The Big Review: Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa Credit Card
Offering plenty of platinum perks, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa provides the highest earn rate out of the three Kiwibank-issued Air New Zealand credit cards, plus the best Status Point earn rate in the market. Cardholders can also benefit from complimentary overseas travel insurance and two Air New Zealand Lounge passes for every $30,000 spent each year, as well as access to Koru discounts, Airpoints Dollars Advance and Top-Up, monthly prize draws and Visa’s Platinum Concierge service.
- Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar per $75 spent on eligible purchases, or 1 Airpoints Dollar per $65 spent on Air New Zealand products.
- Enjoy the best Status Point earn rate in the market.
- Two Air New Zealand Lounge passes per $30,000 spent (maximum of two pairs per year)
- Complimentary overseas travel insurance for you, your spouse and your kids if they're travelling with you.
- Get access to a 200 Airpoints Dollars Advance.
- Entry into monthly prize draws of up to 1,500 Airpoints Dollars.
- Buy additional Airpoints Dollars online for a fee with Airpoints Dollars Top-Up.
- Get 24-hour access to the exclusive Visa Concierge service.
- Receive a Koru membership discount, with no joining fee, plus $145 off the annual fee.
- Up to 44 interest free days on purchases.
- Account fee: $75 every six months
- Joint or additional accountholder fee: $15 fee every six months
- Purchase rate: 20.95% p.a. (variable)
- Cash advance rate: 22.95% p.a. (variable)
This Card: The Lowdown
Designed to reward big spenders who are frequent Air New Zealand passengers, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa offers an earn rate on par with other platinum credit cards earning Airpoints Dollars, while also providing the best Status Point earn rate in the market. While it may have a relatively high account fee, it does have a number of extras that may help to balance out that fee somewhat.
Frequent travellers can benefit from complimentary overseas travel insurance, with cover offered for partners and kids travelling with the primary cardholder on trips up to 40 days. Cardholders may also enjoy Air New Zealand Lounge access with two lounge passes provided for every $30,000 spent each year. Want more lounge access? You can get great Koru discounts on this card too.
With these extras plus other features like Airpoints Dollars Advance and Airpoints Dollars Top-Up, this card really is geared towards cardholders who travel regularly with Air New Zealand. Is it a worthy choice for you? Let’s take a closer look at the card’s everyday earning potential and all those lovely extras to find out.
This Card: As a Rewards Card
With ‘Airpoints’ in its name, it’s pretty obvious the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa is a rewards card. That means, as a cardholder, you can earn rewards for purchases you make on the card. As we mentioned before, this card holds its own among other Airpoints-earning platinum cards on the market, allowing you to earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every:
- $75 spent on eligible purchases, or
- $65 spent on Air New Zealand products bought directly from Air New Zealand.
Just so you know, eligible purchases exclude fees or interest, balance transfers, credit card repayment insurance, gambling chips, money orders, travellers cheques or foreign currencies in cash, cash advances or cash withdrawals made from an ATM, any transaction that is reversed, refunded or charged back, or Airpoints Dollars Top-Ups.
With this earn rate, you not only earn Airpoints Dollars on your everyday spending, you also enjoy an enhanced earn rate on your Air New Zealand spend. So, when you make a purchase through Air New Zealand via airnz.co.nz or the Air New Zealand Contact Centre for flight bookings and other services such as rental cars, hotels and campervans, you’ll earn more Airpoints Dollars.
Your Airpoints Dollars
So, what can you do with your Airpoints Dollars once you’ve earned them? Airpoints is probably one of the easier frequent flyer programmes to understand. For every 1 Airpoints Dollar you have, that equates to $1 when purchasing any Air New Zealand flight. You may also use your Airpoints Dollars for rental cars or while shopping in the Airpoints Store.
With the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa Credit Card, your Airpoints Dollars will never expire, as long as your card remains current and you’re the nominated earner. As an added bonus, if you are not yet an Airpoints member, you will receive membership when your Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa is approved.
Your Status Points
Unlike the other Kiwibank-issued Air New Zealand credit cards, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa allows you to earn Status Points. In fact, this card offers the best Status Point earn rate out of any credit card in New Zealand. With this card in your wallet, you’ll earn 1 Status Point for every $200 you spend on eligible purchases.
What do Status Points offer exactly? Status Points allow you to upgrade and then maintain your tier at Silver, Gold or Elite within the Airpoints programme. Each tier offers a number of privileges, such as lounge access and flight upgrades, priority wait-listing and increased baggage allowances, with each tier stepping up the extras to offer more as you climb the ladder.
It’s worthwhile pointing out that while the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa does offer Status Points earning on everyday purchases, to be eligible for a tier status change or to maintain your Silver or Gold tier status, at least half of your Status Points need to be earned from taking qualifying Air New Zealand operated flights, Air New Zealand alliance flights and Star Alliance partner flights.
|Tier||Status Points* required to reach each tier ||Status Points* required to retain tier status|
(at least half on Air New Zealand operated flights, qualifying partner airline flights, or Star Alliance qualifying flights)
(at least half on Air New Zealand operated flights, qualifying partner airline flights, or Star Alliance qualifying flights)
(at least 900 on Air New Zealand operated flights or qualifying partner airline flights)
(at least 810 on Air New Zealand operated flights or qualifying partner airline flights)
This Card: As a Travel Rewards Card
As an Air New Zealand branded credit card, you would expect the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa to offer a few decent travel-related perks. Happily, it does this with earned lounge access, Koru discounts and complimentary overseas travel insurance.
While it may not offer complimentary lounge access as such, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa does allow you to earn lounge access with your card spending. For every $30,000 you spend on the card each year, you will receive two single entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes. Maximum of two pairs per year.
Automatically loaded onto your Airpoints account, these lounge passes can be used to access domestic and international Air New Zealand branded and operated lounges when travelling on an Air New Zealand operated flight or an eligible Alliance flight. You can use both passes yourself, or use one for yourself and the other one to take a guest into the lounge with you.
If you want more in the way of lounge access, you may choose to take advantage of the Koru discounts offered on the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa. With this card, you will pay no joining fee (saving you $255), and you will also receive a $145 discount off the annual fee. With standard membership at $629, you will pay $484 per year.
What exactly does this membership fee get you? As a member, you will enjoy lounge access for you and a guest when travelling on an Air New Zealand flight, regardless of class of travel. You will also receive priority check-in and boarding, complimentary frequent flyer seating, baggage privileges, and other travel benefits when flying on select routes with Alliance airline partners, Air China, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and United.
So, if you have Koru membership, surely the card’s lounge access is worthless? Not really. If you’re travelling with your kids or within a group, for example, you may choose to use your passes to allow them access to the lounge with you.
Often offered as a feature on platinum credit cards, overseas travel insurance can allow cardholders to save money on standalone cover. The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa provides cover for you as the cardholder, as well as your spouse and your kids if they’re travelling with you. Be aware though, age restrictions apply.
Your cover will be automatically activated as long as you use your card before you leave New Zealand to pay for:
- your overseas travel tickets, or
- one or more nights of pre-paid accommodation, or
- a pre-paid rental car or pre-paid scheduled transport ticket, or
- a pre-paid, guided tour.
Cover is offered on trips of up to 40 days, but you may arrange for cover beyond this priod by calling them prior to departure. You can benefit from 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance, with cover on medical expenses if you’re injured or have an accident; loss or damage to belongings or travel documents; unforeseeable cancellations, delays and loss of deposits; kidnap and ransom; and rental vehicle excess.
Check the PDS for full details.
This Card: Extras on Offer
Now to the extras. Platinum credit cards generally offer more in the way of extras because they have higher account fees. Read on to find out more about the extras offered on the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa to see whether they offer good value to you.
Airpoints Dollars Advance
You can think of Airpoints Dollars Advance like an overdraft. If you want to use your points to pay for a reward and you don’t quite have enough, you can use your Airpoints Dollars Advance to make up the difference. As a cardholder, you have access to a 200 Airpoints Dollars Advance. As you more earn points in the future, these will be used to pay back the Advance.
Airpoints Dollars Top-Up
As an alternative to an Airpoints Dollars Advance (although the Advance facility is best to use first because it’s free), you may use the card’s Airpoints Dollars Top-Up. This allows you to buy additional Airpoints Dollars online for a fee so you can purchase the reward you want.
Monthly Prize Draws
Using the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa, you will be automatically entered into monthly prize draws where one winner will take home 1,500 Airpoints Dollars, and 10 runners-up will win 100 Airpoints Dollars. Every eligible purchase you or your additional cardholders make equals one entry into that monthly draw.
As a cardholder, you can benefit from access to the Platinum Visa Concierge service, available 24/7. This service can be useful for booking travel arrangements or making restaurant reservations, or for offering recommendations on where to go or what do while overseas. You will also have access to the Visa Privileges program, which provides exclusive travel and dining experiences around the world.
Interest Free Days
Helping you to save on interest, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa offers up to 44 days interest free on purchases as long as you pay your balance in full each month by the due date. Note, the interest free period does not apply to cash advances or balance transfers.
If you do happen to have existing credit card debt that you want to pay off, you may choose to take advantage of the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa’s balance transfer offer. This provides a balance transfer rate of 1.99% p.a. for the first six months on any transferred balance from a non-Kiwibank credit card.
This Card: The Essentials
Looking beyond the fancy features, it’s time to consider the cost of keeping this card. In terms of account fees, you will pay $75 every six months, paying an extra $15 for a joint or additional cardholder every six months on top of that. Is it worth it? That will depend on your spending and the value of the Airpoints Dollars and extras you receive.
In terms of interest, this is not a low interest rate credit card. Both the purchase rate and cash advance rate on the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa Credit Card is quite high, but is pretty standard for a platinum card. As long as you clear your balance by the due date each month, interest can be avoided and you can really make the most of what’s on offer.
As for that balance transfer offer, be aware that at the end of the intro period, any transferred balance left unpaid will revert to the card’s purchase rate. And if you have more than one balance transfer, any payments applied to balance transfers will be applied to the balance transfer with the lowest interest rate first.
Rewarding frequent flyers who favour Air New Zealand, the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa provides everyday Airpoints Dollars earning, enhanced points earning on Air New Zealand purchases, and the best Status Points earn rate on the market. Extras focus on Air New Zealand privileges, and include lounge access and overseas travel insurance.