Earn miles on your next flight with Air New Zealand when you join the Airpoints program.
Airpoints is Air New Zealand’s rewards program for frequent flyers. With Airpoints, you can earn and redeem Airpoints Dollars on flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car rentals, travel insurance and more. Plus, you’ll also earn Status Points on flights that can accumulate towards tier status levels and travel benefits like priority check-in, priority boarding and airport lounge access. The higher your tier status, the more travel perks you can look forward to enjoying. This guide will explain how Airpoints works and how it compares with other frequent flyer programs.
What is the Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollar program?
With Airpoints, you can earn Airpoints Dollars on all eligible Air New Zealand flights, as well as flights with the Star Alliance and other partner airlines. With over 50 airline and non-airline partners, you can now earn Airpoints via credit card everyday spending, hotel and rental car bookings, and even taxi and travel insurance expenditure. Best of all, membership is free and anyone can join.
How to boost your rewards with the Airpoints tiers
Just as you earn Airpoints on flights and eligible spending, you also collect Status Points on flights and when you spend on certain financial products. Status Points contribute to your tier status, and you attain Silver, Gold or Elite tier status as your Status Points increase. The following table will explain the Status Points needed to achieve and maintain each tier, as well as the benefits you can access when you get there. Your tier benefits can be enjoyed on eligible Air New Zealand, Star Alliance, Cathay Pacific (when your flight has an NZ code), Virgin Australia, Aerolineas Argentinas, Etihad Airways, and Virgin Atlantic flights.
|Tier type||Number of Status Points to reach tier||Number of Status Points to retain tier status||Benefits|
|Silver||450 (225 must be earned on qualifying flights)||405|
|Gold||900 (450 must be earned on qualifying flights)||810|
|Elite||1,500 (900 must be earned on qualifying flights)||1,350|
How to earn Airpoints Dollars
You can earn Airpoints Dollars via:
- Air New Zealand Flights. Earn Airpoints Dollars and Status Points on eligible Air New Zealand flights, except Greenlight Grabaseat fares and flights redeemed with Airpoints Dollars. Remember to provide your Airpoints membership number when booking the flight or checking in. If you’ve forgotten to do this, you may claim your missing Airpoints within six months of the flight by filling out a “claim missing Airpoints form” online.
- Airline partner flights. Earn Airpoints Dollars and Status Points on eligible flights with over 30 airline partners including Star Alliance. Each airline partnership is unique and each flight route offers different earn rates, so refer to the Airpoints website for specific information. Airpoints and Status Points earned on all eligible flights should be credited to your account within 72 hours of the completed flight. If your points are missing, you should claim them by filling out a “claim missing Airpoints form” online.
- Credit and charge cards. Convert your everyday spending into Airpoints Dollars with these American Express, Westpac and ANZ cards.
Partner Airpoints Dollars earned American Express 100 Membership Rewards points = 1 Airpoints Dollar200 David Jones American Express points = 1 Airpoints Dollar ANZ Rewards 200 Rewards points = 1 Airpoints Dollar Westpac Australia Altitude Rewards 160 Altitude Rewards points = 1 Airpoints Dollar
Airpoints Dollars and Status Points for credit card spending will be credited to your Airpoints account each month on your bank account cycle date. If your Airpoints Dollars are missing for four weeks or more, call 0800 247 764 in New Zealand and have your credit card statement ready.
- Hotel stays. With a growing network of hotel partners, you can earn Airpoints Dollars on your accommodation bookings now too. Partners include AccorHotels, Hilton HHonors, Langham Hospitality Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and more. Promotions vary among partners so check individual hotel partner websites for specific details on how to earn Airpoints Dollars on your booking. Airpoints Dollars and Status Points will appear in your account within 60 days for hotel bookings, but retain your original receipt or invoice in case you need to make a claim for missing points.
- Car rentals. Earn 2.5 Airpoints Dollars for every rental day in eligible bookings with Avis or Budget Rent a Car. Airpoints Dollars and Status Points earned for eligible car rentals will be added to your account at the end of the month in which you completed your car hire. Again, retain your original receipt or invoice in case you need to make a claim.
- The Airpoints Mall. The Airpoints Mall lets you earn Airpoints Dollars while shopping online at familiar stores, including THE ICONIC, Sephora, Marks & Spencer, Kathmandu, Peter Alexander, Smiggle, asos, ebay and more. Promotions are periodic and vary among retail partners so visit the Airpoints Mall website to see what offers are running. Airpoints Dollars for online purchases at the Airpoints Mall are usually credited within seven working days of your purchase. If you don’t see your points, please sign in to your Airpoints account and go to the “contact us” page at the Airpoints Mall to fill out a missing Airpoints claim form.
- Other shopping. Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every NZD$50 (excluding tobacco products) you spend at JR Duty Free in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington International Airports. Also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every NZD$50 spent at Air New Zealand Wine, which you can order online and have delivered to your doorstep worldwide. Airpoints Dollars earned at retail partners are usually added to your account within one month, but if you find that points are missing, contact the retailer directly with proof of purchase.
- Shairpoints. This program allows you to combine Airpoints Dollars with your friends and family in one Shairpoints account and earn your next reward sooner. You can invite up to four people to join your Shairpoints account, and you’re also able to control who spends the shared Airpoints Dollars in your group. To start this, sign into your Airpoints account, go to “My Balances” and click the “Shairpoints” tab.
Where applicable, claims for missing points may be made by logging into your Air New Zealand account online. Select the “My Bookings” tab, then the “Claim missing Airpoints” button. All missing Airpoints Dollars must be claimed within six months. You may also call the Airpoints Helpline at 1800 803 298 for assistance.
How to redeem Airpoints Dollars
Your Airpoints Dollars can be spent on:
- Air New Zealand flights. Your Airpoints Dollars can be used to buy any available seat on any Air New Zealand flight, and 1 Airpoints Dollar is equal to NZD$1. However, the whole flight needs to be paid in full with Airpoints Dollars, which means you need to have enough Airpoints Dollars to redeem a flight. Other associated airport or government taxes may be paid by card. When booking online, sign into your Airpoints online account before or while booking your flight and select to pay with Airpoints Dollars at the payment stage. You may also book by phone or travel agent. Simply provide your Airpoints number at the time of your booking.
- Star Alliance flights. Use your Airpoints Dollars to book Star Alliance airline flights by calling 13 24 76. Since there are limited reward tickets available on each flight, you should book early. You may refer to Air New Zealand’s “partner airline reward chart” to see how many Airpoints Dollars you need for your flight.
- Other airline partner flights. Similarly, you can use your Airpoints Dollars to book flights with other airline partners including Virgin Australia, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic. If the flight number has an NZ code, you can book it online or over the phone. For flights that are not NZ coded, call 13 24 76 to make your redemption booking. You may refer to Air New Zealand’s “partner airline reward chart” to see how many Airpoints Dollars you’ll need for your flight.
- Gifting flights. You may also choose to gift your hard-earned Airpoints Dollars to someone in your household. Gold and Elite tier members, as well as Westpac Airpoints Credit Card holders, can even extend their gifting to people outside their households. To do this, sign into your Air New Zealand online account, click on “See My Balances”, then “My Profile”. Under the “Gifting Register” tab, designate your gifts. You can then gift an air ticket on any Air New Zealand flight to any of your gifts. Simply sign into your Airpoints account when making an online booking and select your gift when prompted, then elect to pay with Airpoints Dollars. Remember, you need to have enough Airpoints Dollars to pay for the flight in full.
- Companion tickets. You may be eligible to buy discounted companion tickets after you have purchased your own ticket on a flight. You can do this by calling 13 24 76 and requesting a companion ticket. Companion tickets are not always available on every flight so you might wish to check prior to booking your own ticket. Again, you must have sufficient Airpoints Dollars to pay for the full price of the companion ticket.
- Koru membership. Your Airpoints Dollars can also be used to pay Koru program membership fees. Being a Koru member entitles you to enjoy travel privileges akin to Airpoints Elite tier membership, even if you lack the Tier Points to qualify for Tier status. Perks include airport lounge access, additional baggage allowance, priority reservations and wait listing, priority check-in and priority baggage, and complimentary frequent flyer seating. Membership fees for individuals include a joining fee of NZD $255 and a one-year fee of NZD $599, two-year fee of NZD$1,059, or five-year fee of NZD $2,429.
- Flight upgrades. You may use your Airpoints Dollars to bid for a One Up Upgrade seven days prior to departure on any Air New Zealand ticketed and operated international flight. If you’re an Elite member, you may request a one cabin class upgrade using Airpoints Dollars at a fixed rate. For Star Alliance flights, you may purchase an upgrade where eligible and available. All upgrade requests can be made online or by calling 13 24 76.
- Hotels. Just as you can earn Airpoints Dollars on hotel stays with Airpoints hotel partners, you can also spend your Airpoints Dollars on booking stays with those partners. Simply sign into your account, visit the Air New Zealand hotels website, select “pay with Airpoints Dollars” in the search box and go. You must have enough Airpoints Dollars to cover your entire booking and will need to make it more than a week prior.
- Car rentals. Similarly, pay for your Avis or Budget rental car with Airpoints Dollars. Sign into your Airpoints account, visit the Air New Zealand rental cars website and tick “pay with Airpoints Dollars” in the search tool. Again, you must have enough Airpoints Dollars for the whole booking.
- Airpoints store purchases. Spend your Airpoints Dollars on shopping at the Airpoints store, where everything is priced in Airpoints Dollars. Product categories include homewares, skin care, travel and leisure products, technology and tools, kids and baby items, as well as gift cards and restaurant vouchers.
How does the Airpoints program compare to other frequent flyer programs?
Since all frequent flyer programs differ in structure and benefits, and are further complicated by membership tiers and varying terms and conditions, comparing them to pick the right one can be tricky. For a simple illustration, the table below will compare the benefits awarded by the Airpoints program, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer across their Silver membership tiers.
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||Singapore KrisFlyer||Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Points bonus (earn rate)||No||25% on eligible Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Virgin Atlantic flights||50% more on Qantas and Jetstar flights, 25% more with American Airlines|
|Priority reservation waitlist||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Priority phone service||No||No||Yes|
|Priority check-in||No||No||On international flights at Premium Economy counters|
|Complimentary flight upgrade||One a year||No||No|
|Lounge access||Two single-use passes a year||No||One single-use Qantas Club pass a year|
|Extra baggage allowance||No||No||Yes (varied classes on international flights)|
|Alliance membership||Yes (Star Alliance)||Yes (Star Alliance)||Yes (Oneworld)|
|Points expire||Four years||Three years||Never (unless account is inactive for 18 months)|
As you can see, the Airpoints program dishes out far fewer benefits than Qantas at Silver tier. However, it boasts one perk that the other two programs don’t and that is the yearly complimentary flight upgrade. It’s also worth pointing out that Airpoints Gold status fills in a lot of what’s lacking at this level, including lounge access, extra baggage and more, although that would require another comparison table of the programs at Gold tier which might again show Airpoints lacking.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Airpoints program
- Four-year points expiry. Airpoints Dollars have a four-year expiry period, except for Gold and Elite members as long as they retain their Gold or Elite status. This beats KrisFlyer miles with a shelf life of three years, but pales beside Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity frequent flyer points which don’t expire if you keep your account active.
- Shairpoints. This program allows you to pool your points together to earn rewards more quickly.
- Limited rewards partners. Air New Zealand has fewer rewards partners compared to other airlines. For example, Emirates allows Skywards members to redeem their points at a larger range of hotel chains.
- Inflexible redemption policy. Compared to other frequent flyer programs that allow you to top up lacking points with cash, or to pay for a redemption reward with a combination of points and cash, the requirement to fully pay for a redemption with Airpoints makes it all the more difficult to redeem rewards.
While the Air New Zealand Airpoints program is simple and clearly structured enough to be a rewarding program to join, its network of partners is still in the growth phase and can’t compare to some other more established frequent flyer programs. Ultimately when considering which frequent flyer program to join, we recommend that you research all possible options and consider them in relation to your personal travel needs and spending habits before deciding on the most suitable one for you.
Frequently asked questions
What happens to my Status Points when I join a Shairpoints account?
Nothing. Your Status Points remains your own and cannot be shared by any other Shairpoints account member.
Can I buy Airpoints Dollars?
Yes, if you’re a New Zealand resident. You also need to be eligible for the optional OneSmart Mastercard debit card account, and activate your card before you can purchase Airpoints Dollars. Please visit the OneSmart website for more information.
Can I redeem my Airpoints Dollars for cash?
No. Airpoints Dollars are not cash equivalent, although they may be traded for flights, hotel accommodation, car rentals or purchases at the Airpoints Store.
Can I transfer my Airpoints Dollars to another Star Alliance frequent flyer program?
No. Even though you can earn and spend Airpoints Dollars on Star Alliance flights operated by different member airlines, each airline’s frequent flyer program remains independent and separate. Points therefore cannot be transferred or converted across programs.