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American Express vs Visa credit cards

Make a decision based on features you value, such as rewards points or acceptance rate.

Both American Express and Visa offer credit cards with unique rewards programmes that could suit one person over another. For example, if you’re looking for more opportunities to earn rewards points, Amex might suit your needs better. But, if you’re looking for a card with a wider acceptance rate, you might want to try Visa. In the end, both providers offer great features. Choosing between them is just a matter of personal preference.

Things to consider when comparing American Express and Visa credit cards

  • Limits and expiration for reward points. If you’re saving for something big like a flight then it’s important to know that your points won’t expire before you rack them all up. Similarly, if you spend a lot and there is a limit on what you can earn, you’re missing out on major points.
  • Annual fee. Many Visa and Amex cards will come with no annual fee or have promotions that waive the annual fee for the first year. That said, depending on the card you get from either, the fee could be anywhere from $25 to upwards of $500.
  • Customer service. Both Visa and American Express have a reputation for customer service. They will provide you with a concierge that can help you in any situation, whether its an emergency or not.
  • Complimentary insurance. Both Visa and American Express have credit cards that offer complimentary insurance when you pay for your travel in full with the card. However, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before you apply.

Pros and cons of American Express credit cards

Pros:

  • Potential to earn more points.
  • Indicates personal financial status.

Cons:

  • Less accepted than Visa.
  • Fees could eat up any rewards.
  • Strict eligibility criteria.
  • Higher interest rates.

Compare American Express credit cards

Name Product Purchase Rate Annual fee Balance Transfer Rate
AIRPOINTS
American Express Airpoints Card
0% for 6 months (changes to 19.95% p.a.)
$0
N/A
Be rewarded with 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars. Simply apply, be approved, and spend $750 on your new Card in the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
OFFER
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
2.99% for 6 months (changes to 19.95% p.a.)
$149
N/A
Enjoy a low rate on purchases and earn 20,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points if you apply, are approved and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
AIRPOINTS
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% p.a.
$195
N/A
Limited time offer: Be rewarded with 500 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online by 27 September 2021 are approved, and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members only. Ts&Cs apply. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
OFFER
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
$1,250
N/A
Get the new metal Platinum Card, 80,000 Membership Rewards bonus points, up to $300 dining credit and $200 to spend on travel each year. Offer available to new customers who apply online, are approved and spend at least $1,500 in the first 3 months. Exclusions, Ts&Cs apply.
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Pros and cons of Visa credit cards

Pros:

  • Accepted more than American Express.
  • Fewer fees.
  • Flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Generally a lower interest rate.

Cons:

  • Less potential to earn points.

Compare Visa credit cards

Name Product Purchase Rate Annual fee Balance Transfer Rate
AIRPOINTS
ANZ Airpoints Visa Credit Card
19.95% p.a.
$65
N/A
Limited time offer: Receive 100 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Ts&Cs apply.
AIRPOINTS
Kiwibank Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee Visa
16.9% p.a.
$25
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
AIRPOINTS
Kiwibank Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa
20.95% p.a.
$150
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
AIRPOINTS
ANZ Airpoints Visa Platinum Credit Card
19.95% p.a.
$150
N/A
Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $85 you spend. You'll also earn 1 Air New Zealand Status Point with every $250 spent.
LOW RATE
Kiwibank Low Rate Visa
9.95% p.a.
$30
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
BNZ Lite Visa
12.9% p.a.
$30
N/A
Gem Visa
25.99% p.a.
$52
N/A
6 months interest free on all Visa purchases $250 and over, plus get long-term interest-free deals at retailers nationwide including Apple, Noel Leeming, Mitre 10 and many more.
Kiwibank Zero Visa
13.95% p.a.
$0
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
LOW RATE
ANZ Low Rate Visa Credit Card
12.9% p.a.
$0
1.99% p.a.
Balance transfer offer: Pay 1.99% p.a on balances transferred for the first two years. Ts&Cs apply.
BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card
18.95% p.a.
$90
N/A
1 Flybuys point for each $15 you spend or $1 in cash rewards for each $90 of eligible spend.
$150 extra cash back with Advantage Visa Platinum when you spend $2,500 or 1000 Flybuys within the first three months after card activation. Ts&Cs apply.
Kiwibank Platinum Visa
13.95% p.a.
$80
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
AIRPOINTS
Kiwibank Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard Visa
20.95% p.a.
$65
1.99% p.a. for 6 months
1.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
ANZ CashBack Visa Credit Card
19.95% p.a.
$60
N/A
ANZ CashBack Visa Platinum Credit Card
19.95% p.a.
$80
N/A
BNZ Advantage Classic Credit Card
20.95% p.a.
$40
N/A
Get 1 Flybuys point for every $40 of eligible spend or $1 cash reward for every $150 of eligible spend.
$75 extra cash back with Advantage Visa Classic when you spend $1,500 or or 500 Flybuys within the first three months after card activation. Ts&Cs apply.
ASB Visa Rewards Credit Card
20.95% p.a.
$40
0% p.a. for 6 months
ASB Visa Platinum Rewards Credit Card
19.95% p.a.
$80
0% p.a. for 6 months
Earn 1 True Rewards dollar for every $100 spent. True Rewards dollars can be redeemed at partner stores like BP, Farmers and Mitre 10.
ASB Visa Light
13.5% p.a.
$0
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. interest for 6 months on any purchase of $1,000 or more with ASB Smart Rate.
TSB Visa Classic Credit Card
18.5% p.a.
$30
0% p.a. for 6 months
Pay 0% interest for the first 6 months on all balance transfers.
Purple Visa Card
22.9% p.a.
$55
N/A
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What features and services do American Express and Visa offer?

While Amex and Visa offer some similar benefits, looking at the features and services that set them apart can help make your decision. For example, Amex products uniformly offer features such as purchase protection and travel insurance. These features are mostly issuer-dependent among Visa cards, however. Choosing between the providers just depends on what you value.

The verdict

Your personal shopping habits and how you’ll be using the card should point you in the direction of what will better suit your needs. If you use your American Express for 50% of your everyday shopping you’ll get the most value. However, if you want a card that’s more widely accepted and has a lower annual fee, Visa is your pick.

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