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How to earn more Air New Zealand Airpoints

From flights to credit cards, debit cards, hotels and cars, here’s how you can earn more Air New Zealand Airpoints.

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The Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer program offers loyal customers a wide range of perks and rewards, including the ability to earn and redeem Airpoints Dollars.
As with most frequent flyer programs, the fastest way to earn points is through flights with Air New Zealand and its airline partners, including those in the Star Alliance network.

You can also maximise your benefits with the over 50 partners that allow you to earn Airpoints for your everyday spending – including with an Australian credit card. Here, we look at all your options when you want to earn more Air New Zealand Airpoints, whether you’re flying or on the ground.

How can I earn Air New Zealand Airpoints?


As a member of the Air New Zealand Airpoints program, you’ll be able to earn Airpoints for a wide range of travel and everyday spending. There are five key ways you can earn Air New Zealand Airpoints:

  • Flights
  • Credit cards
  • Hotels
  • Car hire
  • Shopping

These options vary depending on where you’re from, so we’ve outlined the details for Australian members below.

Earning Airpoints Dollars for flights

The Airpoints frequent flyer program offers points for flights with Air New Zealand and 30 airline partners. This includes Star Alliance airlines such as Air Canada, Singapore Airlines and United, as well as “co-operation partners” including Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia.

The number of Airpoints Dollars you earn is calculated based on the airline you fly with, the length of the flight and the booking class that’s booked and flown. The Airpoints website provides calculators that allow you to see how many potential points you’ll earn for each flight, and flights with Air New Zealand have the greatest potential for Airpoints Dollars.

For example, a one-way flight from Sydney to Auckland would earn 3–6 Airpoints Dollars for a basic economy seat, and 50–76 Airpoints for a business class seat. The same flight with Virgin Australia would only earn 5–20 Airpoints Dollars.

Credit cards that allow you to earn Airpoints in Australia

There are a number of rewards credit cards in Australia that allow you to transfer points to your Airpoints account. This gives you a way to indirectly earn more Airpoints Dollars through your everyday spending.

You can check out the current credit card partners and relevant point transfer rates in the table below. We’ve also included a column to show how many Airpoints you’d earn per $1,000 spent on an eligible card.

Credit card rewards programPoint transfer rateAirpoints per $1,000 spend
American Express Membership Rewards100 Membership Rewards = 1 Airpoints Dollar10 Airpoints Dollars
American Express David Jones Rewards200 David Jones American Express Points = 1 Airpoints Dollar5 Airpoints Dollars
ANZ Rewards200 points = 1 Airpoints Dollar5 Airpoints Dollars
NAB Rewards200 NAB Rewards points = 1 Airpoints Dollar5 Airpoints Dollars
Westpac Altitude Rewards160 Altitude Rewards = 1 Airpoints Dollar6.25 Airpoints Dollars
(Note that only full Airpoints Dollars may be credited to your account)

To put these transfer rates into perspective further, let’s say you spent an average of $12,000 per year on your credit card. If you transferred all your reward points into Airpoints, you would earn between 60 and 120 Airpoints Dollars for the year.

In some cases, the value of the Airpoints could be outweighed by the reward card’s annual fee. So before choosing a credit card to earn more Airpoints, make sure you consider the potential value of the rewards and any other features to decide if they’ll outweigh the costs of the card.

Earning Airpoints for hotels

The Air New Zealand Airpoints program has a range of hotel partners that allow you to earn points for bookings. These include:

  • AccorHotels
  • Choice Hotels
  • Commodore Airport Hotel
  • Edgewater Resort & Spa
  • Hilton
  • IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
  • Langham Hospitality Group
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • Pacific Resort Hotel Group
  • The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
  • Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach
  • Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
  • Sudima Hotels & Resorts

In general, you’ll either earn Airpoints based on the amount that you spend or a set rate of Airpoints per stay. For example, the Hilton Honors portfolio of hotels offers 1 Airpoints Dollar per USD$20 spent, while Starwood Hotels offers 40 Airpoints per stay in Australia and New Zealand or 20 Airpoints per stay anywhere else in the world.

It’s recommended that you refer to individual hotel partners for details of how to earn Airpoints and the amount of points you’ll be eligible for per stay. In some cases you may have to be a member of the hotel’s loyalty program or quote your Airpoints membership number, so make sure you check before booking to ensure you get your points.

Getting Airpoints for car hire


Airpoints has two car hire partners: Avis and Budget. With either company, you’ll get a flat rate of 2.5 Airpoints Dollars per rental day on eligible leisure and contracted-rate rentals.

So, as an example, if you hired a car for 7 days with either Avis or Budget, you could earn 17.5 Airpoints Dollars. All you have to do to earn these points is book through the Air New Zealand website and quote your Airpoints membership number. Points will then be calculated and credited once the transaction has been completed.

How to earn Airpoints for shopping


While Airpoints doesn’t have as many shopping partners as some other frequent flyer programs (such as Qantas or Velocity), it does allow you to earn points for spending at the following stores:

  • JR Duty Free. You can earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every NZD$50 spent with JR Duty Free when passing through the international airports at Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Note that tobacco products are not eligible to earn points. Both Christchurch International Airport and Wellington International Airport have JR Duty Free outlets, and you can also shop online and pick up items at Auckland International Airport.
  • Air New Zealand Wine. This online wine ordering service offers 1 Airpoints Dollar per NZD$50 spent and includes delivery worldwide. To earn points, you need to register, include your Airpoints membership details and log in before placing an order. The amount of points you’ll earn will then be shown in your cart before you finalise the order. Note that if you’re based in Australia, the international delivery fee is an extra $55 per 6 bottles. The service is door-to-door and duty fees may apply upon delivery.

Other factors to consider

Make sure you also keep the following details in mind so that you can decide if earning more Air New Zealand Airpoints is worth it for you.

  • Membership. You must be a member of the Airpoints program to earn points. Membership is free and you can sign up anytime online.
  • Location. Keep in mind that some Airpoints partners, such as JR Duty Free and Air New Zealand Wines, are only located in New Zealand. If you’re living in Australia, this may limit your opportunities to earn points.
  • Currency conversion. Some Airpoints earn rates are in New Zealand dollars or US dollars, so the actual points you earn could be different if your spending is in Australian dollars.
  • Airpoints Dollars conversion. Most earn rates are also in New Zealand Airpoints Dollars. For members in Australia, these will be converted to Australian Airpoints Dollars before being credited to your account, which could also affect the earn rate.
  • Additional fees. Some of the options for earning Airpoints may attract extra charges. For example, a rewards credit card could have an annual fee, while ordering wine through Air New Zealand Wine will lead to delivery charges.
  • Rewards. The value of Airpoints Dollars is designed to translate to actual dollars you can use towards flights, upgrades or other rewards. Make sure you consider these options beforehand so that you can get the most value out of the Airpoints you’ve earned.

The Air New Zealand Airpoints program offers several ways to earn points both in the sky and on the ground. While most of the current program partners offer points for travel-related spending, it’s also possible to earn more on everyday spending with a rewards credit card. Just make sure you weigh up your options and the potential costs beforehand so that you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

Picture: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

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