The Indian rideshare app Ola is an alternative to Uber and has been aggressively marketing to the New Zealand public. Now, it’s teamed up with Velocity Frequent Flyer.
New Ola-Velocity partnership
Under this new partnership, you can earn the following:
- 2 Velocity Points per $ spent on eligible rides to and from selected airports (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, and Canberra)
- 1 point per $ spent on all other Ola rides
- 1,000 bonus points on your first ride if you’re new to Ola and ride before 30 August 2019
- 50% off your rides (maximum $10 savings per ride) in the first two weeks from when you sign up
- Flat $25 fee for rides 20km or under to/from the airport using promo codes OLADROP on the way to the airport and OLAPICK on the way home
Points are credited within 14 days of making payment for your ride.
How to link your Ola and Velocity accounts
- Download the Ola app
- Go to top left-hand corner
- Click on your name
- Enter your Velocity Frequent Flyer membership number
Is this a good deal?
I’ve found that Ola tend to offer lower rates than Uber. You can also pick up generous discount codes every now or then by keeping your ears out on social media and blogs like this one.
The fact that you can earn Velocity Points on all Ola rides in New Zealand (and double points to/from the airport) is fantastic, especially compared to the Uber offering where you can only earn Qantas Points on airport transfers in Australia.
In this guide
There are a variety of ways that you can earn points/miles on airport shuttles, taxi rides, and luxury car services in New Zealand – and how much you’re willing to spend, the purpose of your trip, and what type of points you like to earn will typically determine which services are best for you.
This guide explores the different options known to us, specifically here at home.
First, the numbers
You can see here that it is hard to compare simple earn rates when there are different frequent flyer programmes and currencies at play. And that’s not to mention that the services provided by each business varies.
Text in bold indicates that there is a current promotion.
|Car service||Frequent flyer programme||Earn rate||Points/miles on $25 NZD ride|
|Air New Zealand Taxis||Airpoints||1 point per 50 NZD, with a minimum of 1 APD earned for trips below this price||1|
|Blacklane||Arrture||150 points per booking||150|
|Blacklane||Asia Miles||2 miles per USD||36|
|Blacklane||Enrich||2 miles per USD||36|
|Blacklane||KrisFlyer||2 miles per USD||36|
|Blacklane||Miles & More||2 miles per USD||36|
|Blacklane||Qatar Privilege Club||1 mile per USD||18|
|Blacklane||Shangri-La Golden Circle||1 point per 2 USD||8|
|Blacklane||Thai Royal Orchid Plus||2 miles per USD||36|
|Conxxe||Asia Miles||2 miles per USD||36|
|Conxxe||Enrich||3 miles per USD||54|
|Conxxe||Etihad Guest||1 mile per USD||18|
|Conxxe||Krisflyer||1.5 miles per USD||27|
|GroundLink||American Airlines||200 miles per booking||200|
|GroundLink||United MileagePlus||200 miles per booking||200|
|Ola||Virgin Velocity||1 point per AUD spent on all rides except to/from airport|
2 points per AUD spent on airport rides
|Rideways||Etihad Guest||1 mile per USD||18|
|Viator||Krisflyer||1.5 miles per USD||27|
|Viator||Qantas Frequent Flyer||1 point per AUD||23|
We’ll now look at the different services and what they offer.
See above for details of partnership with Virgin Velocity.
Air New Zealand Taxis
New Zealand based Airpoints members earn Airpoints Dollars when booking taxis and shuttles with Air New Zealand Taxis – or even a helicopter ride between Auckland International Airport and Auckland City, Waiheke Island, Coromandel and more (for those who have no time and lots of money).
Unfortunately for 65% of the population, point-to-point taxi rides can only be booked in Auckland and Palmerston North.
You’ll earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $50 spent, which is calculated on the total booking amount. For a booking under $50, you will still earn a minimum of 1 Airpoints Dollar.
Quote your Airpoints Membership number when making a prepaid taxi or transfer booking on their dedicated website.
Blacklane is a luxury airport transfer and hourly (think weddings or parties) car service. They are available in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington.
They have four categories:
- Business Class: equivalent to UberBLACK
- Green Class: clean and green with Tesla (Auckland, Queenstown only)
- Business Van/SUV: equivalent to UberSUV
- First Class: equivalent to UberLUXE (Auckland, Queenstown only)
All the ‘equivalent’ Uber options listed above are not available in New Zealand, so Blacklane could be an option if you’re looking for something a bit fancier, plus with the ability to earn miles.
You can earn points/miles with:
Asia Miles and KrisFlyer are both useful programmes for travellers in New Zealand, and we’d recommend that you choose to credit to either of these.
More information: our guide to getting the most out of your Asia Miles
Conxxe provide private sedan and minivan transfers from airports and cruise terminals across New Zealand.
You can earn miles with:
Asia Miles and KrisFlyer are both useful programmes for travellers in New Zealand, and we’d recommend that you choose to credit to either of these. Etihad Guest is a good program for Virgin Australia redemptions, so they could be an option too. Redemptions with Enrich are not good value.
Rideways provide private sedan and minivan transfers from airports across New Zealand, including point-to-point in some locations.
Their downtown rates are reasonably competitive, and thanks to their partnership with Etihad, you could use them to boost your Etihad Guest Miles balance for cheap Virgin Australia Business Class redemptions.
More information: our guide to buying miles with Etihad
GroundLink offer airport transfers in New Zealand. They offer standard and premium vehicle types.
There are two earn options that may be of interest here at home:
If you use promo code ‘SaveGL’ you’ll receive 10% off the cost of your ride.
AAdvantage and MileagePlus are useful programmes for travellers in New Zealand who tend to purchase points to redeem on Business Class travel, particularly to Asia.
Viator is a company that lets you purchase tickets for over 10,000 hand picked activities and tours in 800 destinations around the world.
It wouldn’t be the first website you’d think of for transfers and ground transport, but they do sell tickets for airport shuttles all over the world, including in Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua, Queenstown, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Viator have two earn options that may be of interest to New Zealanders:
I didn’t even realise just how many shuttle, point-to-point and airport transfer services there were in New Zealand until I started writing this article – and the fact that so many of them are partnered with frequent flyer programmes is great news.
Velocity offer the easiest-to-understand partnership with Ola. You’ll enjoy a solid earn rate of 1 Velocity Points per dollar spent, with double points on airport rides.
For premium services, and general airport transfers, you have the pick of the bunch between Air New Zealand Taxis, Blacklane and more.
With any option, you’ll be earning points with a service you were going to use anyway, so you can count that as a win.
How do you maximise your points earn on rideshare services in New Zealand (and overseas)?