Air New Zealand Credit Cards

Updated 14 August 2019

Air New Zealand is a brand that is instantly recognisable both in New Zealand and overseas. As an airline, Air New Zealand’s history goes all the way back to 1940, when it started out running trans-Tasman services using flying boats. Expanding its service over the years, Air New Zealand soon became the national carrier and a household name. But, while we all know Air New Zealand as an airline, how does it rate as a credit card provider?

Air New Zealand currently offers three credit cards, which are issued by Kiwibank. Allowing cardholders to earn the airline’s frequent flyer points – Airpoints Dollars – on everyday spending and Air New Zealand purchases, these credit cards offer an alternative option to Airpoints Dollars-earning bank-branded cards.

Airpoints

Before getting into the comparison of Air New Zealand’s credit cards, let’s look a little closer at Airpoints Dollars and how they work.

Earning Airpoints Dollars

As an Air New Zealand credit cardholder, you will earn Airpoints Dollars on your card spending. The number of Airpoints Dollars you earn will depend on the card you choose. As with pretty much every rewards card, the higher the annual fee, the better the earn rate. So, for every $X you spend on the card, you will earn X in Airpoints Dollars.

Check out our comparison table below to see how the earn rate on each Air New Zealand credit card stacks up.

The Airpoints Dollars you earn will automatically accumulate in your Airpoints account. You can check you account online, to then find out what you want to redeem your points for. It is worth noting that if you have a joint accountholder or additional cardholders on the account, the points earned on their spending will be added to your Airpoints total.

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1 review
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points earned over 12 months
0.006 points
16.77% Complete (success)
airpoints
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
airpoints
$25
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
0.008 points
16.77% Complete (success)
airpoints
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
airpoints
$65
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
0.013 points
16.77% Complete (success)
airpoints
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
airpoints
$150
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

Redeeming Airpoints Dollars

As frequent flyer programmes go, Airpoints is probably one of the easier ones to get your head round. Each Airpoint Dollar you have equals $1 New Zealand Dollar. And as you would expect from such a well-known airline, there a number of ways to redeem your points. You can redeem your points for flights or upgrades, you can use them in the Airpoints Store, you can redeem them for car hire or travel insurance, and more.

If you want to make the most of the Airpoints programme, we highly recommend checking out the Airpoints site for more info.

Status Points

When you fly on select Air New Zealand flights and many Star Alliance and partner flights, you can do more than just earn Airpoints Dollars – you can also earn Status Points. Note, you can also use your eligible Airpoints-earning credit card to earn Status Points as well. As you earn Status Points, you can climb the programme’s tiers to enjoy more and more benefits as you travel.

So, what kind of benefits can you enjoy?

Lounge access

Climbing the tiers, you can enjoy access to Air New Zealand’s award-winning lounges before your flight departs. Available to Silver, Gold and Elite members, these lounges provide the perfect place to work or relax, with a range of refreshments and light snacks available.

Upgrades

Whether you're a Silver, Gold or Elite member, there are several ways to request an upgrade, including upgrading a cabin class to Premium Economy or Business Premier.

Extra baggage

If you tend to pack heavy rather than packing light, you can take advantage of generous check-in and carry-on baggage allowances if you are a Gold or Elite member.

Other benefits

Silver, Gold or Elite members enjoy an array of extras, including priority check-in, frequent flyer seating, hotel vouchers and more.

To move up a tier, you need to earn a certain amount of Status Points within a year. Starting at Airpoints membership, you can upgrade to Silver followed by Gold and Elite, as long as you reach that Status Point earn. To retain tier status, you must earn 90% of that total within the following year.

TierStatus Points* required to reach each tier Status Points* required to retain tier status
Silver

(at least half on Air New Zealand operated flights, qualifying partner airline flights, or Star Alliance qualifying flights)
450405
Gold

(at least half on Air New Zealand operated flights, qualifying partner airline flights, or Star Alliance qualifying flights)
900810
Elite1,500

(at least 900 on Air New Zealand operated flights or qualifying partner airline flights)
1,350

(at least 810 on Air New Zealand operated flights or qualifying partner airline flights)

(source: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/status-points)

It’s worth pointing out that for Silver and Gold tier status, at least half of the required Status Points must be earned on Air New Zealand travel, eligible Star Alliance travel or qualifying partner airline travel, and up to half may be earned on credit cards. For Elite status, at least 60% of the required Status Points must be earned on Air New Zealand travel or qualifying partner airline travel.

Frequent Flyer Tier Benefits

Want to know what each tier offers? Here is the breakdown for Silver, Gold, Elite and Elite Partner membership benefits.

Silver

As a Silver member, you can enjoy upgrades, lounge access, discounted Business class fares and more.

Gold

As a Gold member, you can take advantage of additional benefits, such as extra baggage allowance, Star Alliance lounge access and priority check-in.

Elite

As an Elite member, you will enjoy even more travel privileges, including extra lounge and upgrade privileges, the ability to nominate an Elite Partner and more.

Elite Partner

Elite members can nominate a family member or friend to become their Elite Partner.

BenefitsSilverGoldEliteElite Partner
Lounge access (Air New Zealand)2*Full accessFull accessFull acesss
Complimentary frequent flyer seating-YesYesYes
Upgrade - Recognition Upgrade1 per year2 per year2 per year-
Upgrade - Short haul Recognition Upgrade--1 per year-
Upgrade - OneUp Upgrades upweighting10%30%50%-
Baggage allowance - Carry-on-1 extra1 extra-
Baggage allowance - Checked-1 extra1 extra1 extra
Star Alliance benefits - Lounge access-YesYes-
Star Alliance benefits - Priority check-in-YesYes-
Star Alliance benefits - Extra baggage allowance-YesYes-
Star Alliance benefits - Priority boarding-YesYes-
Extra benefits - Hotel voucher-Yes^Yes-
Extra benefits - Car rental voucher-Yes^Yes-
Extra benefits - Complimentary valet parking--Yes-
Extra benefits - Elite Partner membership--Yes-
Extra benefits - Status Point roll over--Yes-
Extra benefits - Elite banked year--Yes-
Extra benefits - Elite threshold gifts--Yes-

* Airpoints Silver members receive 2 single use lounge passes per tier membership year.
^ Airpoints Gold members may choose between either a hotel or car rental voucher as part of their membership benefits.
** Elite, Gold and Koru members are among the first in line for any available Premium Seating on Air New Zealand flights. Premium Seating is available towards the front of the cabins.

(source: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/frequent-flyer-tier-benefits)

Comparing Air New Zealand Credit Cards

On to the card comparison. How do you compare Air New Zealand credit cards? Just as with any credit card comparison, there are several important factors to compare if you are thinking of applying for an Air New Zealand credit card.

Interest

Check out the interest rate charged on purchases and cash advances. This is very important if you tend to carry a balance. It’s likely that the interest charged on that carried balance will negate the value of any Airpoints Dollars you earn. The best way to deal with a rewards card like those offered by Air New Zealand is to clear the balance by the due date each month to avoid interest accruing.

Account Fee

Rewards cards tend to have higher account fees or annual fees as the provider wants to balance out the cost of providing those rewards. The key to choosing the most rewarding rewards card as a cardholder is to choose a card that offers more in rewards value than you pay out in account fees or annual fees.

Points-earning Potential

The number of points you earn per dollar usually goes hand in hand with the account fee. Higher account fees typically mean better earn rates. To choose the right card, think about how much you will spend on it each year, to work out what that spend will equate to in Airpoints Dollars. Then weigh that against the card’s account fee.

Extras

Features and extras can also add value to a card. Look at the value of the extras you will use, and again, weigh that against the account fee on the card. You may be on to a winner if you get more back in extras and rewards than you pay out in account fees.

These tables show a clear comparison of how Air New Zealand’s credit cards compare in terms of points-earning potential and the extras on offer.

Earn ratesAir New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard VisaAir New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee Visa
Airpoints Dollars earn rates*$75 = A 1$120 = A 1$160 = A 1
Airpoints Dollars earn rate when you spend with Air New Zealand**$65 = A 1$100 = A 1$140 = A 1
Status Point earn rates$200 = 1 Status Point--

(source: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airpoints-credit-card-benefit-table)

BenefitsAir New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard VisaAir New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee Visa
Built-in overseas travel insurance***Yes--
Non expiry of Airpoints DollarsYesYesYes
Airpoints Dollars Top Up - buy additional Airpoints Dollars online for a feeYesYesYes
Airpoints Dollars Advance2001000
Koru membership joining fee waiver and $145 annual discountYes--
Complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge eVouchersTwo complimentary passes for every $20,000 spent in each year*1Two complimentary passes each year when you spend $20,000*2-
Access to monthly prize drawsYesYesYes
Access to Visa EntertainmentYesYesYes

(source: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/airpoints-credit-card-benefit-table)

Features To Look Out For

Credit card providers typically offer a range of extras on their cards in order to offer value and entice new cardholders to apply. You will usually find that low cost cards such as low rate and low fee cards offer fewer features than premium cards with a higher price tag. Here are some of the features to keep an eye out for when comparing Air New Zealand credit cards.

Enhanced earn rate on Air New Zealand spending

Choosing an Air New Zealand credit card issued by Kiwibank, you will benefit from a higher earn rate on Air New Zealand purchases made through Air New Zealand. Allowing you to earn Airpoints Dollars faster, this enhanced earn rate covers all flight bookings and other services offered through Air New Zealand like rental cars, hotels and campervans, purchased via airnz.co.nz and the Air New Zealand Contact Centre.

Opportunity to earn Status Points

Available on platinum Airpoints earning cards only, this feature allows cardholders to earn Status Points on their credit card spending alongside Airpoints Dollars. By earning Status Points, you can climb the ladder to Silver, Gold and Elite membership, giving you access to benefits such as lounge and flight upgrade privileges, priority wait-listing, increased baggage allowances and more.

Non-expiry of Airpoints Dollars

On each of the Kiwibank-issued Air New Zealand credit cards, cardholders’ earned Airpoints Dollars will never expire as long as their card remains current. This is only available for the primary cardholder. If you are not a big spender, this lets you take your time to build up enough Airpoints Dollars to get the reward you really want.

Airpoints Dollars Top-Up

Another feature only offered on Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards issued by Kiwibank, Airpoints Dollars Top-Up lets you purchase Airpoints Dollars if you don’t have enough points to buy the reward you want. There is a minimum $5 fee for purchasing Airpoints Dollars, and you must have enough available credit to purchase the requested top-up amount and to pay the fee.

Airpoints Dollars Advance

If you opt for the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa or Standard Visa, you may also choose to use the Airpoints Dollars Advance feature to extend your points balance to redeem a reward. Described as an overdraft, this feature gives you access to a limited number of extra Airpoints Dollars when you need them. Airpoints Dollars earned from future card use pay off the borrowed amount.

Monthly Prize Draws

Cardholders of Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards issued by Kiwibank are automatically entered into the monthly prize draw, where one winner takes home 1,500 Airpoints Dollars, and ten runners-up win 100 Airpoints Dollars each. Each eligible use of the card and additional cardholders’ cards equals one entry.

Koru Discounts

Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa cardholders can take advantage of special Koru discounts, waiving the $255 joining fee and providing a $145 discount on annual membership. Koru membership provides lounge access when flying with Air New Zealand or select partner airlines, priority check-in and boarding, complimentary frequent flyer seating, baggage privileges and more.


(source: https://www.airnewzealand.com.au/koru)

Air New Zealand Lounge Access

If you opt for an Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard Visa, you will receive two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand Lounge passes each year you spend at least $20,000 on the card. If you choose the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa, you will receive two single-entry passes for each $20,000 you spend on the card within a 12 month period.

Overseas Travel Insurance

Another feature offered on the Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa is complimentary overseas travel insurance. This provides cover on trips up to 40 days for you, your spouse and your kids travelling with you, as long as you use your card to buy:

  • 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.

You’re covered for:

  • 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,
  • rental vehicle excess.

Concierge Service

If you’re interested in using a concierge service on your card, check what’s on offer. These concierge services are typically available 24/7, and can help with flight bookings, restaurant reservations, theatre tickets and recommendations.

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