Air New Zealand is the flag carrier of New Zealand and a member of Star Alliance. Headquartered in Auckland, the airline operates flights to 20 domestic and 32 international destinations in 20 countries. While Air New Zealand flies primarily within and around the Pacific Rim, it does go to Eastern Asia, the United Kingdom and the Americas.
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For Air New Zealand’s frequent flyer program, check out Airpoints. Members fro mthe United States can earn “Dollars” by transferring from partner loyalty programs, flying with Air New Zealand or with one of its 30+ airline partners and more. Redemption options include flight awards, upgrades and other travel perks. Continue reading to learn more!
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Airpoints Quick Facts
|Airline Alliance||Star Alliance|
|Hub||Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington|
|U.S. Destinations||Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco|
|U.S. Credit Card(s)||None|
|Transfer Partners||Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors|
|Redemption Options||Flights, upgrades, companion tickets, ancillary fees, lounge membership, rental cars, travel insurance, merchandise, wine|
Airpoints Elite Status
When you join Airpoints, you’ll automatically become a Standard member. Above Standard are three status tiers: Silver, Gold and Elite. To move up a tier, you need to earn a certain amount of Status Points within a 12-month period:
|STATUS TIER||STATUS POINTS REQUIRED|
When you reach a tier, you will have that status for 12 months. Also, you can enjoy these benefits at each tier.
|Lounge access (Air New Zealand)||x||x|
|Short-haul recognition upgrade||1/year|
|OneUp upgrades upweighting||10%||30%||50%|
|Carry-on baggage allowance||1 extra||1 extra|
|Checked baggage allowance||1 extra||1 extra|
|Star Alliance lounge access||x||x|
|Star Alliance priority check-in||x||x|
|Star Alliance extra baggage allowance||x||x|
|Star Alliance priority boarding||x||x|
|Hotel voucher or car rental voucher||Choose 1||Both|
|Complimentary valet parking||x|
|Elite Partner membership||x|
|Status Points rollover||x|
|Elite banked year||x|
|Elite threshold gifts||x|
|Parental status hold||x||x|
|Frequent Flyer Status Boost||x||x|
Earning Airpoints Dollars
Unlike other frequent flyer programs like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles and others based in the United States, earning these Dollars aren’t easy for Americans. Keeping that in mind, it isn’t impossible. Here are some ways you can earn some Dollars.
The best way to earn Airpoints Dollars is through transfer partners. Marriott Bonvoy members can convert their points to Airpoints Dollars at a 200 to 1 ratio, with a minimum transfer of 3,000 points. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred, you’ll get a bonus of 75 Airpoints Dollars, for a total of 375.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card offers 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
• Up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy & 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
• New Benefit! Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
• New Benefit! Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
You gain an automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
You'll receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year & an additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
This card does carry a $95 fee; there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card offers 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This card earns up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy & 2X points for all other travel purchases. You’ll receive 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This card comes with no foreign transaction fees and you'll get 15 elite night credits each calendar year!
The Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card offers 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
In addition, you can enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
With this card, you'll earn:
• 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
• 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
• 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
This card comes with a $450 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. However, you can receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Furthermore, enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass Select membership.
The Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card offers 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
You can enjoy a complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
You'll earn 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program, 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, & 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
You'll receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
This card does carry a $125 annual fee. (See Rates & Fees)
Hilton Honors also transfers to Airpoints, but the ratio is much worse – 500:1. We don’t recommend making this transfer unless you’re looking to top off for a specific award.
Airpoints Dollars can also be accrued with the following airline partners:
Other ways that U.S. residents can earn Airpoints Dollars include:
- Booking accommodations directly with an Airpoints hotel partner.
- Booking accommodations with Expedia.
- Booking rental cars with Avis, Budget or Rent-a-Car.
There are more options to earn Airpoints Dollars, but they’re not very worthwhile or convenient for those living in the United States.
Redeeming Airpoints Dollars
Airpoints Dollars are often used for award flights with Air New Zealand. The cash cost of the flight will be the amount of Airpoints Dollars required, with one Airpoints Dollar equal to one New Zealand Dollar. This method of award pricing also applies to upgrades, companion tickets, ancillary fees, lounge membership, rental cars, travel insurance, merchandise and wine. Please note, Airpoints charges fees between NZ$25 to NZ$100 for non-flight redemptions. See the program fee chart here.
Award flights with Star Alliance and other partner airlines are, of course, available redemption options. However, award pricing here is not based on cash pricing. Instead, the number of Airpoints needed for a partner award is determined by cabin class and number of kilometers per one-way sector. A 100-km flight in Economy goes for 125 Airpoints Dollars, while a 15,000-km flight in First Class will cost 2,500 Airpoints Dollars. Star Alliance and partner airline flight awards are the only way you can squeeze more value out of your Airpoints Dollars. See the partner airline award chart here.
Airpoints Tips & Tricks
Depart from Australia. Flights from Australia to the United States on Air New Zealand Premium Economy and Business class can be up to 50% cheaper than departing from New Zealand.
Book New Zealand domestic flights on airnz.co.nz. It’s up to 75% cheaper than the Air New Zealand site ending in .com.
Opt for a Boeing. For a more comfortable journey, go with a Boeing instead of an Airbus, especially if you’re going on a long-haul flight. Boeing aircrafts have more bathrooms, more overhead locker space and more legroom.
Discount codes. Air New Zealand releases discount codes all year that can save you hundreds of dollars, or Airpoints Dollars. Go to the Air New Zealand homepage, hit “Control” + “F” and search for “promo” to quickly find current discount codes. Another option is to search your email for “air new zealand promo.” And lastly, you can search the Air New Zealand Twitter page.
Sales. Sign up to receive Air New Zealand email newsletters. Sales happen frequently and are often themed around regions (New Zealand, Asia, Pacific Island, Australia and etc.). Discounts can be up to 35% off on Seat and Seat+Bag fares.
Don’t get Air New Zealand travel insurance. In short, it’s more expensive than other providers, without any additional benefits or protection.
Membership fee. If you don’t fly Air New Zealand at least once a year, Airpoints will charge you a $30 account maintenance fee.
Air New Zealand Airpoints is a unique loyalty rewards program that is almost primarily revenue-based. The dollars you earn are directly tied o the fare, and the rate you redeem is also directly related to the flight cost. However, Airpoints has a fixed-price award chart for partner award flights, which is where you can get the most value out of your points. This program is generally only good if you fly with the carrier on a regular basis.
In the case that you don’t often travel with Air New Zealand often, be sure to check out our page for more travel tips from other loyalty programs like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. For more posts like this, check out our list of credit card bonuses.