Best Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card sign-up offers

Tired of hunting for frequent flyer 'reward seats'? Earn Airpoints Dollars instead, and book any seat on any AirNZ flight.

By Chris Chamberlin, April 7 2021
Best Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card sign-up offers
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Air New Zealand's Airpoints program is often overlooked in favour of other points-based schemes, but its simplicity makes it perfect for newcomers to the world of credit card rewards.

Airpoints Dollars can be earned via many Australian credit cards, and then used to 'buy' a ticket on any Air New Zealand flight: no hunting around for 'reward seats' as with other programs, so you can fly where you like, when you like.

With up to $1,000 Airpoints Dollars – akin to a $1,000 Air New Zealand travel voucher – on the table from a single credit card application, here are this month's top Airpoints credit card deals in Australia, spanning offers from American Express, ANZ, NAB and Westpac. 

10 best Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card sign-up offers

1. AMEX Platinum Charge Card

Sign-up Bonus: Be rewarded with 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new card within the first three months.

Plus, get an additional 50,000 bonus MR points in year two upon fee renewal. That's up to 200,000 MR points in total, which convert into Airpoints Dollars at a 200=$1 rate, valuing your bounty at up to $1,000 Airpoints Dollars.

Rewards: On most transactions, you'll earn 2.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent (that's $0.01125 in Airpoints Dollars, after conversion), although government payments are less rewarding, giving you one Membership Rewards point ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars – that's half a cent) per dollar spent.

Annual Fee: $1,450, with no additional cardholder fees.

2. ANZ Rewards Black

Sign-up Bonus: Collect 180,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you apply and spend $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from approval.

ANZ uses a conversion rate of 200 ANZ Reward Points = $1 in Airpoints Dollars, giving that bonus a value of $900 Airpoints Dollars after conversion.

Rewards: Collect 2 ANZ Reward Points ($0.01 in Airpoints Dollars, or one cent) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to and including $5,000 per statement period, and then 1 ANZ Reward Point ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars) per dollar spent above $5,000 in each monthly statement period.

Annual Fee: Waived in the first year, then $375: plus $65 fee per additional cardholder per year.

3. Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard by September 7 2021 as an eligible new customer, choose Altitude Rewards as your preferred points program, and you could receive 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

Altitude Points can be converted into Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars at the rate of 180 Altitude Points = $1 in Airpoints value, making that 150,000-point bounty worth $833 Airpoints Dollars.

Rewards: On flights purchased in Australia directly with Qantas, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, get 6 Altitude Points ($0.033 in Airpoints Dollars – that's 3.3 cents) per $1 spent on the first $10,000 per calendar month – then 1.25 Altitude Points ($0.0069 in Airpoints Dollars, or 0.69 cents) per $1 spent thereafter on these purchases.

You'll also earn 1.25 Altitude Points (again, $0.0069 in Airpoints Dollars) per $1 spent on most other eligible purchases without capping or tiering, except at Spotify, David Jones, Myer, The Iconic, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats, at which you'll earn a higher 2 Altitude Points ($0.011 in Airpoints Dollars, or 1.1 cents) per $1 spent, also uncapped.

Annual Fee: A $250 annual card fee applies, and with no extra charge for an additional cardholder, placing the value of your sign-up bonus at several times the fee paid when converting to Airpoints. You can apply here.

4. NAB Rewards Signature Card

Sign-up Bonus: Start your journey with 90,000 bonus NAB Rewards points when you apply for the NAB Rewards Signature Card and spend $3,000 on everyday purchases within the first 60 days of account opening – plus, a further 30,000 NAB Rewards points when you keep your card for over 12 months.

Combined, that's up to 120,000 NAB Rewards points, or $600 in Airpoints Dollars, after converting your NAB Rewards points to Airpoints Dollars at a 200 = $1 rate.

Rewards: Earn 3.75 NAB Rewards points ($0.01875 in Airpoints Dollars – less than 2 cents) per $1 spent overseas, and in Australia with Webjet; 2.5 NAB Rewards points ($0.0125 in Airpoints Dollars) per dollar spent at major department and hardware stores, and 1.25 NAB Rewards points ($0.00625 in Airpoints Dollars) per $1 spent on all other purchases.

As NAB's earning and conversion rates generate many decimal places, to view it another way, overseas spend earns a reward of 1.875c per $1 AUD spent – although there's a 3% international transaction fee normally applies, which puts your rewards in the red.

Annual Fee: $295, with no additional cardholder fee.

5. ANZ Rewards Platinum

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for a new ANZ Rewards Platinum card and you could take home 120,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases within three months of approval.

Under the 200 Reward Points = $1 conversion rate from ANZ Rewards to Airpoints Dollars, that values your bonus points at $600 in Airpoints Dollars value.

Rewards: Pile up 1.5 ANZ Reward Points ($0.0075 in Airpoints Dollars – three quarters of a cent in value) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to and including $2,000 per statement period, and 0.5 ANZ Reward Points ($0.0025 in Airpoints Dollars, or a quarter of a cent in value) per $1 spent above $2,000 per statement period.

Annual Fee: Waived in the first year, then $95, with a $65/year fee charged per additional cardholder.

6. Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard by September 7 2021, choose Altitude Rewards as your loyalty option and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval to earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points.

Under Westpac's '180 Altitude Points = $1 Airpoints Dollars' conversion rate, that gives you approximately $444 in Airpoints Dollars.

Rewards: Earn 3 Altitude Points ($0.0166 in Airpoints Dollars, or 1.66 cents) per $1 spent on the first $10,000 per calendar month on flights purchased in Australia directly with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia (although not Emirates and Singapore Airlines, as with Altitude Black), then get 1 Altitude Point ($0.0055 in Airpoints Dollars, or 0.55 cents) per $1 spent thereafter on these purchases.

You'll also earn 1 Altitude Point ($0.0055 in Airpoints Dollars) per $1 spent on most other eligible purchases, uncapped, except at Spotify, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats, where you'll earn a higher 2 Altitude Points ($0.011 in Airpoints Dollars, or 1.1 cent) per $1 spent: also uncapped.

Annual Fee: A reduced annual card fee of $99 applies in the first year, reverting to $150 thereafter, with no charge for one additional cardholder in both the first and subsequent years. Again, this makes the bonus points offer worth considerably more than the fee paid for the card, when converting to Airpoints. You can apply here.

7. NAB Rewards Platinum Card

Sign-up Bonus: Apply and spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 60 days of opening a NAB Rewards Platinum Card account to earn 60,000 bonus NAB Rewards points – worth $300 in Airpoints Dollars after a '200 points = $1' conversion.

Rewards: Earn 3 NAB Rewards points ($0.015 in Airpoints Dollars, or 1.5 cents) per $1 spent on overseas purchases as well as with Webjet in Australia; 2 NAB Rewards points ($0.01 in Airpoints Dollars, or one cent) per dollar spent at major department and hardware stores in Australia, and 1 NAB Rewards point ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars, or half a cent) per $1 spent on all other eligible transactions.

Annual Fee: $195, with no additional cardholder fee.

8. AMEX Platinum Edge Credit Card

Sign-up Bonus: Take home 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online by April 5 2021, are approved and spend $1,500 on your new card within the first three months.

When converted from Membership Rewards points into Airpoints Dollars at the rate of 200 points = $1 in Airpoints Dollars, that puts your reward on-par with $250 Airpoints Dollars.

Rewards: Earn 3 Membership Rewards points ($0.015 in Airpoints Dollars, or 1.5 cents) per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations, and 2 MR points ($0.01 in Airpoints Dollars, or one cent) per A$1 spent in a foreign currency (overseas and online). Earn 1 MR point ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars, or half a cent) per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Annual Fee: $195, which is offset by a yearly $200 travel credit.

9. AMEX Explorer Credit Card

Sign-up Bonus: Start your journey with 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply and spend $3,000 on your new card. That's worth $250 in Airpoints Dollars based on the program's 200 points = $1 Airpoints Dollars conversion rate.

Rewards: Receive 2 Membership Rewards points ($0.01 in Airpoints Dollars, or one cent) per $1 spent on most eligible purchases, except at government bodies in Australia, where you'll earn a reduced 1 Membership Rewards point ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars, or half a cent) per dollar spent, both uncapped.

Annual Fee: $395, with no fees for up to four additional cardholders.

10. ANZ Rewards

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for an ANZ Rewards card as an eligible new customer, and you could earn 50,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from approval, worth $250 Airpoints Dollars after a '200 points = $1' conversion.

Rewards: Earn 1 ANZ Reward Points ($0.005 in Airpoints Dollars, or half a cent) per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to and including $1,000 per statement period, and 0.5 ANZ Reward Points ($0.0025 in Airpoints Dollars, or a quarter of a cent in value) per $1 spent above $1,000 per statement period.

Annual Fee: $80, plus a $65/year fee per additional cardholder.

Ranking Order & Updates

Ranking Criteria

This article provides a ranking of the most rewarding credit card sign-up offers in Australia – as available at the time of writing and publishing – for those looking to earn Airpoints Dollars in Air New Zealand's loyalty program, achieved by converting eligible credit card loyalty points into Airpoints Dollars.

Included here are publicly available offers on personal Australian credit cards, with the exclusion of business and corporate credit cards, along with any public deals that are targeted, restricted or otherwise non-public, except for any offers that may be specifically targeted towards Executive Traveller readers.

Where such targeted offers are included, this would typically be because that deal provides readers with some kind of advantage over regular applicants: such as by earning more bonus points or by paying less in fees compared to general applicants for the same card(s).

All cards featured here are ranked in descending order, based on the total value of the card's sign-up bonus when converted into Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars.

Should two or more cards be offering bonus points that have an equivalent value in Airpoints Dollars, other attributes are also considered when determining rank, which may include spending requirements for the bonus points deal, annual fees and other charges, ongoing points earning rates and other customer incentives.

Ranking Updates

Given Australia's ongoing international travel restrictions, updates to these rankings were paused in December 2020, but as of April 2021, monthly updates have resumed.

Since December, we've seen Westpac extend the sign-up deals on its Altitude Platinum and Altitude Black products, and ANZ improve the offers on its Rewards Platinum and Rewards Black cards.

American Express has softened the sign-up deal on its AMEX Explorer credit card, but has extended an offer on its AMEX Platinum Edge card until early April.

Previous changes include the boost to the AMEX Platinum Charge Card's sign-up deal, now being worth up to 200,000 bonus Membership Rewards points.

What are Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards and how do they work?

Air New Zealand doesn't have any 'co-brand' or 'direct earning' credit cards in Australia, but does have partnerships with a number of Australian credit card issuers which allow customers to convert their credit card points into Airpoints Dollars in Air New Zealand's loyalty program.

Different programs apply different conversion rates when trading points for Airpoints Dollars.

That said, many of AirNZ's partners adopt a '200 points = $1 Airpoints Dollars' conversion rate, while Westpac is more generous, requiring only 180 points in the bank's own Altitude Rewards program per Airpoints Dollar earned.

Banks may also set minimum conversion amounts when switching credit card points for Airpoints Dollars, or may require the cardholder to convert points in increments, such as in whole Airpoints Dollars only or in batches of a certain number of points. Refer to your bank for more information.

Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card FAQs

Can you combine Airpoints Dollars from multiple accounts?

Air New Zealand doesn't allow Australian Airpoints members to combine Airpoints Dollars from multiple accounts, but does allow eligible members to 'gift' Airpoints Dollars to other people by adding them to their Gifting Register.

For members based in New Zealand only, AirNZ also provides a 'Shairpoints' feature whereby up to four family members can combine their Airpoints Dollars to redeem a reward, but this is not available in Australia.

Can I use Airpoints Dollars to buy a ticket for someone else?

Yes! Although Airpoints Dollars can't be converted into cash in the bank, they can be used towards the purchase of airfares on any Air New Zealand flight.

They can also be used to book flights on Air New Zealand's partner airlines at set rates, although if you're travelling on a route where Air New Zealand also flies, you'll likely find the best value by booking with AirNZ.

Can I earn Airpoints Dollars if I buy a ticket for someone else?

When using an eligible credit card to make an eligible purchase, you may be able to earn reward points that can later be converted into Airpoints Dollars. Such eligible purchases can include flight bookings, both for yourself and for other people.

Such points would be earned in addition to any regular frequent flyer points (or Airpoints Dollars) earned by the traveller from their flight.

10 best Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card sign-up offers

Credit card

Bonus Airpoints Dollars

Airpoints Dollars per $1 spent *

Annual fee

Other benefits

AMEX Platinum Charge Card

Up to $1,000

$0.01125

$1,450

Unlimited lounge access, hotel elite status

ANZ Rewards Black

$900

$0.01
($0.005 above $5k/mo)

$0 (yr1), $375 (yr2-)

Earn extra points via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

$833

$0.0069

$250

Earn bonus points on selected flight bookings

NAB Rewards Signature Card

$600

$0.00625

$295

Earn triple points on overseas transactions

ANZ Rewards Platinum

$600

$0.0075
($0.0025 above $2k/mo)

$0 (yr1), $95 (yr2-)

Earn extra points via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

$444

$0.0055

$99
(yr 1)
$150 (yr 2-)

Earn bonus points with Uber, Spotify and more

NAB Rewards Platinum Card

$300

$0.005

$195

Earn triple miles on overseas transactions

AMEX Platinum Edge Credit Card

$250

$0.005

$195

Get a $200 travel credit every year

AMEX Explorer Credit Card

$250

$0.01

$395

$400 Travel Credit every year

ANZ Rewards

$250

$0.005
($0.0025 above $1k/mo)

$80

Supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, Garmin Pay and more

* Airpoints Dollars earned per $1 spent is based on everyday eligible purchases on transactions within Australia. This figure considers the card's earning rate on spend and its conversion rate of points into Airpoints Dollars, to display the equivalent number of Airpoints Dollars earned per $1 spent. Some spending categories may earn more, fewer or no points on each card than the standard earn rate indicated above, such as government transactions, overseas purchases, etc.

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.