Introductory offers are designed to attract new cardholders. So, while classic cards may offer classic introductory offers, platinum and black cards tend to step it up to appeal to those who want more from their card. Introductory offers [link] can come in all shapes and sizes, offering balance transfers and purchase offers, no annual fee offers and bonus points.
As introductory offers on premium cards are typically bigger and better than those on classic cards, you can expect lower rates offered over a longer time on purchase and balance transfer offers, perhaps no annual fee for the first year, and larger chunks of bonus points on offer. Be aware that while those bonus points may take you further, you will usually have a higher minimum spend to cover.
Premium cards that also happen to be rewards cards generally offer a higher earn rate to appeal to bigger spenders. When compared to classic rewards cards, platinum and black rewards cards usually have a higher earn rate, allowing cardholders to earn points faster. If there is a points cap in place, it is usually higher on a platinum or black card than a classic card, allowing for a higher total points earn.
Depending on the card, it may also allow cardholders to earn Status Points on the card’s rewards program, allowing for a quicker climb up the Status ladder. This, in turn, offers more perks and sometimes, the opportunity to earn more points.
However, higher earn rates and other rewards extras don’t come for free. To enjoy this opportunity to earn more points, you will generally pay a higher annual fee. Before applying for a rewards card of any colour, calculate your annual spend to work out how many points you’ll earn on that card, subtract the cost of the annual fee, and weigh up what’s left over in points value.
One of the main attractions of premium cards are the extras on offer. These vary from card to card, with higher end platinum cards and black cards offering more than their lower end cousins. Typically, the higher the annual fee, the more features on offer. Here are some of the premium features you may find on platinum and black cards in New Zealand.
Travel insurance is a common perk on premium cards, especially on those with frequent flyer programs attached. You will usually find most insurance covers overseas trips only, and requires you to cover a certain amount of the cost of the trip using your card. While it’s important to read the PDS for info on activation, eligibility and exclusions, your card could offer:
- International Travel Insurance
- Loss Damage Waiver Cover
- Transport Accident Cover
- Medical Emergency Expenses Cover, including Repatriation
- Travel Cancellation Cover
- Personal Liability Cover
- Baggage, Money and Documents Cover
Another common feature on premium cards is purchase insurance. This can cover purchases made on the card with extended warranty, purchase protection and more. Again, this cover comes with small print, so read the PDS to take full advantage.
Worried about cracking the screen on that nice new smartphone? Your card may offer smartphone insurance that covers cracked screens, as long as you pay for the phone using your card.
Sometimes called a Platinum Concierge, this concierge service is typically on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing cardholders to phone up and ask for assistance no matter where they are in the world. This could offer help with travel bookings, with restaurant reservations or even buying the perfect gift.
Airport Lounge Access
Often featured on frequent flyer cards, this allows access to certain airport lounges or a lounge pass. While some cards offer unlimited access to a range of lounge programs, others will only offer two passes per year. What’s on offer will usually depend on the card’s annual fee.
Higher end platinum cards and black cards may offer travel credit, allowing cardholders a certain dollar amount per year to spend on travel booked through the card’s travel service. This may include flights, accommodation and holiday packages. As these cards tend to have a higher annual fee, this travel credit can help to offset that cost.
Another feature offered on higher end options, hotel privileges can include elite status at hotel partner programs, a free night at partner hotels, and special privileges during each stay. This could include complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, and access to special amenities.
How do you know if a premium card is right for you?
As with any card, you will need to weigh up what each premium card has to offer to see if it meets your needs. Take into account the cost of the annual fee, and make sure you’re not paying for features you won’t actually use. Also, make sure to clear your balance each month to avoid interest or you will find it hard to see any real value from the card.
Compare premium cards on CreditCard.co.nz today to easily see what features, fees and rewards are on offer, to find the perfect option for you.