American Express has launched a new travel rewards credit card, tapping into New Zealanders' affinity for travelling, with a complimentary return domestic flight each year of membership and accelerated points earning for everyday spending.
Called the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card, it's the country's first credit card to offer three points per dollar for groceries and two points per dollar for petrol, making it easier to travel using American Express points.
Recent national research reveals around two in five New Zealand credit card holders have a card linked to a travel points programme. Of those who have collected travel points, 43 per cent intend to redeem them later this year, while 33 per cent say they plan to redeem their points within one-two years.
According to Rachel Stocks, Vice President of Consumer Products for American Express, "People are discovering that just by choosing the right credit card and spending as they typically would, points earned throughout the year can be redeemed for very nice rewards. The holiday you might not have factored into your budget could have paid for itself simply by earning points."
With nearly half (48.7%) of New Zealanders, aged 18-64, having taken, or intending to take a holiday this year, it's clear that travelling is high on the priority list, but it has become more expensive to do so.
According to the first quarter 2012 American Express Business Travel Monitor, published airfares in New Zealand rose 3 per cent overall when comparing the first quarter of 2012 with the same period in 2011.
Domestic airfares rose 6 per cent.
"Points can be used to pay for either a portion or the entire cost of travelling, making them an attractive option to offset the rising cost of airfares", said Stocks.
According to American Express, the allure of credit cards with added benefits is especially strong for those who love to travel. With this in mind, for the launch of its new card American Express is offering a complimentary non-stop return domestic flight on Air New Zealand's extensive national network as an annual benefit. In addition, the card comes with access to complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
"Our Membership Rewards programme, which enables points to be transferred to one of seven leading airline rewards programmes, has allowed us to set the standard in travel cards in the market and allow New Zealanders to escape more often to see the world."
According to American Express rewards cards aren't just for high spenders, something that they are sometimes criticised for.
"American Express has packed the Platinum Edge Card full of benefits making the annual fee of $149 not only extremely competitive for the benefits included, but it can also be easily offset by using the card for everyday purchases like the weekly grocery shop and filling up the car", concluded Stocks.
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