditions available from the Platinum Edge Travel Insurance may not suit everyone’s requirements. The individual would be advised to read the Travel Insurance terms and conditions, and seek appropriate independent advice if this feature is important to you.
Summing up – American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
If you’re not tied to Air New Zealand Airpoints or Qantas Frequent Flyer because of work/business travel then earning points from credit card spend in a flexible rewards program provides independence from being locked in with one airline.
In combination with the Platinum Edge Credit Card, the American Express Membership Rewards program provides what I have found to be the ideal combination that fits with my requirements.
That being said, Membership Rewards in NZ is certainly far from perfect and I believe more effort could easily be made to close the gap between it and its Australian equivalent. For the time being however and with minimal alternatives available, it still currently provides the best option for flexible points redemptions.
The Platinum Edge credit card stands up to comparison with its Australian counterpart, in my view. As shown with the value of the free flight award alone easily covering the cost of the annual fee, the opportunity to earn points including bonuses on grocery and fuel spend becomes effectively a free benefit.
It should be considered by anyone looking to earn a flexible points currency and ‘level up’ their points collecting with more advanced strategies for earn and redemption across a range of different frequent flyer programs.
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