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80,000 Membership Rewards Points plus $200 travel credit and unlimited lounge access with the Amex Platinum Charge

The American Express Platinum Charge is the big card of the Amex NZ stable, and comes with a chunky annual fee of $1250. However there is a huge array of included benefits, which if maximised the value should easily help justify the annual cost.

Along with these many benefits, the Platinum Charge is also offering 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for new Card Members, the highest everyday spend points earn of 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar, and an unlimited points earning capability.

So the question is, are all the included benefits worth such a huge annual fee? While I can’t make your mind up for you, we’ll run through the value of those included benefits, so you can weigh up whether the card is right for you.

The 80,000 points sign up bonus that is available to new Card Members only requires a minimum spend of $1500 within the first 3 months. With 7 Airline and 2 Hotel transfer partners associated with the American Express membership rewards programme, a savvy points hacker could potentially redeem enough travel awards from these bonus points to cover the first annual fee alone.

Digging into the benefits of the American Express Platinum Charge card

Card Details

CardAmerican Express Platinum Charge
Loyalty ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards
Points earned from spend2 Membership Rewards points per $1
Travel benefitsAccess to Platinum Travel Service, Platinum Concierge, American Express Travel Online and Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
Minimum income$100,000 p.a.
Included insurancesTravel insurance, Purchase Protection, Roadside assistance, smartphone screen insurance (PDS)
Annual fee$1,250 p.a.

The Platinum Charge card earns points in American Express’ own Membership Rewards programme. I have previously covered the benefits, and provided a guide to American Express membership Rewards for those unfamiliar with how the programme operates.

There is a flat earn rate of 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on the card. While the Platinum Edge credit card from American Express earns 3 Membership Rewards points for supermarket spend, the Platinum Charge 2 point earn is on every dollar spent, including overseas, which makes it the best earning everyday spend card on the New Zealand market.

Lounge access with the American Express Platinum Charge

If you are a regular international traveller, a valuable benefit that comes complimentary with the Platinum Charge is Priority Pass membership for both the primary and one nominated supplementary Cad Member.

The complimentary Priority Pass is a private membership programme which provides access for the holder and 1 guest to over 900 VIP airport lounges worldwide, including Auckland airport’s own Strata Club.

Annual membership with unlimited access to Priority Pass lounge would usually set you back US$399 per person, and the Platinum Charge provides 2 complimentary. Each Card Member will also be able to invite a guest to accompany you into the lounge at no additional cost, which is usually valued at US$32 per person, per visit.


Auckland Airport Strata Club

American Express also has growing network of Amex-branded airline lounges globally, including one in Sydney Airport’s International Terminal, and another at Melbourne Airport, read more about these lounges here.


In Australia, you may bring in any children between the ages of 2-17, and up to other two guests. Guest access policies vary in other countries, and can be found in full here.

Additionally, when presenting your Amex card:

  • The primary Platinum Charge Card Member and any supplementary Card Members can access Delta SkyClub lounges when travelling on Delta metal (not codeshare), .
  • The primary Platinum Charge Card Member and any supplementary Card Members can access Plaza Premium lounges worldwide. Each Card Member is entitled to bring in one guest. Infants under two years of age are also complimentary.

Hotel privileges with American Express Platinum Charge

Complimentary Accor Plus membership for the primary Card Member. Accor Plus is a paid annual membership providing special benefits and privileges within the Accor hotels group, including Sofitel, Pullman, Mercure, and Novotel.

This annual membership would normally cost $395 and provides the holder with an annual free night certificate at one of Accor’s hotels. With Accor Plus membership also comes automatic Silver status with Le Club AccorHotels – Accor’s worldwide loyalty programme, and in turns entitles the member to free internet and late check out at any Accor hotel.

Some have received Platinum status – while not an advertised benefit, you may increase your chances by already having the paid ibis Business Card, which comes with Gold status.

It needs to be noted that according to the American Express site, complimentary Accor Plus membership with the Platinum Charge is only valid until 2021 – though it is quite probable that the offer will extend past this date.

You can read more about Accor Plus and AccorHotels in our dedicated guides.

Access to travel booking benefits and services through American Express Travel

American Express Travel is available to all Amex Card Members, but Platinum Charge Card Members get a ton of additional value, and can essentially use American Express Travel as their own personal travel agent.

Platinum Charge Card Members will receive a $200 statement credit each year for bookings made through American Express Travel. Note that this credit can only be used towards bookings where payment is made directly to American Express, and not the supplier (i.e. you cannot use the booking towards reservations through Fine Hotels & Resorts).

For Business Class fares, American Express Travel has competitive pricing and has access to a wide range of discounts that may not be publicly available. This is through their ‘Airline Privileges Programme’.

The New Zealand Airline Privileges Programme (APP) provides savings when you travel First or Business Class as a single traveller or with a companion with selected partner airlines. Amex have advised that they have the following airline partners:

  • Air China
  • Etihad
  • Emirates
  • LAN Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Virgin Australia
  • Singapore Airlines

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is only for Platinum Charge Card Members

American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts is a unique benefit for Card Members, which offers even more hotel benefits when booked through American Express.


You can make an FHR booking with over 900 properties worldwide, including the following hotels in New Zealand:

  • Cordis Auckland
  • Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown
  • Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
  • Eichardt’s Private Hotel, Queenstown
  • The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay
  • Huka Lodge, Taupo

The key booking benefits typically are:

  • An on property benefit, often $100 USD in credit per stay
  • 12pm check in
  • Room upgrade if available
  • Free breakfast
  • Guaranteed 4pm late checkout
  • Free wifi
  • Complimentary 3rd or 4th nights at participating properties worldwide

With many FHR bookings you’ll also continue to receive points and status with the parent hotel loyalty programme too, unlike other consolidators. Shangri-La, for example, will let you receive your Jade Membership benefits, stacked with your FHR benefits.

If you’re travelling with family, you can book up to three rooms, and the FHR benefits will extend to each.

Read our full guide on FHR here.

The Hotel Collection

American Express have now also introduced The Hotel Collection. This programme extends the number of hotels that Card Members will receive benefits at.

Stay two or more consecutive nights at participating ‘Hotel Collection’ properties and you’ll receive up to $100 USD of hotel credit, and a room upgrade upon arrival, if available.

The Hotel Collection includes the following hotels in New Zealand:

  • Sofitel Auckland
  • Hilton Auckland

This benefit also extends to a max of three rooms.

Read our full guide on The Hotel Collection here.

Hotel Status & Membership that comes with the American Express Platinum Charge

Beyond the actual travel booking benefits and discounts, there’s also the potential to gain Gold elite status in four hotel loyalty programmes (click on links to guides explaining more):

Status benefits also extend to supplementary Card Members.

Once you have your card, you can register for your elite status here.

American Express Platinum Charge Concierge

As you’d expect from American Express’ high end card, the service you’ll receive from the Platinum Concierge should be some of the best in the business.

You may have access to bookings at shows and restaurants that would otherwise be impossible to get, and similarly for sports and concert tickets.

Some Card Members try to effectively use their Platinum Concierge service like their own personal assistant, helping organise travel plans through American Express travel, through to arranging their activities on the ground.

Platinum Charge Travel and other Insurances

I always err on the side of not providing too much commentary on credit card travel insurances because everyone’s needs are different. You can find the PDS for the insurance benefits of the Platinum Charge here.

The insurances included are:

  • Travel insurance, including for points redemption bookings from using points earned by your Platinum Charge
  • Rental vehicle excess cover
  • Medical emergency expenses cover, including repatriation
  • Personal Liability cover
  • Purchase protection
  • Up to NZ$500 to repair a broken smartphone screen, cover applies to incidents occurring on or after 27 November 2017

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.

An essentially unlimited credit line

The fact that the Platinum card is a Charge card means that there’s essentially no credit limit applied to your account – although American Express do keep an eye on your account, and especially in the first few months, may limit some transactions to ensure there’s no risk of fraud.

The downside is that you do need to pay your account in full each month.

Downsides to the American Express Platinum Charge

Given the $1250 annual fee, you’d hope that the Platinum Charge card would be pretty much perfect – but there are some missed opportunities.

I’ve talked a lot about the transfer value of New Zealand Membership Reward points compared with the Australian version, however given that the annual fee for the AU Platinum Charge is about NZ$200 more than the New Zealand version, perhaps this is reasonable.

There are a few ways the card could be made better – firstly, some of the partnerships like the Accor Plus have specified end dates, giving a little uncertainty about whether they will be renewed for future years. More often than not they are, but given the high fee, it would be good to know that they are ongoing.

Also the Australian Platinum Charge comes with Virgin Australia lounge access as an ‘advertised benefit’, but it is not for the NZ card. In reality, NZ Card Members can flash their cards at Virgin lounges and get access – the cards look exactly the same – but you never know when they might check this more carefully and embarrass you at entry!

There’s also no airline status supplied with the card (apart from the match with KrisFlyer through Shangri-La Golden Circle) – although the included lounge access goes some way to making this up, airline status can help to get seats assigned and improve upgrade priorities.


The Platinum Charge card requires a minimum age of 18 years and an income of $100,000, yearly.

Summing up – the American Express Platinum Charge card

After the couple of thousand words written and read on the Platinum Charge, you can see that it offers a huge range of benefits for Card Members.

This card is likely to appeal most to those who travel frequently and who spend enough to earn enough points to make the most of both kinds of benefits of the card.

If you take advantage of the softer benefits, such as concierge and insurance services too, there’s also a lot of value to be had.

Ultimately these are prestige and elite cards – for those who know how to get the most out of them, they can be really lucrative. But they definitely aren’t for everyone.

80,000 Membership Rewards Points plus $200 travel credit and unlimited lounge access with the Amex Platinum Charge was last modified: February 28th, 2020 by Daniel Sciberras

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. S

    I’ve held this card in the past. There are even more benefits than they list on their website & I was always impressed. In the end though, it was the $1250 annual fee & worse value of the NZ version vs. the Australian & US versions.

    If they included koru membership I’d re-sign in a heartbeat.

  2. kwkiwi

    I’m looking at the Amex Platinum Card (NZ). It says the Le Club accor membership is only available till Sept 2017. Does anyone know when Amex advise if they are continuing on with this benefit. The rates you can get at 50%off with Le Club accor can save you a lot of money at Sofitels.
    Also can anyone advise me if the Fine Hotels and resorts benefit is worth it that comes with the Platinum card.

    It’s quite a hefty annual fee so just wanting to make sure it’s worth it before going any further. A few of the benefits are the same as what World Mastercard offers,like Priority pass.

    • Keith

      In Australia the Accor membership benefit was cut in May 2016 – I don’t have any insights on whether the NZ card will suffer this e same fate, but there are two ways to look at it –
      1. Buy applying sooner while it is still active, you’ll get the benefit for at least a year
      2. Don’t bank on it being available in the long term

      As for Fine Hotels & Resorts, that offers great benefits if and only if you value and want to take advantage of the benefits it offers at the kind of hotels included in the program. We have a big guide on FHR over on the Australian site, most of which is relevant for NZ cardholders too – we’ll try and localise this properly soon.

    • Hi Shane – it’s supposed to refer to their ability to give you access to savings on First and Business Class fares with different airlines. As these offers can vary, it’s best to contact Amex directly to find out what their latest offers are.

      • Shane

        Thanks Daniel. Do you know if Amex offer a “pay over time” facility on their charge cards in NZ as they do overseas?

        • Hi Shane, sorry for the late reply. I’ve checked with Amex, they’ve advised that this is something they are working on in the Australian market as an option to meet consumer demand, however it’s not available in NZ at this time.

    • Keith

      Hey Andrew – our understanding is that Amex treat this request on a case by case basis. It’s not an outright no, they will consider it but no guarantees.

  3. ecco

    Thanks for this great article. I applied and got accepted within 24 hours of application. (Sorry I didn’t see your link, you should have a patreon link for donations as I would be happy to contribute there as your site is one of the best out there for travellers downunder – seems to be written in plain english 🙂

    Just a note for others, if you apply amex will take into account your household income, not just your income. So that’s good if one person already has the card, as the platinum card doesn’t stack up without that bonus! I figured that my SPG points cost me 2.72c NZD each (incl exchange rate conversion, spg discount and incl. transfer bonus) so when converted to an airline program at .6 the 80k sign on came to $1305 alone which covers the annual fee and also boosts your airline points stash at the same time.

    I may have to cancel the Westpac World card although they do keep waiving the fees and it is handy to be able to switch ff numbers if you have a joint and supplementary cards. No longer chasing status and airpoints after finding this site!!

    What I would also be interested in is if anyone has tested out the business class fares on offer via Amex travel site. Are they in fact cheaper, unpublished rates??

    • Thanks Ecco! I’ve let Keith know about your donation link suggestion.

      I have played around with the Amex Airline Privileges program, and we have it in our to-do list to write an article on. The prices do come in cheaper, but the discount is typically off fully-flex J fares. So reasonable value if booking last minute, but not so good if there are already discounted J fares around.

  4. Joshua

    HI, I have trouble enrolling to Accorplus using their platform, called accorplus and was told that it is no longer offered to NZ cardholders. Just wondering whether you had any trouble signing up to accorplus?

    • Hi Josh, I had absolutely no trouble when I received my Amex Platinum towards the end of last year.

      If you already have the Amex Platinum card, you will need to enrol via the link on this page on the Amex website: https://www.americanexpress.com/nz/credit-cards/membership-benefits/the-platinum-card/accor-plus.html

      You can see on the T&Cs on that page that enrolment is still valid until the end of this year. It is likely you spoke to the Accor Plus team based in Australia – the benefit ended for cardholders in Aussie a few years back, but is ongoing for NZ cardholders.

      I also received Platinum status rather than the advertised Silver – still not sure whether this was in error or not!

  5. Andrew C

    Hi guys, I have seen in some overseas reviews that AMEX Platinum Charge Card holders are able to request for a metal card in various countries. Anyone know if this benefit is available in NZ and Australia? Thanks and keep up the good work! Andrew C

  6. Andrew S

    Any news on whether there will be an increased sign up bonus any time soon? I recently returned from the UK where I hold a Platinum Charge Card and want to get the NZ one and transfer my points over.

  7. Ian L

    Apparently Amex NZ is now issuing metal Platinum Charge Cards. I spoke to them today to request a replacement for a damaged card, and they said that they’ll send out a new metal card within 48hrs.

    • Ian Law

      Well, it was a regular plastic card that arrived, so I assume Amex NZ isn’t issuing metal cards yet. I guess the person I spoke to must have been misinformed.

  8. ecco

    Does anyone know if amex NZ will waive the fee on the Platinum card on renewal? I struggled to get any benefits out of the card this year.

    There are so many deals around for accomodation that I didn’t stick to any of the chains that you get the upgraded status for with the platinum card. I’m looking at options for credit cards next year.

  9. Jacob

    Just got my new platinum card in the mail today.

    Any idea if/When NZ will get the metal card?

    They also put the wrong ‘member since’ date on the card but when I called them up they said they will fix and send me another card with correct date.

  10. Ian L

    I had a UK Amex Platinum Charge Card for a number of years and a few months ago I opened an NZ Platinum Charge Card account when I moved over here. One of the good things about the UK account was the number of offers available – eg £10 statement credit when you spend £50 at X retailer. There were usually 20-30 of these in the go at any one time and over the course of a year the discounts added up and made the card fee seem more reasonable. I’ve not seen any such offers from Amex NZ however – do they do anything like this?

  11. Andrew S

    I recently got the platinum charge card via your link.
    Is there a credit card that you can get (for free) that complements the charge card?

    For example in the UK you can get the ‘platinum companion credit card’ which has the same earning and allows you to earn Membership Rewards points to the same account. You also got a points bonus for singing up to one.

  12. VW

    Hi there,

    Will I get any benefits by clicking the referral link you have to apply for Amex Platinum charge card? Thanks.

    • Daniel Kinnoch

      Hi VW – applying via our referral links will help to financially support our website. I.e. the benefit to you and other readers is that we can continue to produce high quality content.

  13. ecco

    re the Amex NZ hotel bookings you can make by booking online there are a few ifs and buts. I just cancelled a booking made with amex travel.

    Even though the bookings are ‘cancellable’ you have to pay the full amount up front, then if you want to cancel there is a $55 cancellation fee that they won’t waive and it will take 6-8 weeks to refund your money.

    So I wouldn’t book again via this site unless I’m 100% sure. You have to ring up to cancel, can’t do it online. The $55 cancellation fee is buried in the T&Cs you get emailed, for some reason I thought that was just for airline bookings but it is also for hotel bookings…

    • Daniel Kinnoch

      They do show this on the page you enter your booking details on right before you hit submit. Though these fees do not apply to bookings made via The Hotel Collection or FHR which are obviously the key hotel bookings benefits of the Platinum.

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