Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points plus free Air NZ flight each year with the American Express NZ Platinum Edge Credit Card

American Express Platinum Edge - 20,000 Membership Rewards points

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
Countdown on-line
Farro Fresh
Fresh Choice
New World
Super Value

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
JB Hi-Fi
Mitre 10 Mega
Noel Leeming
Restaurant Association NZ
Stirling Sports
The Warehouse
Warehouse Stationary

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.

AKL-CHC for 2

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.

AKL-CHC Amex Confirmation.png

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.

20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points plus free Air NZ flight each year with the American Express NZ Platinum Edge Credit Card was last modified: April 16th, 2018 by Clayton Tremain

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. Murray F

    Looks like the nz conversion rate is only half the Australian rate. This as you say is pretty poor. I read another of your articles on international transfers yearly. Could you collect points on the NZ card and then transfer them to the Australian platinum edge each year before converting them to airline rewards? . Having an edge card in each country for those of us with addresses in each country seems a sensible way of avoiding forex fees.

    • Clayton Tremain Author

      Hi Murray
      Totally agree if you qualified for a Platinum edge card in each country that would be extremely useful.
      As far as the international transfer option goes, I know it is possible when applying for an Amex in the country you are immigrating to, however I’m not sure how American Express would react to trying to transfer internationally on a continual basis, would be an interesting test though 🙂

  2. Graeme

    Hi Clayton,

    I have been sent an offer for an AMEX Platinum edge card as part of an association I belong to, so the introductory fee and bonus points are slightly better than the standard offer on the website. I am wanting to know if you have ever booked travel using rewards points on Webjet or the AMEX travel site? If so, how many rewards points are needed for $1 of travel?

    • Clayton Tremain Author

      Hi Graeme

      Apologies for missing your comment earlier.
      While yes you can use MR points for purchasing travel via AMEX travel or Webjet, and even Helloworld, it is not something we would actively recommend due to the poor redemption value.
      Via AMEX travel each MR point will equate to 0.75 cents NZ, therefore to answer your question NZ$1 of travel credit requires 133.33…. NZ MR points.
      We value NZ MR points at 1.0 NZ cents and given the raft of transfer options to various airline partner programmes, would be targeting a redemption value of double that.
      Of course there are always caveats to pure redemption value, i.e purchasing travel, particularly flights through AMEX travel or others is not an award booking, therefore will still earn point, miles, status credits with the applicable airline.
      If you are chasing status with a particular airline that you can credit these flights to, or they are running an exceptionally good bonus points/miles earning promotion for the chosen sectors then you may place more value on the direct booking MR points vs transfer award bookings.
      Hope that helps and is useful to you.

  3. Murray F

    Just applied for my edge card today. Would have used point hacks but accountants get 27,000 instead of 20,000 points – sorry. I will use point hacks for my next card hopefully.
    Never brought a voucher from the supermarket before but our dryer stopped on the weekend so went to New World put $849 on a store card with kiwi bank platinum and brought the dryer with that from a 100% store. No problems at all. Did not have my AmEx edge of course so this was more of a trial run. However I also got 33 Flyboys at new world I would have missed out on otherwise so still a win. If Noel lemmings stocked the dryer I wanted I guess I could have got flyboys there as well.
    Really looking forward to a card that allows me to use multiple airlines instead of the really really poor Air New Zealand rewards programme. Even at the low NZ transfer rate I can get a transtasam Virgin upgrade to business for every $6500 spent at 3x points versus around 80 air points which is only some 40% of an upgrade based on the old 220 points used before One-up ruined air points totally.
    PS can you do a review of the Westpac MasterCard world I just came across it the other day and the priority pass and best earning air points in new Zealand plus Gold Starwood and Hertz makes it really attractive for regular international travellers. The $350? Fee means I will stick to kiwibank plat as I do not travel enough but once the children travel more with us outside tasman trips I will take it on.

    • Clayton Tremain Author

      Hi Murray
      Great to see you’ve made the jump to a flexible points earning credit card. Nice work with extra 7,000 MR points too.
      It is our hope that while the membership rewards programme in New Zealand is a mere shadow of its Australian counterpart, with more people realising the value to be had and numbers increasing, that Amex NZ in turn will start to invest more effort, hopefully bringing the return value closer to where it should be.
      You may want to hold back on your fly buys celebration as Fly Buys have a specific rule on non earning of points for gift card purchases. Points are only earned when redeeming the gift card at a Fly Buys retailer, this is meant to stop double dipping where you earn points for the gift card purchase and again when it is redeemed. Still I’ve seen plenty of loop holes in rules so hopefully they turn up and prove me wrong.
      We do have plans to start working our way through the other points earning credit cards available in New Zealand, hopefully in the near future. Spot lighting the options available and comparing the return values against each other will also hopefully encourage better benefits for all Kiwis.
      Enjoy your new Platinum Edge.

  4. Lesley

    Thanks Clayton on this useful write up. I’m a bit of a loyalty club junkie but it gets a bit disheartening reading the US sites and seeing all their offers. I’ve got the air NZ Amex card. Signed up when they had that 800 apd offer earlier this year. They just sent me a letter saying I could earn 1APD for every $59 spent. That seems to be effectively the same as getting 3:1 rewards rate on supermarket spend on the edge card and then transferring them to our airpoints account. But that’s on all my spends not just the supermarket.

    We do a lot of travelling and you just about have no choice but to fly air NZ out of Wellington!! As my husband is an air NZ elite we’ve found most of the standby upgrades come through at the gate. So the air NZ airpoints account is used frequently for that.

    Anyway your tip to get the gift cards at the supermarket is handy. I could have used that do many times if I’d known. I can see myself on your site the whole weekend!!

  5. Michael

    Hi Clayton, any word from Amex on improvement to MR transfers at all? Perhaps you could pose the question to them. I would have thought in particular with the growth of Emirates in NZ and with MR being the only way to earn skywards they may have promoted the transfer option a bit more. Cheers

  6. Lesley

    Is there any requirement that you haven’t held an amex card for a certain period of time or is new member defined as someone who doesn’t have an amex card presently?

  7. Dirk

    Would I be correct in thinking that a conversion of MRP to, say, Qantas Frequent Flyer Points is considered an activity that keeps the Frequent Flyer Points from expiring?

  8. Lesley

    I just saw some Caltex gift cards in Countdown today for $50. It says on the back for use at Caltex retailers. Just wondering if that includes petrol? I’ll try it next time. If it does that would mean that you could get 3x MR points for petrol and if they accepted your BP AA membership card when buying petrol that would mean you could get those accumlated petrol discounts as well. Will be interesting to see if this just includes items in the Caltex store or petrol purchases as well.

  9. David

    Thanks for the article, any idea if fuel purchased from Pak’n’Save petrol stations (they have one in Christchurch @ their Moorhouse Ave location, not sure if they have them elsewhere nationwide) is at either the triple points or double points rate? I guess they’re not a major petrol station, so if they’re not included with standard grocery purchases, perhaps they’re only 1 point per $1 spent?

    • Daniel Kinnoch

      Hi David – PAK’nSAVE petrol stations don’t accept Amex. If you have found one that does, you’ll only earn 1 point per $1 spent, as they’re not a registered partner for the 2 points per $1 spent on this card.

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