The American Express Platinum Card is the most rewarding card available in New Zealand today. It offers a range of benefits that are unmatched by any other publicly available product.
Key perks include a $200 Platinum Travel credit to spend each year, unlimited access to a network of over 1,200 VIP airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass and Amex branded Lounges), elite tier status with leading hotel chains and comprehensive travel insurance.
Cardholders also enjoy complimentary membership to the Accor Plus program (delivering a complimentary one night stay each year).
Add in a generous sign on bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards points for new cardholders plus the highest everyday earn rate of any Amex NZ card, and a stylish holiday is closer than you think!
American Express Platinum Card: Our Take
With a minimum annual income requirement of $100,000 per annum and a hefty $1,250 yearly fee, the Amex Platinum Card is a prestige charge card product that won’t suit everyone.
However, for those who meet the eligibility criteria, there is tremendous potential to gain a stack of value from the included benefits, easily offsetting the annual fee.
In fact, by taking advantage of the full array of card benefits, it’s possible to obtain over $3,000 value from the first year of card membership. Read our post here to find out how.
Read on for an overview of the key card benefits, or visit the American Express website for more information and a secure, mobile friendly application form here.
Collect 80,000 bonus points
Right now, new cardholders can receive a sign on bonus of 80,000 American Express Membership Rewards points – currently the highest welcome bonus offered on any Amex New Zealand card product.
The Amex Platinum Card earns points into the American Express Membership Rewards programme, allowing cardholders to transfer out to seven leading airline and two hotel loyalty schemes.
We love this programme for its flexibility. Rather than being locked into one frequent flyer scheme, Amex MR allows you to earn points now and decide what to do with them at a later date.
80,000 AMEX MR points transfers to 40,000 points with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Emirates Skywards or Velocity Frequent Flyer, or 456 Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars.
To qualify for the 80,000 bonus points, you need to apply online, be approved, and spend $1,500 within the first 3 months of card membership.
Enjoy two complimentary Priority Pass memberships (worth $858 USD)
Whether you travel for business or leisure, airport lounge access is a handy perk that will allow you to relax in comfort before your flight. The Amex Platinum Card delivers premium benefits here, with complimentary Priority Pass membership for the primary account holder and one nominated additional cardholder.
Each member can also invite one accompanying guest to enter into the lounge at no additional cost (this is valued at US$32 per person, per visit).
Priority Pass operates Airport Lounges in over 1,200 locations. This includes the Strata Club Lounge at Auckland International Airport and the Manaia Lounges in Christchurch and Queenstown.
A Priority Pass membership would normally set you back $399 USD per person (or $798 USD for the two memberships available to each American Express Platinum Card Member). So, simply by using this benefit, you’re almost covering the annual card fee!
Plus, visit a network of other worldwide Lounges
In addition, the American Express Platinum Card delivers unlimited access to a range of other highly regarded Airport Lounges. These include:
- American Express branded Lounges, including the Amex Lounge at Sydney International Airport and Melbourne International Airport. There is also the ability to utilise premium international Amex Centurion Lounges at airports including LAX and JFK.
- Plaza Premium Lounges (a list of locations can be found here), and
- Delta Sky Club Lounges when travelling on Delta.
Entry requirements and guest allowances may vary.
Get a $200 Platinum Travel credit each year
AMEX Platinum cardholders receive a $200 Platinum Travel credit each membership year. This flexible credit can be used to book flights, accommodation or car rental with American Express Travel.
You can use it for yourself or someone else and it can be booked either online with Amex Travel or over the phone – it’s up to you.
Obtain complimentary Accor Plus membership (worth $395)
Accor Plus is a popular membership scheme that offers a free night’s stay at a participating property, up to 50% savings when you dine out, plus a fast track to elite Le Club Accor Hotels Silver membership status.
The listed benefits can be used at over 800 participating Accor properties in the Asia Pacific. There are a number of participating hotels in New Zealand and Australia, including some five star properties.
Even if you only stay or dine at Accor properties infrequently, Accor Plus can provide you with significant savings. The free night, while subject to availability, can be worth over $400 alone. You’ll get maximum value by using it at for a stay at a high-end brand such as Sofitel, MGallery or Pullman.
This benefit is available to American Express Platinum cardholders until 15 April 2021. You’ll find our comprehensive write up of the Accor Plus programme here.
Unlock elite status with leading hotels
Top tier status with a hotel loyalty scheme usually requires a number of stays and a significant spend outlay.
However, the American Express Platinum Card provides instant, fast-tracked elite membership for primary and additional cardholders across multiple programmes, including:
- Hilton Honors (Gold Status). Hilton operates over 500 properties worldwide, including hotels in Auckland, Taupo, Queenstown and Christchurch
- Starwood Preferred Guest (Gold Status, maps to Marriott Gold Elite). Over 6,500 properties come under the combined Starwood / Marriott umbrella. Note that the program is due to change its name very soon, following the full completion of a merger that has been in progress for several years
- Radisson Rewards (Gold Status)
- Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade Membership)
The benefits on offer vary between programmes. However, generally speaking, you can expect to enjoy room upgrades, early and / or late checkout (subject to availability), welcome amenities and free internet access.
Access American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits
Amex Platinum cardholders can also enjoy exclusive access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which offers even more hotel benefits when you book direct with Amex.
Complimentary benefits include:
- daily breakfast for two people
- room upgrades when available
- noon-check in when available and guaranteed 4pm late check-out, and
- a special amenity at each property (this is usually a $100 USD room credit to spend at the property).
These benefits are available at over 1,000 hand-selected 5-star properties worldwide, including a number of high end properties in New Zealand.
Amex states that the complimentary benefits on offer here average a total value of more than $750 – so there is significant value to be had if you arrange a stay at a qualifying property.
Earn 2 points per $1 spend (uncapped)
The American Express Platinum Card offers a flat 2 points per $1 spent everywhere (including overseas) – the highest everyday earn rate of any American Express New Zealand card on the market.
Better still, there’s no cap on how many points you can earn each month or year.
And with American Express now widely accepted at merchants across New Zealand, there’s no shortage of places you can use your card.
American Express Platinum Card Insurance
The Amex Platinum Card offers a suite of complimentary insurances. Depending on your circumstances, one or more of these products could come in handy when you’re shopping at home, or perhaps travelling overseas.
The complimentary insurances that you can access through the Card include:
- Domestic and International Travel insurance (this includes points redemption bookings redeemed via your card)
- Loss Damage Waiver cover
- Medical emergency expenses cover, including repatriation
- Personal Liability cover
- Purchase protection
Cardholders also get access to Smartphone Screen Insurance, which provides $500 NZD towards front screen repairs if you accidentally break your smartphone screen, with a 10% claim excess (a claim limitation of twice per year).
Before deciding to take up any of these insurance products, and to find out more information about coverage requirements, you should refer to the PDS.
Enjoy a range of other exclusive Amex Platinum Card benefits
The American Express Platinum Card unlocks plenty of other benefits designed to offer additional value from the hefty annual fee. There are too many to cover here in full, but they include:
- Access to Platinum Concierge, an on-call service which can help arrange dining and entertainment experiences for you, and
- The ability to arrange up to four additional cards for family members at no charge (the points earned on these cards are credited to your account, and additional cardholders will be able to access some of the exclusive perks we’ve covered above).
American Express Platinum Card annual fee and eligibility
The American Express Platinum Card comes with an annual fee of $1,250.
You’ll need to be able to report an annual income of $100,000 or more, be 18 years or over and have no history of bad debt or payment default.
To be eligible for the bonus points, you must not have held a direct-issued Amex credit card in the last 12 months and you must spend $1,500 on your new Card in the first 3 months.
You are eligible if you hold an Amex corporate card or if you are an additional card member on someone else’s primary account.
American Express Platinum Card: Verdict
With 80,000 point bonus points and a range of generous travel, lifestyle and money-saving inclusions, the Amex Platinum Card delivers substance and style.
But with a $100,000 minimum income requirement and sizeable $1,250 annual fee, it isn’t for everyone.
However, for those who meet the eligibility criteria, there is tremendous potential to maximise value from the included benefits, easily offsetting the annual fee.
The secure, mobile friendly application form should take less than 10 minutes to complete and Amex will give you a response in approximately 5-10 working days.