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, November 13 2020
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.

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 $833 Airpoints Dollars – akin to an $833 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. Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard by March 31 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.

2. ANZ Rewards Black

Sign-up Bonus: Collect 130,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points and get $150 back to your new ANZ Rewards Black card, 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, so although ANZ's offer is the same in number as Westpac's top deal, ANZ's bonus adopts a value of $650 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: $375, plus $65 fee per additional cardholder per year.

3. 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.

4. ANZ Rewards Platinum

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for a new ANZ Rewards Platinum card and you could take home 100,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points and get $50 back to your new card, 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 60,000 bonus points at $500 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: $95 – reduced to a net 'cost' of $45 in the first year after the cashback bonus – with a $65/year fee charged per additional cardholder.

5. Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Sign-up Bonus: Apply for the Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard by March 31 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.

6. AMEX Platinum Charge Card

Sign-up Bonus: As a new AMEX customer, apply for the American Express Platinum Charge Card to earn 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points – equal to $400 in Airpoints Dollars after a 200 points = $1 conversion – when you spend at least $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

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.

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 Explorer Credit Card

Sign-up Bonus: Score 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Gateway points with your new American Express Explorer credit card, when you apply and spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months. When converted to Airpoints Dollars at a 200 points = $1 rate, that puts your bonus at $250 Airpoints Dollars.

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.

9. 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.

10. David Jones AMEX Platinum Card

Sign-up Bonus: Apply and spend $750 at businesses other than David Jones within the first three months to earn 30,000 bonus David Jones Membership Rewards points, equal to $150 Airpoints Dollars when converted at a '200 points = $1' rate.

Rewards: Receive 4 Membership Rewards points ($0.02 in Airpoints Dollars, or two cents) per $1 spent at David Jones, 3 Membership Rewards points ($0.015 / 1.5 cents in Airpoints Dollars) per dollar spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations, and 1 Membership Rewards point ($0.005 / half a cent in Airpoints Dollars) per dollar spent everywhere else.

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

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

With ANZ changing the bonus offers on its Rewards Platinum and Rewards Black cards, there have been some ranking changes in our November 2020 update.

Rewards Black remains in second place – but with a softened offer of 130,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points ($650 in Airpoints Dollars), down from 150,000 bonus ANZ Reward Points ($750 in Airpoints Dollars) – albeit with an added incentive of $150 cashback for eligible new customers.

ANZ Rewards Platinum, on the other hand, climbs up to fourth place, with its new bonus being worth $500 in Airpoints Dollars, versus $500 previously.

With Westpac's card offers expiring on November 11 2020, it remains to be seen how the bank will rank after these offers are updated mid-month.

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

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

$833

$0.0069

$250

Earn bonus points on selected flight bookings

ANZ Rewards Black

$650

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

$375

Get $150 back to your new card

NAB Rewards Signature Card

$600

$0.00625

$295

Earn triple points on overseas transactions

ANZ Rewards Platinum

$500

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

$95

Get $50 back to your new card

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard

$444

$0.0055

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

Earn bonus points with Uber, Spotify and more

AMEX Platinum Charge Card

$400

$0.01125

$1,450

Unlimited lounge access, hotel elite status

NAB Rewards Platinum Card

$300

$0.005

$195

Earn triple miles on overseas transactions

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

David Jones AMEX Platinum

$150

$0.005

$295

Perks and savings at David Jones

* 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.

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.