Best rewards credit cards NZ
From Flybuys and Airpoints, to hotpoints and True Rewards, we explain the pros and cons of each NZ rewards scheme to help you choose the best rewards credit card.
- There are a number of credit card rewards schemes in NZ, but some are much more flexible than others.
- Some rewards schemes can be complicated — make sure you know how to maximise your earnings while saving on fees.
- Rewards credit cards are only worthwhile if you pay off your balance in full each month.
- Check our our related guides on the best Airpoints credit cards in NZ and the best cashback credit cards.
Due to a cap on the fees merchants have to pay to accept credit card payments, some major banks are reducing the rewards customers can earn on their spend.
Does that mean that rewards cards are no longer worthwhile? Our guide to New Zealand’s rewards cards helps you find out.
If you’re looking for another type of card, compare all options in our guide to the best credit cards.
How rewards credit cards work
Rewards credit cards let you earn rewards points when you spend using the credit card. These rewards points can be used to buy products, flights, or get discounts on fuel or at particular stores.
A rewards credit card can be a great way to benefit from your credit card spend, but only if you pay your card off in full each month. If you only make part payments, you’ll be charged interest which will cancel out any reward points you’ve earned.
For a small country, we have a substantial number of credit card rewards programmes available to us. We look at each scheme, including how they work, the pros and cons, and the credit cards that offer them.
Airpoints credit cards
The Airpoints rewards scheme from Air New Zealand is the most popular and widely accessible in the country.
American Express, ANZ, Kiwibank and Westpac all offer their Airpoints credit cards. Each of these cards has different Airpoints earn rates and annual fees while some come with bonus Airpoints on sign up.
Airpoints credit cards let you earn Airpoints Dollars which can be redeemed for a number of things, including:
- flights and flight upgrades for Air New Zealand and its many partner airlines
- electronics, homewares and other products from the Airpoints Store
- Car rentals and travel insurance
- donations to the Airpoints for Schools programme that pays for Kiwi school children to go on educational trips
- gifting flights to others.
Key benefits of Airpoints credit cards
- Choice: There are more Airpoints credit cards on the market than any other rewards credit card.
- Range of rewards: Airpoints Dollars can be redeemed in lots of ways.
- Great for travellers: You can both earn Airpoints Dollars on flights, and use them to pay for flights and upgrades.
- Simple to understand: 1 Airpoints Dollar has the value of 1 New Zealand Dollar.
- Earn twice: With some retailers, you can earn on both your Airpoints membership card and your credit card spend.
Compare Airpoints credit cards
|Credit card||Airpoints earn rate||Bonus Airpoints||Interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions||Learn more|
|American Express Airpoints Platinum||1 Airpoints Dollar per $59||300||22.95%||$195||
Read the review
|American Express Airpoints||1 Airpoints Dollar per $100||50||22.95%||$0||
Read the review
|ANZ Airpoints Visa||1 Airpoints Dollar per $170||0||19.95%||$65||None currently|
|ANZ Airpoints Visa Platinum||1 Airpoints Dollar per $110||0||19.95%||$150||
|Westpac Airpoints Mastercard||1 Airpoints Dollar per $150||0||20.95%||$70||None currently|
|Westpac Airpoints Platinum Mastercard||1 Airpoints Dollar per $110||0||20.95%||$125||
|Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard||1 Airpoints Dollar per $95||0||16.95%||$310||
|Kiwibank Air New Zealand Airpoints Low Fee Visa||1 Airpoints Dollar per $200||0||16.90%||$50||None currently|
|Kiwibank Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Visa||1 Airpoints Dollar per $115||0||20.95%||$180||
Learn more about Air New Zealand Airpoints credit cards in our comprehensive guide.
Flybuys and BNZ Rewards credit cards
BNZ may just win the award for the most complicated rewards scheme offering. The bank’s credit cards can be used to earn either Flybuys Points or BNZ Rewards Points, and each of these in turn can be redeemed for other forms of rewards, including cashback.
Let’s take a look at each individually.
The Flybuys rewards scheme lets you earn Flybuys at a range of brands across New Zealand, including New World, Noel Leeming and Z Energy.
BNZ has partnered with Flybuys so BNZ Advantage cardholders can earn Flybuys on their spend whenever they use their credit card.
Earned Flybuys can be used for a wide range of purposes, including:
- shopping at the online Flybuys Store
- buying gift cards for a number of popular retailers
- paying for flights and accommodation through helloworld Travel
- car hire
- events and activities around New Zealand.
Understanding the value of the Flybuys points can be complicated as it changes depending on what they are redeemed for. 1 Flybuys point is worth at least 0.5 cents, but translating their exact value for each purpose can take some figuring out.
BNZ introduced the BNZ Rewards scheme in late 2022, effectively replacing its credit card cash back offer (although BNZ Points can still be redeemed for cash back).
Under the scheme, cardholders can earn BNZ Points on their spend, which can then be redeemed for a range of benefits. These include:
- Transferring points to a selection of airline and hotel loyalty schemes, such as those operated by Emirates, British Airways, Qantas, Accor, and others.
- Buying flights directly through BNZ’s travel platform.
- Transferring points to Flybuys, with 40 BNZ Points equalling 1 Flybuys Point.
- Exchanging points for eGift Cards from brands including Apple, Farmers, JB Hi-FI, Mitre-10, and others.
It’s also possible to redeem BNZ Points for cash back.
- Range of rewards: Both Flybuys and BNZ Rewards can be redeemed for purchases, discounts, travel and more.
- Choose cash back instead: BNZ Points can be redeemed for cash back.
- Earn twice: You can earn twice on Flybuys when you shop at some outlets.
Compare Flybuys and BNZ Rewards credit card
|Credit card||Earn rate||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions|
|BNZ Advantage Visa Classic||
|BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum||
hotpoints credit cards
hotpoints is a rewards scheme specific to Westpac. The bank has 3 hotpoints credit cards available, each with different hotpoints earn rates, annual fees and interest rates.
The number of things you can redeem hotpoints for may seem a little more limited than some other schemes. hotpoints can be redeemed for items on the online hotpoints store, charitable contributions, or even KiwiSaver contributions.
However, hotpoints can also be redeemed for any purchase where Mastercard is accepted through Westpac’s hotpoints Pay programme. When redeemed through hotpoints Pay, 900 hotpoints is worth $5.
Key benefits of hotpoints credit cards
- hotpoints are redeemable anywhere: Through hotpoints Pay, you’re not limited to what you can use hotpoints for.
- Choice: Westpac offers 3 hotpoints credit cards to suit different needs.
Compare hotpoints credit cards
|Credit card||hotpoints earn rate||Sign up hotpoints||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions|
|Westpac hotpoints Mastercard||1 hotpoint per $1 spent up to $3,500 per month, then 0.5 hotpoints per $1 beyond that.||0||20.95%||$40||None currently|
|Westpac hotpoints Platinum Mastercard||1.5 hotpoints per $1 spent up to $7,000 per month, then 1 hotpoint per $1 beyond that.||0||20.95%||$70||
|Westpac hotpoints World Mastercard||2 hotpoints per $1 spent up to $15,000 per month, then 1 hotpoint per $1 beyond that.||0||16.95%||$285||
True Rewards credit cards
True Rewards is ASB’s own credit card rewards scheme. The bank offers True Rewards on 3 credit cards, although one of those is a business credit card.
True Rewards you’ve earned on your credit card spend can be redeemed for:
- shopping at the True Rewards online store, or at partner retailers by using a True Rewards card
- travel through House of Travel or Mix & Match
- transferred to any ASB KiwiSaver account
- donations to one of a number of charities.
True Rewards can also be pooled with those of others so you can make larger purchases.
If True Rewards doesn’t appeal, ASB’s rewards credit cards give you the option of earning AA Smartfuel discounts instead. You can switch between the two reward schemes at any time.
Key benefits of True rewards credit cards
- Range of rewards: True Rewards dollars can be used for everything from travel to KiwiSaver contributions.
- Fuel discount option: You can switch to earning AA Smartfuel discounts if desired.
- Simple to understand: 1 True Rewards dollar has the value of 1 New Zealand dollar.
- True Rewards for business: The ASB Visa Business Rewards card is one of New Zealand’s few rewards business credit cards.
Compare True Rewards credit cards
|Credit card||True Rewards earn rate||Bonus True Rewards on sign up||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions|
|ASB Visa Rewards||1 True Rewards dollar per $150||200||20.95%||$40||
|ASB Visa Platinum Rewards||1 True Rewards dollar per $100||300||19.95||$80||
American Express Membership Rewards credit cards
Membership Rewards is American Express’s own rewards scheme and it’s reserved for their more exclusive cards.
As far as credit cards go, only the Platinum Edge credit card is eligible to earn Membership Rewards points. The credit card company’s Platinum charge card is also eligible.
Membership rewards points can be redeemed for a number of things, but the travel offering is especially strong.
Membership Rewards points can be exchanged for the rewards points of a number of other schemes, including Airpoints, Qantas points, and Singapore Airlines points.
You can also use Membership Rewards to buy flights through helloworld or Webjet.
Check out our guide to the best American Express credit cards for more or see how the AMEX cards compare to other platinum credit cards in our guide.
Key benefits of American Express Rewards credit cards
- Points exchange: Membership Rewards points can be transferred into the points of other rewards schemes.
- Statement credit: You can also use Membership Rewards Points like cashback, getting credit to your credit card. Redeemed this way, 1 Membership Rewards points is worth 0.6 cents.
- Gift card redemptions: Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards from outlets including New World, Event Cinemas and Harvey Norman.
Compare American Express Membership Rewards credit cards
|Credit card||Membership Rewards earn rate||Bonus Membership Rewards on sign up||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions||Learn more|
|American Express Platinum||1 Membership Reward point per $0.5||100,000||N/A||$1,250||
|American Express Gold||1 Membership Rewards point per $0.5||0||19.95%||$200||
||Read the review|
Farmers Club and Flight Centre Rewards credit cards
Both from the same credit card issuer, the Farmers Mastercard and the Flight Centre Mastercard have similar offerings.
Credit card spend you make on the Farmers Mastercard will earn you Farmers Club points, while spend on the Flight Centre Mastercard and you will be rewarded with Flight Centre Rewards points.
Both these rewards schemes are limited in that you can only use earned points at those respective stores. Earn 250 Farmers Club points and you’ll get a $20 Farmers voucher, and 1 Flight Centre Rewards can be redeemed for $1 spent at Flight Centre.
However, these two cards also offer a number of long-term interest-free finance deals. See our guide for more on credit cards with long-term, interest-free deals. purch
Shop at retailers including JB HiFi, Mitre 10, and of course Farmers and Flight Centre, and you can get your purchase interest free for 12 months or even longer, depending on the deal available at the time.
Key benefits of the Farmers and Flight Centre credit cards
- Double-dip rewards: the Farmers Mastercard lets you earn twice when you use both your Farmers Mastercard and Farmers Club Card together at Farmers. When you use your Flight Centre Mastercard at Flight Centre, your rewards will be doubled.
- Long-term, interest-free finance: Both of these credit cards offer long term finance deals at 0% interest at a number of participating retailers.
- No international transaction fees: The Flight Centre Mastercard is currently the only credit card in New Zealand to charge no fees when using your card to make a purchase in a foreign currency.
Compare Farmers and Flight Centre credit cards
|Credit card||Rewards earn rate||Bonus points on sign up||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions|
|Farmers Mastercard||1 Farmers Club Point per $10||0||25.95%||$50||
|Flight Centre Mastercard||1.5 Flight Centre Rewards points per $100||0||22.95%||$50||
Purple Dollars credit card
The Purple Visa offers the Purple Dollars rewards scheme, one of the more basic programmes out there.
Purple Dollars are earned whenever you spend on the Purple Visa, which every $150 dollars spent resulting in 1 Purple Dollar.
The value of Purple Dollars are simple to understand as 1 Purple Dollar is worth 1 New Zealand Dollar.
Purple Dollars can be redeemed at the following stores:
- Noel Leeming
- The Warehouse
- Warehouse Stationery
- The Market
Key benefits of the Purple Visa
- Long term, interest-free finance: You can use the Purple Visa to make long term, 0% interest purchases at Noel Leeming and Torpedo7 (instore and online) and at The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery (in store only)
|Credit card||Purple Dollars earn rate||Bonus Purple Dollars on sign up||Purchase interest rate (p.a.)||Annual fee||Promotions|
|Purple Visa||1 Purple Dollar per $150||0||22.90%||$55||