Are you a frequent card user? Or maybe you want to earn points towards your next hotel stay? American Express has cards on offer to suit all needs, from the benefits of Platinum and rewards cards to a low-interest rate card if you are trying to get a handle on your debt.
Check out our guide for all you need to know about using American Express.
The American Express Airpoints Card has no annual account fee and an introductory offer of zero interest for the first six months. Once this period is up, the standard purchase rate of 19.95% p.a. will apply. The cash advance rate is 21.95% p.a. and cash advances are not included in the interest-free offer.
For every $100 you and additional cardholders spend on eligible purchases, you’ll receive 1 Airpoints Dollar. You can earn Airpoints Dollars for shopping online or at retail stores, filling up at the petrol station, grocery shopping, dining out and more.
You’ll also get these benefits:
50 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you sign up and spend at least $750 in the first 3 months.
55 interest-free days on purchases when you pay your balance off in full each month.
To be eligible for The American Express Airpoints Card, you’ll need to be earning at least $35,000 a year and have no history of bad credit or payment defaults.
This low-rate card comes with an introductory per annum fee of 2.99% for 6 months and an annual fee of $59. It then reverts to a standard purchase rate of 12.69%. It allows you to add up to 4 cards at no additional costs, which could be handy if your partner would like one.
Other benefits include:
Online fraud protection guarantee
Up to 55-days interest free on purchases
Emergency card within 48 hours anywhere in the world
To apply, you need to be at least 18 years old and have an annual income of at least $30,000. If you are self-employed you need to have been an American Express customer for 12 months or in business for 18 months.
You need to earn at least $50,000 a year to apply for this card. This AMEX card comes with an introductory purchase rate of 2.99% for the first 6 months, but reverts to a rate of 19.95% with an annual fee of $149.
When you apply online and spend $750 in the first three months you will be awarded 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus points, available to new Card Members only. This card also comes with the following benefits:
Complimentary travel insurance for domestic and international flights when you pay using your Platinum card.
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.
Further benefits when paying for travel using this card include, travel cancellation cover and overseas emergency medical expenses and repatriation. A minimum salary of $50,000 is required to be eligible to apply.
The Platinum card targets those customers with a higher income, as it comes with an annual fee of $1,250 and you need to earn at least $100,000. However, an additional bonus is no annual interest charges apply. The rewards on this card are earned faster as you receive 2 Membership Rewards for every dollar spent.
You are given 100,000 Membership Rewards bonus points if your application is accepted and you spend $1,500 in the first three months (currently, you need to be a new American Express customer). You are also able to transfer points to a variety of airline and hotel rewards programmes. Additional benefits include:
$200 Platinum Travel Credit yearly, which you can redeem for car hire, hotel bookings and pre-paid flights.
Access for two to over 1,200 Priority Pass lounge locations in more than 130 countries.
An annual income of $100,000 or more is required to be eligible for this card.
With The American Express Business Card or The American Express Gold Business Card on offer, you should find one to suit your business needs. You can choose from such options as no pre-set limit on spending or Membership Rewards, where you will earn Membership Rewards for every dollar spent.
Both cards have no pre-set limits, which American Express will establish according to the business’ spending habits. One attractive benefit is paying no interest on the account, but it must be paid in full every month.
You can see all business purchases for the month on one statement including the GST, which helps to monitor business expenses, and all additional cardholder’s spending are included. In addition, the American Express Gold card gives you the ability to extend your cash flow by a maximum of 50 days, which may help to alleviate any cashflow issues.
Larger companies that have multi-million dollar revenue may benefit from a Corporate card. For information on how you can apply phone: 0800 722 333 from 9:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday.
American Express Membership Rewards programme
If you use your American Express card regularly, the rewards incentive is a great way to receive more for your money.
The more dollars you spend, the more Membership Rewards points you earn and these can be redeemed for rewards towards entertainment or flights, or you can use your points at Harvey Norman online or redeem them for gift cards. There is even an American Express app that allows you to pay using your points.
The Membership Rewards programme caters to all your travelling needs including flights and accommodation, as it partners with HelloWorld, Webjet and American Express Travel online.
You can also put your Membership Rewards towards other loyalty programmes such as Airpoints and hotel accommodation schemes.
Where is American Express accepted?
Visa and Mastercard have dominated the credit card market in New Zealand and in the past, American Express cardholders were unable to use their cards at many places. This is due to the higher fees that the card issuer charges the merchant, so smaller shops and businesses weren’t comfortable paying extra when they could pay less with Visa and Mastercard.
The higher fees compensate for less interest accrued by its customers, since American Express cardholders are more likely to pay their balance off in full each month.
Times are changing though, with American Express now being accepted at more places around New Zealand including retail stores, petrol stations, transport providers, utility providers and supermarkets. Below you’ll find some of the businesses that will happily accept your American Express credit card:
Petrol stations. Gull, Mobil, BP, Z Energy
Retailers. Farmers, The Warehouse, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, Supercheap Auto, Bridgestone, JR Duty Free, Smith & Caughey’s, Rebel Sport, Glassons, Kathmandu, Kmart, Adidas, PB Tech, Godfreys, Dotti, Connor, David Jones, Cue, Country Road, Hallensteins, JayJays, Just Jeans, French Connection, Lacoste, Michael Hill, Max, Meccano, Number One Shoes, Portmans, Ruby, Peter Alexander, Rodd & Gunn, Smiggle, Zara, Witchery, Veronika Maine, Tumi, UGG, The North Face
Supermarkets and liquor stores. Four Square, New World, Countdown, PAK’n’SAVE, Liquor King, Glengarry, Bottle’O, Farro Fresh
Food outlets and food delivery. St Pierre Sushi, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, KFC, Hello Fresh
Transport and travel.Air New Zealand, Flight Centre, House of Travel, Rydges, Expedia, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Uber, AT Hop, Wotif.com, Hotels.com, major airlines, Interislander, AJ Hackett, KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, Shotover Jet, Milford Track, Hilton, Marriott International
This list is expected to grow and you can stay up to date with where American Express is accepted on its website.
Frequently asked questions
No limit does not mean endless credit. American Express assesses your purchases based on different factors including current spending patterns, and your credit and payment history.
All the additional cards that staff members use will attract Membership Rewards, but American Express credits them to only one Membership Rewards account.
Yes. This means you will be paying your bill regularly and on time each month, so you won’t have to worry about late payment fees or added interest. There is a section on the American Express website that explains how to pay your bill by direct debit.
American Express Membership Rewards offers you a wide range of gift card choices. From iTunes gift cards that will cost you 3,200 to 8,000 points to Countdown cards for 8,000 to 16,000 points.
All additional cardholders must be over the age of 18 years. The primary cardholder is responsible for all spending.
You must be a member of the partner programme to be able to transfer points. It is your responsibility to apply for membership to the partner programme. See the American Express website for information on partner programmes.
You must notify American Express immediately if your card is used fraudulently or lost. Phone them on 0800 656 660 in New Zealand or +64 9 583 8300 from overseas. You can even call collect when abroad.
With a card to suit a variety of needs, American Express is worth considering if you want a new credit card. However, there are other alternatives on the market so it’s important to keep an open mind and look at all options beforehand.
If you still have questions regarding American Express credit cards? Fill in the “Ask the Expert” form at the end of this article and one of our team members will get back to you.
This credit card will not only give you that feeling of a high flyer but also the desirable lifestyle that goes hand in hand with it. From reward points to top-notch service, the American Express Platinum Card has it all.
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