Visa credit cards are a popular choice in New Zealand, and many NZ residents have some type of Visa card. It could be a Visa Debit Card where you spend your own money, or a Visa Credit Card – but in either case they can offer a number of travel benefits.
These include room upgrades at hotels, along with late checkout, food and beverage vouchers, and discounted lounge access and airport transfer services.
In this guide, we explore the varying offers that are available to Visa cardholders in New Zealand in 2017.
So how can I make sure I can access all of these deals?
You’ll need a Visa Platinum card, of which in New Zealand we have the ANZ Airpoints Platinum Visa and the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa for earning points. There’s also the ASB Visa Platinum Rewards card, the BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum, and the ANZ Cashback Visa Platinum.
The Visa Travel Offers page provides the authoritative list of these benefits, sorted by card type, offer type, and country.
Visa Explore App
The world is a big place. With hundreds of offers across dining, shopping, entertainment and travel being introduced by Visa over the course of any year, the Visa Explore App will be handy to have in your pocket. The app automatically updates with all the latest cardholder offers, and allows you to do a country specific search either before you depart or once you arrive.
Book your Accommodation with Hotels.com
You can enjoy 8% off Hotels.com bookings all year when you pay with Visa, no matter what type of Visa card you have. Bookings must be made before 31/12/17, and stays completed by 31/03/18. Enter VISA8 as your promo code before paying. Full Terms and Conditions are located here. Some important caveats include:
- Stays are limited to between 1 and 28 nights
- The promo code can only be used for a maximum of five bookings
- The promotion is only for the the first 20,000 bookings
The promo code will result in no Hotels.com Rewards nights being earned. If you know you can book through Hotels.com frequently enough to earn and then use a free night, you’re usually going to be better off avoiding using a discount code and earning Hotels.com credits towards free nights instead. However if you travel sparingly, promo codes are good way to save some extra money.
Visa provides 24/7 concierge services to Platinum cardholders. Take advantage of a host of services available to you over the phone or online, 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world. Services available include:
- Flight reservations
- Hotel reservations
- Restaurant reservations
- Car rental reservations
- Event ticket purchases
- Trip planning
- Other general requests
Visa Platinum hotline numbers for New Zealand by language are:
- English – 0508 600 100
- Cantonese – 0800 103 407
- Japanese – 0800 103 298
- Korean – 0800 103 406
- Mandarin – 0800 103 295
- Thai – 0800 103 412
I have personally used Visa Concierge on many occasions, including to organise a surprise spa treatment for my partner in Hong Kong, to find wedding venue availability in Adelaide, and to book restaurants in Singapore.
Global phone numbers can be found here.
Up to 50% off Annual Dragonpass lounge access membership plans
You can get discounted access to over 850 Dragonpass-affiliated lounges around the world with your Visa Credit card, however getting the best value depends how many times you plan to visit the lounges.
You can choose between three one-year membership plans (all prices in USD):
- $44.50 membership fee + $25 entry fee each time for member and guest (50% off)
- $140.40 membership fee + 8 free entries + $25 extra entries for member and guest (35% off)
- $282.75 membership fee + unlimited entries for member + $25 for guest (35% off)
In New Zealand, you will have access to three lounges:
- Strata Lounge, Auckland International Terminal
- Manaia Lounge, Christchurch International Terminal
- Manaia Lounge, Queenstown International Terminal
We ran the numbers, and if you plan on visiting Dragonpass lounges 15 times or less throughout the year (that would be most people’s cases), then you are better off making use of this hack that we wrote about back in June 2016.
If you plan on visiting more than 15 times in a year, though, then it works out better value to buy the unlimited plan.
The mobile app also comes with a range of dining vouchers for most airports, even those without a lounge – e.g. in Auckland, you can get 10% off at some airport eateries like KFC and Burger King. However if you opt for the unlimited plan – why would you use these (limited) discount vouchers when you will have lounge access!
Enjoy travelling around Taiwan with Visa
If you are travelling to Taiwan early this year, make sure you take your Visa card, and check out the special offers in this deal guide for food, accommodation and shopping, before you depart. Offers are valid until 31 March 2017 to all cards issued outside Taiwan, including Visa Debit.
London, Paris, Milan, Munich: Special Guides for Asia Pacific Visa Cardholders
If you are lucky enough to be headed to Europe this year, you can travel like a local by using your Visa card to save money in the cities listed above.
Download your preferred guide here and make sure you print to take on your journey, as you have to show the offer guide to the merchant.
Visa Golf Access
Visa Golf Access provides Visa Platinum cardholders with discounts at participating golf clubs in the UAE, Middle East and North Africa. The discounts are mostly related to green fees and pro-shop sales, and in some cases discounts are extended to food and beverage purchases. Browse all the available offers here.
Hyatt Hotels third night free offer
Until the 31 March 2017, you can book a third night’s stay for free when you stay for two consecutive nights at participating Hyatt hotels in the Greater China region and Asia (Japan, Korea, Thailand, Maldives and Cambodia) for stays until the 31 March 2017.
To receive the discount, you must have a Visa Platinum card, and you must use the promo code HYVISA at time of reservation and book the Visa Premier Rate. You also need to be a Hyatt Gold Passport member to enjoy the benefit. If you are not a Hyatt Gold Passport member yet, click here to enrol.
We tested the promo code for the Park Hyatt Beijing for three nights from the 7th to 10th February. These were the prices found (exclusive of taxes):
- Visa Premier Rate: 1,267 CNY avg/night (NZ$263). Free cancellation until 2pm hotel time 24 hours prior to arrival.
- Advance Booking: 1,520 CNY avg/night (NZ$315). Non-refundable rate.
- Standard Rate: 1,900 CNY avg/night (NZ$394). Free cancellation until 2pm hotel time 24 hours prior to arrival.
This promo could potentially save you a lot of money, even compared to non-refundable rates.
All Visa cardholders can enjoy offers ranging from dining experiences in Jumeriah’s restaurants, to stay offers in many of the Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts.
Visa Exclusive Stay Offer – Valid All 2017
Take advantage of 15% off the Best Available Rate with your Visa card, for stays all throughout 2017. Includes complimentary buffet breakfast, wi-fi access, and complimentary unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark (for Dubai hotels only). Quote special promotion code VISASTAY. Find out more.
Visa Winter Spectacular – Valid for stays until 31 March 2017
Enjoy all the attractions UAE, Kuwait and Maldives have to offer this winter with Jumeirah. Book a minimum of three nights for stays until 31 March 2017 and receive 25% off the Best Available Rate with your Visa card. Includes complimentary buffet breakfast, wi-fi access, and unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark (for hotels in Dubai only). Quote special promotion code VISAWINTER. Find out more.
BeMyGuest is a provider of activities and tours across Asia. Visa Credit cardholders can book activities through https://visa.bemyguest.com.sg/youth before 31 December 2017 and receive discounted prices on all activities, by up to 59%.
10-20% off airport chauffeur services
If you have a Visa Platinum card, you will receive 10% off airport transfer services for up to six people provided by TBR Global.
You do need to make bookings at least 72 hours in advance.
Between 10-20% Off Flexible Rate at Participating Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia
All Visa Credit cardholders who stay at participating Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam can receive between 10-20% off flexible rates, a room upgrade, and late check-out (upon availability). Discounts can vary between hotels. A 24-hour advanced reservation is required.
Book here to redeem this offer, using VISA at the promo code. Offer is valid until December 31 2017.
The rates will remain eligible for Best Western Rewards Points or Miles.
We checked numerous hotels, and while the rates were not often cheaper than those for non-refundable advance purchases, the rates were consistently the cheapest if you need a flexible booking.
Upgrades and VIP privileges at Visa Luxury Hotel Collection properties
The Gran Meliá Fénix in Madrid, Spain. Image courtesy of Visa Luxury Hotel Collection.
If you have a Visa Platinum, you’ll get the following benefits at high-end hotels such as Shangri-La, Conrad, Mandarin Oriental and Park Hyatt:
- a best available rate guarantee, and fully flexible bookings
- complimentary room upgrade (where available)
- 3pm late checkout
- complimentary internet
- complimentary breakfast
- $25 USD food and beverage voucher
- VIP guest status
The clearest benefits are the breakfast, free internet and $25 credit, which could add up to $75+ value on a one night stay if they were otherwise chargeable. The room upgrade, late checkout and VIP guest status are at the hotel’s discretion, so may not yield anything.
There are often special offers available on some hotels that go above and beyond the benefits listed above.
Book through Visa Concierge or online.
Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel Hotels and Resorts
- Daily Breakfast for Two
- $25 Dining Credit (per stay)
- Room upgrade (subject to availability at time of check-in)
Book: January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017
Stay: January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018
The “Visa Appetite to Stay” rate should equal the same as the current Best Flexible rate. For example, for a three-night stay in a Fairmont Room at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, the rates for both are US$289 per night. However with the next best available room being US$50 more per night, buffet breakfast for two being valued at US$58, and you being given a US$25 Dining Credit, the Visa rate is potentially worth up to US$349 of extra value – more than the price of a one night stay.
Note: The Swissotel Link above is currently not working. The links for Fairmont and Raffles as provided on the Visa website were also not working, but we managed to get the correct links from the customer service teams for those chains. We will update the Swissotel link as soon as we receive a response from their respective team.
Preferred Hotels and Resorts
Save 10% off the best available rate and enjoy complimentary daily breakfast for two at over 275 participating Preferred Hotel Group properties around the globe when you book and pay with your Visa card. To redeem this offer or to view the list of participating hotels, click here. Offer valid until 31 December 2017.
Use your Visa card and save from 10%-20% on sightseeing activities around the world. To redeem this offer, please visit this website to view a list of products that are eligible for the Visa cardholder discount; after you make your selection, enter the promo code VISA at checkout and your discount will be applied. Offer valid until 31 December 2017.
SuperShuttle and ExecuCar
Save 10% on SuperShuttle and ExecuCar rides with your Visa card. To redeem this offer, book online and enter promo code Q3A9K to receive 10% off your total fare. Also earn airline points or miles when you book your ride online or via their mobile apps. Mainly based around airports in the US and Europe. Valid until 31 December 2017.
Sixt Rent a Car
Use your Visa Credit card and receive up to 10% discount at Sixt Rent a Car and Sixt Rent a Truck worldwide. In New Zealand, Sixt is only accessible at Auckland Airport as of the 15 January. Click here to redeem this offer, which is valid until 31 December 2017.
Use your Visa card when booking your car rental with Auto Europe and save up to 7% on international car rentals, at over 20,000 locations worldwide (in 180+ countries). Length of booking must be 5 days or more; the amount of the discount varies with the length of the rental, pick up location of rental, etc.
To redeem this offer, go to www.autoeurope.com/visa. Your Visa discount code (IKVI) will already be applied. The offer is not valid at rental stations in the United States. Offer is valid for booking through December 31, 2017 and requires at least one week of advance booking.
If you find a lower car rental rate (with the same inclusions and fees) they guarantee to beat it and offer you the best deal possible.
All of these offers are relatively bespoke – they won’t work for everyone. But they are worth noting at the least in case your travels take you to a region where you can take advantage, or point you in the direction of a retailer with an offer that makes sense for your plans.