The reality in New Zealand is that for the purposes of frequent flyer points, you’ve got one main choice – Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand’s program is called Airpoints. The first thing you should do is join – and do this for every member of your immediate family who you fly with.
While you’re at it, join Fly Buys as well. We haven’t talked too much about Fly Buys on Point Hacks, but that will certainly increase now they and Air New Zealand are working together, finally putting the ‘Fly’ back into Fly Buys.
If you have a NZBN number and fly Air New Zealand often enough, joining Airpoints for Business is also a good idea. Essentially this increases your earn from flying by 20%, and is completely free.
As you get more accustomed to earning points and the different strategies involved, you may want to look at joining a few other programs – we’ve run down the top 10 programs to know for domestic and international use.
One other note- make sure you sign up to all your Frequent Flyer (and Point Hacks) mailing lists to hear of any points earning opportunities.
Alliances & Partnerships
Airline alliances are a pretty big deal, with the three main ones on the planet being oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam. Star Alliance is the only one that represents a New Zealand airline, being Air New Zealand.
Airline partnerships mean you can travel seamlessly between the airlines, as well as earn and redeem your native points on partner airlines. You don’t need to join the frequent flyer program of every airline you fly, as most will be part of an agreement with Air New Zealand, or the other major airlines in the region – Qantas and Virgin Australia.
An example of this is that you can earn Air New Zealand Airpoints while flying with Singapore Airlines, and then use those points down the track on Air China or Thai Airways.
Many question whether it’s worth trying to avoid Air New Zealand Airpoints altogether, given what ‘appears’ to be a comparatively low earning rate compared to other airlines. The truth is, if you’re in New Zealand, earning Airpoints is easy, especially if you travel frequently and put all your spend onto any of the major rewards credit cards.
For me, I’d rather have all my points in one program, rather than split across a few- I like all my points in one basket. That’s just my personal preference and some people prefer to have a more diversified frequent flyer portfolio.
Earning Points: First Principles
- Getting Started with Frequent Flyer programs
- Earning by Flying
- Buying points and miles
- Earning from Credit Cards
- Earning from Offers & Partners
- Earning and Using Points – First Principles
Using Points: First Principles
- Who, What, When, Where and How?
- Flexible Points Programs
- Maximising Points value
- Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin Australia Key Partners
- Searching for points seats