Best Airpoints credit cards

Compare credit cards that earn Airpoints Dollars you can redeem for upgraded seats. Also, enjoy other complimentary benefits like free travel insurance.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 21 Nov 2023

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Comparing Airpoints credit cards

American Express Airpoints Platinum Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Airpoints Dollars

Points per $1 spent

0.017 points

Sign up bonus

300 points

Annual fee

$195.00 p.a. ongoing


  • Earn 300 bonus Airpoints Dollars for spending $1,500 within the first 3 months.
  • $195 p.a. annual fee.
  • Earn rewards fast at 1 Airpoints Dollar per $59 spent.
  • American Express Lounge and VIP lounges and discounted rates on Koru club lounge membership.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance and smartphone insurance for screen repairs.


  • Sign up bonus of 300 Airpoints Dollars for spending $1,500 within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for each $59 spent.
  • American Express Lounge and VIP lounge access with discounted Koru club lounge membership.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
  • Smartphone insurance for the repair of a damaged front screen.


  • The ongoing $195 annual fee.
  • This card does not have an interest-free balance transfer feature.
  • Some non-chain retailers may not accept American Express credit cards.
American Express Airpoints Credit Card

On website

Rewards program

Airpoints Dollars

Points per $1 spent

0.01 points

Sign up bonus

50 points

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing


  • Get 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online are approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months. New Card Members only.  
  • Take advantage of 0% p.a. on purchases for the first 6 months.
  • No annual card fee.


  • No annual fee for life while earning rewards.
  • Sign up bonus of 50 Airpoints Dollars.
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar per $100 spent.
  • Interest-free on purchases for 6 months.
  • Up to 4 additional cardholders for free.


  • No complimentary insurance cover.
  • High ongoing interest rate on purchases.
  • No balance transfer offer at the moment.
  • Some non-chain retailers may not accept American Express cards.
ANZ Airpoints Visa Platinum Credit Card

Rewards program

Airpoints Dollars

Points per $1 spent

0.013 points

Sign up bonus


Annual fee

$150.00 p.a. ongoing


  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $110 spent on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 50% bonus Status Points on top of the Status Points you earn on eligible flights with Air New Zealand.
  • $150 p.a. annual fee (with $75 charged every six months).
  • Comes with complimentary overseas travel insurance.


  • Earn Airpoints Dollars per dollar spent.
  • No cap on what you can earn.
  • Get an advance if you need more for a redemption.
  • Earn bonus Status Points on eligible flights.
  • Complimentary international travel insurance.
  • Access to the Visa Concierge.


  • $150 p.a. annual fee.
  • Average ongoing interest rates.
ANZ Airpoints Visa Credit Card

Rewards program

Airpoints Dollars

Points per $1 spent

0.008 points

Sign up bonus


Annual fee

$65.00 p.a. ongoing


  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $170 you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn unlimited Airpoints Dollars that never expire.
  • $65 p.a. annual fee.
  • Up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.


  • Earn Airpoints Dollars with no cap.
  • Low ongoing annual fee.
  • Cheap to add additional cardholders.


  • Average ongoing interest rates.
  • No travel insurance policy.
  • No lounge access.
  • No concierge service.

What are Airpoints credit cards?

If you’re a frequent Air New Zealand or Star Alliance flyer, an Airpoints credit card can make your trip even more rewarding by giving you extra Airpoints Dollars when you pay for your Air New Zealand flight with your card. Plus you'll also earn Airpoints on all your other credit card purchases, bringing the next flight so much nearer. In fact, anyone can benefit from an Airpoints credit card, because you're not confined to redeeming Airpoints Dollars for flights – there are plenty of other redemption options.

How to earn Airpoints Dollars with a credit card

Once you have an Airpoints credit card, all your card spending earns Airpoints dollars, at varying rates depending on which card you have. You'll usually earn more Airpoints Dollars for purchasing flights, upgrades and merchandise from Air New Zealand than you will for your purchases from other merchants.

Airpoints Dollar earning rates typically range from $50 spending = 1 Airpoints Dollar to $160 spending = 1 Airpoints dollar, and cards with a higher earning rate also tend to have a higher annual fee. However, these more expensive cards also come with additional free benefits like domestic and international travel insurance cover, and more.

Airpoints Dollars earned with your credit card are identical to Airpoints Dollars earned by flying, and will be pooled with them in your regular Airpoints account.

As well as earning Airpoints Dollars, spending with many Airpoints credit cards also earns Air New Zealand Status Points, ranging from $200 spending = 1 Status Point to $250 spending = 1 Status Point. Status points allow you to access the benefits of Silver, Gold and Elite frequent flyer tiers, such as priority service, lounge access, seat upgrades and extra baggage allowance.

What are Airpoints Dollars worth?

When redeeming Airpoints Dollars for Air New Zealand and some partner airlines' flights, an Airpoints Dollar is worth exactly one normal dollar. This means that you can pay for any Air New Zealand flight with Airpoints Dollars, rather than having to wait for a limited number of seats to be be made available for redemption with frequent flyer points (which is what happens with Australian airline Qantas, for example). If you don't have enough Airpoints Dollars to pay the full fare, you can pay with a mixture of Airpoints Dollars and cash (or top up your Airpoints balance if you have an Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card issued by Kiwibank).

The same 1 Airpoints Dollar = $1 applies when using Airpoints Dollars to pay for Avis or Budget car rental, flight upgrades and Koro Programme membership. You'll also get the same or similar value when shopping at the Airpoints online store, where a $100 restaurant gift voucher, for example, costs exactly 100 Airpoints Dollars.

What to compare for Airpoints credit cards

Depending on which Airpoints credit card you have, as well giving you Airpoints Dollars on your spending your card may have other complimentary benefits attached, including:

  • Earning Air New Zealand Status Points. Higher status comes with a range of benefits in and of itself.
  • Airport lounge access. Typically either single-entry passes or full membership of a program such as Priority Pass.
  • Koru membership discount and/or joining fee waiver. Membership level varies, but can be a substantial saving.
  • Bonus Airpoints Dollars. Typically bonused for meeting a spending target within a certain period of time.
  • Airpoints Dollars Top-up. The ability to use your card to buy points. Useful if you are short a few points of what you need.
  • Domestic return flight. A benefit generally reserved for higher level credit cards, e.g. a black credit card.
  • Airpoints Dollars Advance. Marketed like an overdraft, some Airpoints credit cards make it possible to access additional Airpoints in advance. An alternative to buying Airpoints.
  • Concierge service. Available 24/7 and useful for small tasks like bookings, reservations, appointment setting, and price comparison.

Pros and cons


  1. Earn Airpoints Dollars on everyday spending. Spending with a credit card is one of the best and easiest ways to earn Airpoints Dollars without flying with Air New Zealand.
  2. Boost your Airpoints Dollars account. Apart from what you earn per dollar, you can get a significant boost from a credit card with a sign up bonus offer.
  3. Valuable additional benefits. Airpoints-earning cards are higher-end and often come with additional perks such as complimentary travel insurance or access to airport lounges.
  4. Use Airpoints Dollars to fly with Star Alliance partners. Book award flights with other Star Alliance airlines.


  1. Higher annual fees. A credit card that earns Airpoints Dollars is typically higher end and generally have higher annual fees. Although the fee may be waived for a year, you'll need to work out whether the combined benefits justify its cost.
  2. Caps and limits. High-spenders might experience diminishing returns if they spend a lot.
  3. Airpoints Dollars expire. But for some cards, they don't expire for as long as the card is active, giving you more flexibility.

Alternatives to Airpoints credit cards

Airpoints credit cards are not the only way to earn credit card rewards points. Other types of rewards credit card are available, including:

  • American Express credit cards. Membership Rewards Points can be exchanged for several other airlines' frequent flyer points, including Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia, depending on which card you have.
  • Westpac hotpoints credit cards. Earn points that can be redeemed for a range of popular products.
  • BNZ Flybuys. Earn points that can be redeemed for a range of products and travel bookings.
  • Cashback credit cards. If collecting and redeeming points isn't your thing, you could get a credit card which gives you a percentage rebate for meeting a specified spending target.

How to apply for an Airpoints credit card

  • Compare available offers. Start by comparing the points earning rates and other benefits of each card, as well as the annual fee cost, to decide which one will best suit your lifestyle and spending pattern.
  • Gather your ID documents. For example, your passport or driver's licence, proof of residence (mail addressed to you), proof of income (payslips, bank statements) and employment details.
  • Submit your application online. Click through from Finty, fill out the application, and look out for correspondence from the bank (they may need more details).

Note: You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card.

About the Airpoints program

Airpoints is a loyalty program operated by Air New Zealand. Program members earn Airpoints Dollars for flying with Air New Zealand and its partner airlines, including airlines in the Star Alliance network. Airpoints Dollars can be redeemed for Air New Zealand and some partner airline flights, seat upgrades and car rental, plus a range of retail gift cards, experience vouchers and merchandise from the Airpoints online store.

Other ways to earn Airpoints Dollars

In addition to earning Airpoints Dollars with a credit card, the best way to acquire Airpoints Dollars is to fly with Air New Zealand, some Star Alliance airlines, or other partner airlines. But for points hunters who are more avid shoppers than they are fliers, there are over 130 retailers at Air New Zealand's Airpoints Mall to choose from. Simply access your chosen retailer's website by clicking through from the Airpoints Mall, and any purchases you make will be tracked, and will typically earn between 1.0 and 3.0 Airpoints Dollars per $100 of spending.

Redeeming Airpoints Dollars

The many ways you can redeem Airpoints Dollars include:

  • Flights and seat upgrades with Air New Zealand
  • Flights with some Star Alliance and other Air New Zealand partner airlines
  • Making purchases at the Airpoints online store – gift cards, experience vouchers and merchandise
  • Sending a family member or friend a ticket through the gifting register
  • Purchasing onboard food and drink
  • Enrolling in the Air New Zealand Koru programme (lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, baggage privileges)
  • Buying extra baggage allowance
  • Booking car rental
  • Purchasing travel insurance
  • Donating to Airpoints for Schools

Airpoints Dollars expiry dates

Airpoints Dollars have a long expiry date – four years from when they were earned – so that gives you plenty of time to save them up for a high-value redemption if you wish. But there are ways to prevent your Airpoints Dollars from expiring, If you can achieve and maintain Elite or Gold Airpoints membership status, your Airpoints Dollars won't expire.

Even better, earning Airpoints Dollars with some premium credit cards will mean that they never expire. Read the small print carefully to see which cards this applies to.

Learn about Airpoints credit cards

  • FAQs

  • Pros & cons

  • Tips

Do Airpoints Dollars expire?

Yes. They expire four years after you earned them if you haven't used them by that date. However, you can prevent them from expiring by achieving and maintaining Elite or Gold Airpoints membership status, or by earning Airpoints Dollars with some (but not all) Airpoints credit cards.

What can I use Airpoints Dollars for?

You can spend your Airpoints Dollars on:

  • Flights and seat upgrades with air New Zealand and some of its partner airlines
  • Purchases from the Airpoints online store – gift cards, experience vouchers and merchandise
  • Gifting a flight to a family member or friend
  • Purchasing food and drink during a flight
  • Air New Zealand Koru programme membership (lounge access, priority check-in &c)
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Car rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Donation to Airpoints for Schools

How much does it cost to join the Airpoints program?

The Airpoints program is free to join. You'll need to be a member before you can start earning Airpoints Dollars from a credit card. Register online – it's quick and easy.

Can I earn and share my Airpoints with someone else?

You can have a joint Airpoints account with up to four other people. It's called a Shairpoints account.

Can I use Airpoints with other airlines?

Yes. You can earn and spend Airpoints Dollars on many Star Alliance flights, as well as with other Air New Zealand partner airlines.

How much is an Airpoints Dollar worth?

It's worth one New Zealand dollar when redeemed for flights, seat upgrades, car rental and Koru membership. It's also worth at or close to a dollar when redeemed at the online store.

How much will I have to spend to earn one Airpoints Dollar?

It depends on which credit card you have. Earning rates vary from one Airpoints Dollar per $50 of credit card spending to one Airpoints dollar per $160 of credit card spending. The best rates are for purchases made from Air New Zealand itself.

What other ways are there to earn Airpoints Dollars?

As well as spending with an Airpoints credit card, you could:

  • Take flights you paid for in cash with air New Zealand and its partner airlines
  • Make other purchases from Air New Zealand, such as seat upgrades or Koru membership
  • Shop online at the Airpoints Mall

Can I have an additional cardholder on my account, for faster points earning?

Yes. Your additional or supplementary cardholder will also earn Airpoints Dollars (into your Airpoints account, not theirs). You may have to pay a small extra annual fee.

Do I need to do my regular banking with the issuer of my Airpoints credit card?

No. You can apply for an Airpoints credit card from any bank, without having to switch to them for your everyday banking.

Fly for free

If you can accumulate enough Airpoints Dollars you will be able to fly domestically or internationally without spending a cent.

Take your time

You have a long four years to accumulate and use points before they expire. Points don't expire if you have Gold or Elite membership status. And it's also possible to sign up for Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards with non-expiring points.

Flexible payment options

If you don't have enough Airpoints Dollars for your chosen flight or other redemption, you can pay for the balance in cash. Some credit cards also confer an Airpoints Dollars Top-up option, allowing you to purchase extra Dollars. Other cards have an Airpoints Dollars Advance facility, effectively allowing you to go into a points overdraft.

Many cards earn Status Points

Many credit cards with Airpoints also earn Status Points, to help you achieve or maintain your Silver, Gold or Elite frequent flyer membership tier.

Complimentary benefits attached

Most Airpoints cards come with at least some complimentary benefits (travel insurance, airport lounge access, valet parking, &c) and the more expensive cards have a long list of them.

High interest rate

Most Airpoints credit cards have high interest rates (on purchases balances carried over from month to month) of between 20% and 21% p.a. Cards with lower interest rates (still around 17% p.a.) have a lower points earning rate as a trade-off.

Interest charges cancel out the benefit

If you end up paying interest on your credit card balance for several months, the benefit derived from earning Airpoints Dollars will be wiped out by the interest cost.

Some transactions don't earn points

You won't earn any points on cash and cash equivalent transactions, like cash advances and withdrawals, balance transfers, purchases of foreign currency banknotes and travellers cheques, card fees and interest charges.

Compare cards and do your research

Compare partner bank credit cards and make a list of benefits and drawbacks for each type. Remember that some credit cards require a minimum credit score and monthly income. Pick a credit card option whose annual and additional fees are something you can comfortably shoulder, and whose benefits you are sure you will use. In short, choose a card that suits your income, spending pattern and lifestyle.

Don't choose an Airpoints credit card if you expect to pay interest

There's no point in paying a higher annual fee and and a higher interest rate for an Airpoints or rewards points credit card if you don't expect to clear your card balance in full every month. The high interest charges will seriously erode – if not completely wipe out – the value of any points you could earn. Choose a low interest credit card instead.

An Airpoints credit card will serve bigger spenders best

If you're not a fairly big spender, it can take a very long time to accumulate enough Airpoints Dollars for a worthwhile redemption. However, many Airpoints card users who put all their available spending – supermarket, petrol, transport fares, utility bills, clothing, household items and holidays – through their card, will see their points accumulate quickly.

Try to fly with Air New Zealand and its partners

If you're already earning Airpoints Dollars with your credit card, it makes sense to earn more points by flying with Air New Zealand and its partners rather than with their competitors.

Earn more Airpoints Dollars at the Airpoints Mall

Whenever you are shopping online, it's worth checking to see if the item or brand you are looking for is featured at the Airpoints Mall, where you can earn even more Airpoints Dollars on your purchases. Double dip by paying for them with your Airpoints card.