Six of the best uses of 300 Airpoints Dollars

GUIDE: Using Points
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: January 23, 2020
UPDATED: January 23, 2020
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Air New Zealand Airpoints

Most of us have at least some points sitting in our Air New Zealand Airpoints accounts, which can be increased quite easily through credit card spend, or from new join offers like on the American Express Airpoints Platinum. So here is our round-up of the best-value redemptions for 300 Airpoints Dollars.


The redemptions that made the cut:

  • cost 300 Airpoints Dollars (APD) or less (equal to 17,700 points with other programmes, per our conversion method)
  • attract low fuel surcharges, taxes and fees
  • have good reward seat availability
  • can be booked online
  • are routes originating from locations that Air New Zealand fly to
  • use the lower-priced reward chart for partners airlines, rather than the more expensive redemptions on Air New Zealand metal
  • are outright redemptions, not upgrades

Note that all redemptions are priced for one-way travel; it is double for return journeys.


1. Tokyo to Shanghai in Business Class with ANA or Air China

With up to 8 flights per day between these two global cities, a Business Class reward seat with ANA or Air China give Airpoints members the opportunity to experience the urban getaway of a lifetime. Cash fares are exorbitant given the nature of the types of people travelling between these hubs, so this is an unbeatable deal using Airpoints Dollars.

Aircraft Type: A mixed bag route. ANA mainly schedule their 787-8 and 763, and Air China fly their A320, A321 and A330-200
What to aim for: ANA’s 787-8 wins hands-down, but only the version that offers the wonderful staggered 1-2-1 and 1-1-1 layout with lie-flat seats. Most flights on this route offer recliner seats only—so make sure you check the seat type by using Google Flights first. The runner up is Air China’s A330-200, which is also lie-flat, albeit in a 2-2-2 layout
Taxes: $52
Lowest price found: $1,350 (Air China), $3,598 (ANA)
How many do I need?: 300 APD

2. Taipei to Seoul in Business Class with Thai Airways, EVA Air or Asiana

This route is frequented by three Star Alliance partners, making it an easy one to find reward availability, especially at the last minute when cash fares are expensive.

Aircraft Type: A real mixed bunch – Asiana schedule their Airbus A380 and Boeing 767 on the route, EVA Airways fly with their A330, and Thai Airways offer their 777-300ER on this fifth-freedom route (which is subject to last minute changes)
What to aim for: Thai Airways’ 777-300ER or Asiana’s A380, which offer 1-2-1 Business Class with lie-flat seats
Taxes: $25.60
Lowest price found: $468 (Eva), $602 (Asiana), $737 (Thai)
How many do I need?: 300 APD

3. Singapore to Bangkok in Business Class with Thai Airways

Have you found yourself in Singapore, but discovered an itch to visit Thailand in the same trip? Thai Airways make it easy with up to 5 flights per day, and plentiful reward availability.

Aircraft Type: You never really know what you will get with Thai Airways. Their 777-300ER and A350-900 are the most common types offered on this route, but the airline is notorious for last minute aircraft swaps
What to aim for: The 777-300ER and A350-900 both feature 1-2-1 Business Class with lie-flat seats, so you’ll be satisfied with either for this short hop
Taxes: $59.80
Lowest price found: $778
How many do I need?: 300 APD

4. East Coast USA in Business Class with United

United is not the most aspirational airline to fly with, particularly for domestic trips in the US.

Though if you find yourself needing to travel between their hub in Chicago with any east coast city, plus as far south and west as Florida, Texas, New Mexico and Montana—in fact, any city up to 1,999km away—your Airpoints Dollars can get you there, and in a little more comfort than up the back of the plane.

Note that Business Class seats in the US (often called First Class, because Americans like to be different) can often be purchased cheaply with cash if booked in advance. We recommend using your points for last minute redemptions where cash prices are much higher.

Aircraft Type: Will depend on the specific route
What to aim for: You usually won’t find anything better than 2-2 recliner Business Class seats on any of these routes, so don’t sweat the details!
Taxes: $8.80
Lowest price found (examples): $473 (Orlando), $411 (New York), $617 (Albuquerque)
How many do I need?: 300 APD

5. Last-minute flights in Europe with varying Star Alliance partners

Cash fares for flights in Europe are typically very affordable, particularly on low-cost carriers like easyJet and Ryanair. However like with all things, those who snooze usually lose, with prices often becoming exorbitant in the few days prior to departure. This is where Airpoints can be very handy, and can even land you a seat on full service legacy carriers that are a part of Star Alliance.

Aircraft Type: Will depend on the specific route. Rewards are on offer online with Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, SWISS, and Turkish Airlines
What to aim for: N/A Economy and Business Class product offerings are not too dissimilar for most flights and carriers
Taxes: Variable
Example reward: $940 cash fare for Frankfurt-London with Lufthansa in Business Class (three-day advance booking), versus 250 APD + $75.70 taxes
How many do I need?: See chart. Can vary from 125 to 250 APD for Economy Class, and 250-300 for Business Class, depending on distance

6. Domestic Australia in Economy Class with Qantas

Thanks to the partnership between Air New Zealand and Qantas, Airpoints members can redeem their points on domestic flights with the latter in Australia.

While reward redemptions are only available in Economy Class, this is still useful for those who want to travel on routes monopolised by Qantas, where cash fares are higher.

For example, you could fly return from Adelaide to Uluru for $914 NZD. A reward redemption however would cost only 300 Airpoints Dollars return.

Aircraft Type: Will depend on the specific route
What to aim for: N/A Economy Class product offering is similar across the fleet
Taxes: Variable
Example reward: $517 cash fare for Sydney-Lord Howe Island, versus 125 APD + $68.30 taxes
How many do I need?: See chart. Can vary from 125 to 250 APD, depending on distance


How to get 300 Airpoints Dollars

The American Express Platinum Charge has 80,000 Membership Rewards points on offer to new cardholders, which is the equivalent of a little over 530 Airpoints Dollars.

The American Express Airpoints Platinum has 400 Airpoints Dollars on offer to new cardholders.

The ANZ Airpoints Platinum has 300 Airpoints Dollars on offer for new cardholders.

The Westpac Airpoints World is offering 350 Airpoints Dollars until 4 February 2020.

The Westpac Airpoints Platinum is offering 250 Airpoints Dollars also until 4 February.

Remember… you can also ‘buy’ these seats

If you have a Kiwibank-issued Air New Zealand Airpoints credit card, then subject to your credit limit, you can ‘top up’ your Airpoints Dollars and effectively ‘buy’ any of the redemptions above for only $300 NZD.

You can read more in our Airpoints Dollars top up guide.

Remember to only buy Airpoints Dollars to cover the cost of the redemption. Any taxes and fees are payable in cash.

Do you have any good-value redemptions that cost 300 Airpoints Dollars or less to add to our list? Please share below.


Looking for more inspiration for how to spend your hard-earned frequent flyer points?

Here are some of our Best Uses of Points guides. There may be some overlap but each guide has its own twist.

Airpoints

Qantas

Velocity

Other programs

Six of the best uses of 300 Airpoints Dollars was last modified: January 23rd, 2020 by Daniel Kinnoch
Six of the best uses of 300 Airpoints Dollars was last modified: January 23rd, 2020 by Daniel Kinnoch