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American Express Launches Platinum Card In NZ

American Express Launches The Platinum Card In New Zealand

Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua, September 2000 – One of the world’s most prestigious service products, the American Express Platinum Card has arrived in New Zealand, offering a unique combination of best-in-class service and benefits.

The Platinum Card is an exclusive charge card designed to meet the needs of New Zealand’s affluent frequent travellers. It provides Cardmembers with worldwide personal concierge assistance and an extensive range of benefits including airline, hotel, restaurant, insurance, home and roadside assistance.

Anna Hynes, New Zealand Country Manager for American Express, said at the launch today that the Platinum Card is distinct from all other cards in the New Zealand market and represents the ultimate in card benefits and services in this country.

“The New Zealand economy has strengthened over recent years to the point where a significant number of our Cardmembers are demanding a superior level of service from us – so we are providing it to them,” Ms Hynes said.

A key feature of The Platinum Card is an exclusive International Airline Program offering Cardmembers substantial savings when they travel first or business class with a companion. The programme will allow Platinum Cardmembers to save thousands of dollars when they take a companion on some flights.

The International Airline Programme includes a range of offers with Air New Zealand, as well as agreements with Emirates, Thai Airways, and Aerolineas Argentinas.

Another key feature of Platinum Cardmembership will be the unrivalled personal attention of the Platinum Card Service – a service that is comparable to a team of full-time concierges dedicated to taking care of Cardmembers.

“Whether a Cardmember runs into trouble at home and needs an emergency electrician, or is overseas and needs to hire a private butler to assist with the packing, the Platinum Card Service will be there to assist,” Ms Hynes said

Other Platinum Card features include, automatic upgrades at 600 of the world’s best hotels; tables at the world’s best restaurants; tickets to exclusive events; comprehensive travel insurance; as well as roadside and home assistance as needed.

These benefits provide top-quality medical assistance, legal aid and translation services, as well as helping with passport and visa replacement and providing emergency cash advances.

Further exclusive benefits are complimentary hotel and hire car upgrades, membership at exclusive clubs in London. In addition, a table is reserved for Platinum Cardmembers for lunch and dinner every day at 600 of the world’s top restaurants.

Home assistance benefits include the emergency arrangement of plumbers, electricians or locksmiths. Cardmembers will also be automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards loyalty program, which offers a range of flight and non-flight rewards.

The annual fee for the Platinum Card of $NZ1,250 includes a basic Platinum Card and an additional Platinum Card for the account holder (allowing the separation of business and personal expenses), plus up to four Supplementary Platinum Cards.

The arrival of the Platinum Card into the New Zealand market adds to the recent product distribution and expansion strategy of American Express. As well as the Platinum Card, the American Express product range now includes: the American Express Credit Card; the traditional American Express Charge Card; the American Express Gold Card; and the American Express Corporate Card.

American Express Company, which is celebrating it 150th anniversary this year, is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company. Founded in 1850, it is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.

For more information about American Express, visit the worldwide web site at http://www.americanexpress.com

For more information:
Mark Reynolds, American Express Public & Corporate Affairs
09 3674370 or 025 2073303

The Platinum Card®

The most exclusive form of Cardmembership complete with 24 hour service from a dedicated Platinum Card Team and a unique range of Service, Travel and Lifestyle benefits.

The following list demonstrates the range of benefits, but is not necessarily definitive.

Travel Benefits

A comprehensive travel service offering exclusive benefits to Platinum Cardmembers:

 International Airline Programme
- An exclusive programme that allows Platinum Cardmembers to make substantial savings when they travel First or Business Class with a Companion. Airlines included in the programme are Air New Zealand, Thai Airways Aerolineas Argentinas, and Emirates.
 Automatic travel insurances
- up to $NZ800,000 travel accident insurance for travel booked on the Platinum Card
- compensation for flight delays, missed connections, baggage delay or loss
- medical expenses up to $NZ10,000,000

 Medical Assistance abroad
- Advance of up to US$8,000 to cover emergency medical expenses
- Medical transportation or repatriation to a better equipped hospital
- Medical monitoring of the Cardmember’s condition when hospitalised overseas
- Arrangements for a relative to visit the Cardmember if hospitalised for more than 10 days, including hotel expenses up to 5 nights (US$200 per person per night)
- Help in replacing lost spectacles, contact lenses or prescribed medication.

 Fine Hotels, Resorts and Spas
- Room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, late chekout and other amenities at approximately 600 of the world’s finest properties.


 Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- Room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, late chekout and other amenities at approximately 600 of the world’s finest properties.

 Emergency message relay to family or business colleagues.

 Hertz#1 Club Gold
- Free enrolment and, once enrolled, a one category upgrade when hiring a car with Hertz.

Service Benefits

 Worldwide Personal Assistance

- Assistance in setting up meetings and locating audio/visual equipment
- Organising translation and secretarial services
- Referrals to fax/telex facilities, business centres, reception facilities
- Sourcing of luxury goods
- Selection and delivery of gifts and flowers to friends, family, business colleagues

(The Cardmember is not charged for American Express making the necessary arrangements. Any costs incurred in purchasing, delivery etc are borne by the Cardmember).


 Home Assistance in New Zealand
- Arranging the call out of reputable electricians, plumbers, locksmiths, and air conditioning services (call-out charge is paid for by American Express)

 Roadside Assistance in New Zealand
In the event of the Cardmember’s vehicle breaking down:
- Arranging free towing to a nearby garage or minor on-the-spot repairs up to $150.
- Transporting Cardmember, vehicle and passengers back home
- If repairs to the Cardmember’s vehicle take more than 48 hours, a replacement vehicle will be supplied for their use for up to three days.

 Automatic enrolment in Membership Rewards

 Access to Cash, in New Zealand and Abroad

- Through American Express ATMs and participating networks (more than 300,000 worldwide) - up toNZ$4,000 every 7 days..
- Emergency Cheque Cashing facility at 1,700 American Express Travel Service and Representative Offices.


Lifestyle Benefits

 Fine Dining Program

- Selected popular restaurants (normally booked well in advance reserve at least one table at lunch and dinner (when open) for the exclusive use of Platinum Cardmembers.

 St James’s Club in London

- Complimentary membership

 Hospitality Packages
- example, arranging cocktail receptions

 Restaurant Recommendations and Reservations

 Ticket sourcing and booking for shows, theatres etc.,

 Limousine hire or “Meet and Greet’ Service.

 Sourcing and arranging Holidays

The annual fee of $NZ1,250 for the Platinum Card covers:-
The Basic Platinum Card, the Additional Platinum Card , and up to 4 Supplementary Platinum Cards.


AMERICAN EXPRESS INTRODUCES UNEQUALLED AIRLINE
BENEFITS FOR PLATINUM CARDMEMBERS

Special Companion Offers with Air New Zealand and other airlines

Auckland, September 4, 2000 – American Express today announced an exclusive International Airline Program, offering unequalled benefits for American Express Platinum Cardmembers in New Zealand.

Under the program, Platinum Cardmembers will receive substantial savings when they travel first or business class with a companion. The International Airline Programme will allow Platinum Cardmembers to save thousands of dollars when they take a companion on some flights.

Airlines included in the programme are: Air New Zealand, Thai Airways, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Emirates.

“This feature offers tremendous value to Platinum Cardmembers. It is an exclusive benefit consistent with the high expectations of this most prestigious group of customers,” said Ms Anna Hynes, Vice President and Country Manager for American Express in New Zealand.

For example, if a Cardmember and a companion fly busines class from Auckland to Melbourne on the programme with Air New Zealand, they will save nearly $1,500 on current fares offered by comparable airlines.

Ms Hynes noted the Platinum Card is the most exclusive American Express membership in New Zealand and represents the ultimate in card benefits and services.

“It aims to satisfy a wide variety of our Cardmembers’ personal lifestyle and travel needs, both at home and overseas. In all its features, it exemplifies American Express’ long-standing brand values - security, trust and quality service,” Ms Hynes said.

American Express Platinum Cardmembers enjoy a wide range of unrivalled services extending beyond travel arrangements to emergency support, medical assistance, legal aid and translation services, as well as helping with passport and visa replacement and providing cash advances, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.

Benefits of Platinum Cardmembership also include Roadside Assistance and Home Assistance and complimentary enrolment in American Express’ Membership Rewards program. Other exclusive benefits are complimentary hotel and hire-car upgrades, travel insurance coverage, priority ticket booking to events and theatres, membership to exclusive clubs, and restaurant recommendations and reservations.

American Express Company, which is celebrating it 150th anniversary this year, is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company. Founded in 1850, it is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.

For more information about American Express, visit the worldwide web site at http://www.americanexpress.com

Or contact:

Mark Reynolds
American Express Public Affairs

09 3674370
025 2073303

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