Travel News

How to save for a holiday

One writer tries a new strategy to save for her next overseas jaunt.

It’s that time of year, where everyone I know is going on holiday and – as much as I love my job – I want one too, please.

Trouble is, the old savings account has seen better days and the travel fund is looking surprisingly lacklustre.

However, like a fairy godmother (but for the modern girl who would pick paradise over Prince Charming) the American Express Airpoints Platinum Card helps you accumulate Airpoints Dollars™.

Yep, even when you’re doing fun shopping – clothes and shoes! – or glum shopping – bills and groceries – you’re getting closer to your next holiday.

My friend is opening a gallery in Melbourne later this year and I’m hoping to nip across to see her, so let’s see how close I can get with a week’s worth of spending.


I live with a tall man and a small dog, and we’re doing our best to cook all of our main meals rather than relying on takeaways. So we do one big shop a week to get organised!

Total spend: $210

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 3.5


I take the train to work, because I’m environmentally conscious/cannot bear an hour in gridlocked traffic. I top up my Hop card every fortnight and there’s a tiny thrill in knowing that my necessary transport fees are getting me a step closer to my plane fare (fun transport fees).

Total spend: $120

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 2


We have a work event coming up – an incredibe evening where we get to meet some of New Zealand’s most inspiring women. I don’t live a cocktail dress lifestyle – I live on a farm – so I buy a little black dress I can imagine doing double duty at the gallery opening!

Total spend: $350

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 5.9


Late night shopping in the CBD is a hazard; on the way to the train station I accidentally stop into Peter Alexander and accidentally purchase a pair of floral pyjamas for spring.

Total spend: $160 (look, they are very nice pyjamas!)

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 2.7


My sweet car needs four new wheels, because a) it’s rather old and b) I don’t treat it as well as I perhaps should. I grit my teeth, swipe my card, and imagine how I’ll feel when I’m getting on that plane to Melbourne.

Total spend: $800

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 13.5


Tonight I’m off to visit a friend who recently moved up north, and the car needs to be filled up. I head to the local Z station where I can double dip by using my AMEX and scanning my Airpoints card.

Total spend: $105

Airpoints Dollars™ earned: 2.2


Yes I am, because I got a 400 Airpoint Dollars™ bonus and it’s the fastest Airpoints earning Platinum in NZ.

Thanks to the Airpoints Dollars™ I earned this week using my American Express Airpoints Platinum Card, plus the bonus 400 Airpoints Dollars™ I got from signing up to the card, I’m much closer to seeing my friend in Melbourne.

By using my AMEX for all my spending, I’m working smarter and faster to an airfare without any extra effort and, week by week, that’s going to add up.

So Melbourne, I’ll see you in November!

And as an added plus for jetsetting types, signing up for the American Express Airpoints Platinum Card helps you with Koru Membership as well, thanks to the Koru joining fee waiver (save $255) and Koru annual fee discount (save $145 p.a.).

You can also use the American Express Lounge and VIP lounges in Sydney, plus you get a few visits to Priority Pass VIP lounges, and complimentary travel insurance wherever you go.

Total spend for the week: $1,745. Total Airpoints Dollars™ earned this week: 29.8

Approximate Airpoints Dollars™ earned per year: 1,500 (enough to get you to Hawaii)

To find out more, head to American Express.

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