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Credit Cards Get More Rewarding Thanks To Westpac

Credit Cards Get More Rewarding Thanks To
Westpac New Zealand/American Express Partnership

New Card offers up to 50% boost to points earning power plus access to premium privileges


Auckland, 19 August 2008 – Premium global credit card company American Express® is partnering with Westpac New Zealand to launch a new credit card that boosts the points earning power of Westpac’s hotpoints rewards programme by up to 50 per cent.

The new card, launched today in standard, gold and premium versions, will shake up the credit card market at a challenging time by effectively giving customers something extra for nothing, says Westpac’s Head of Credit Cards Helen van Orton.

“There is no extra annual fee but the new card offers our customers more choice and the ability to earn significantly more hotpoints on the same amount of spend,” Ms van Orton said.

Through the partnership with American Express, Westpac customers who are already members of Westpac’s hotpoints reward programme will be offered a new Westpac hotpoints American Express® Card to go alongside their existing credit card. Both cards are linked to one credit card account, with one credit limit, no change to their annual fee, one statement and one rewards points balance.

Westpac hotpoints American Express Card cardmembers will earn 1.5 hotpoints for every dollar spent on purchases (existing earn rate is 1 hotpoint for every dollar spent) , Westpac hotpoints Gold American Express® Card cardmembers will earn 1.75 hotpoints for every dollar spent on purchases (existing earn rate is 1.25 hotpoints for every dollar spent) and Westpac hotpoints Premium American Express® Card cardmembers will earn 2 hotpoints for every dollar spent on purchases (existing earn rate is 1.5 hotpoints for every dollar spent).

“The Westpac hotpoints American Express Card is unique in New Zealand and tailor-made for credit card users keen to maximise the benefits of credit card use,” Ms van Orton said. “It is specially designed to appeal to existing and new hotpoints enrollees who want to fast-track hotpoints rewards earning with no additional fees for current hotpoints members.”

The cards carry the American Express logo, are issued by Westpac New Zealand, and are accepted on the American Express merchant network in New Zealand and around the world.

Ms van Orton said: “Partnering with American Express ties-in with Westpac’s commitment to earning all our customers’ business by offering superior products and service. Issuing American Express branded cards will enrich customers’ choice, add value, enhance our premium branding and further strengthen our leadership position in the credit card market.”

“Today marks a new milestone for American Express in New Zealand,” said Kula Kulendran, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Network Services, American Express, Japan Asia Pacific & Australia. “The launch of the Westpac hotpoints American Express Cards is part of our ongoing strategy to expand the reach of the American Express brand. We have an extremely successful partnership with Westpac in Australia and expect similar results from this expansion into New Zealand.

“These new card products will appeal to those customers who are attracted to the prestige and core values of American Express, but enjoy the convenience of having one banking relationship with an institution with which they are used to doing business.”

The range of benefits include:
 Accelerated rewards. Earn up to 50% more hotpoints for every dollar spent on all purchases using a Westpac hotpoints American Express Card
 Access to Westpac’s leading rewards programme. Hotpoints offers a great range of rewards as well as flexibility. Points can be redeemed for a wide variety of desirable products and services as well as gift vouchers, travel and accommodation plus conversion to Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars. Hotpoints can also be converted into a contribution to a selected charity or to a Westpac KiwiSaver account, and Points+Pay allows cardmembers to top-up points on their credit card to redeem for the reward they want
 Local Touch, Global Reach. Cardmembers gain access to American Express SelectsTM which provides privileges to travel, leisure and dining offers from participating American Express merchants both in New Zealand and around the world
 Peace of Mind –, Emergency Card Replacement and Global Services through American Express’ 2,200 Travel Service Offices
 American Express Emergency Assistance – provides global 24/7 assistance while travelling.

About Westpac New Zealand

Westpac has served the banking and other financial needs of New Zealanders since 1861. Today Westpac New Zealand operates a large network of nearly 200 branches and more than 470 ATMs, employs 5,500 people and serves 1.5 million consumer, business and corporate .banking customers. It is committed to corporate responsibility and sustainability and supports a wide variety of community initiatives through its involvement with Westpac Rescue Helicopters, The Halberg Trust, The Sir Peter Blake Trust and Business Excellence Awards around New Zealand.

About American Express
American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company, founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, and business services. Since 1996 American Express has been aggressively pursuing a strategy of opening its merchant network and card product portfolio to third party issuers around the world. By leveraging its global infrastructure and the powerful appeal of the brand, American Express has gained even broader reach for its network worldwide. American Express has now established more than 120 card-issuing partnership arrangements in more than 125 markets.

ENDS

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