Status Points determine your level of status in the Air New Zealand Airpoints programme. As you move up the ranks, you’ll unlock more benefits when you fly.
They are also relevant for other programmes like Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity, albeit under the name ‘Status Credits’. Virgin will not be particularly relevant for most in New Zealand, given they do not offer domestic flights, but Qantas is a viable alternative, with the ability to earn a good number of status credits from domestic Jetstar flights.
In this guide, I look at how to earn Status Points and how many Status Points you’ll need to reach the next tier of status. I also explain the difference between frequent flyer points and Status Points.
What are Status Points?
Status Points (SPs) determine which level of frequent flyer status you hold. The amount of SPs earned from a flight are determined by the:
• airline you fly
• distance you fly
• type of ticket you purchase
Generally, the more expensive the ticket you buy, the more SPs you’ll earn. For example, you will earn more SPs on a Business Class ticket from Auckland to Sydney than if you flew in Economy.
Similarly, taking a trip from New Zealand to Europe will net you more SPs than if you flew to Asia.
How are Status Points different from frequent flyer points?
Frequent flyer points (e.g. Airpoints Dollars) are earned not only through flying but also by signing up to and spending on a credit card, shopping online and making purchases with retail partners. Points can be redeemed for reward flights as well as upgrades, gift cards and merchandise.
Status Points (SPs), on the other hand, are designed to reward loyalty to an airline and its partners. Whilst you cannot ‘redeem’ SCs, the more you have, the better benefits you will receive from the frequent flyer programme. These benefits include lounge access, complimentary upgrades and priority security screening.
Even working your way to Silver status with Air New Zealand will give you complimentary passes to access lounges like this one in Wellington
How do I earn Status Points?
The main way to earn Status Points (SPs) is by flying with an airline and its partners.
Velocity members can also pool their SPs with family members, which is a particularly good feature if you are planning an overseas trip.
You could also apply for one of these credit cards, all of which can help accelerate your SP earn with Airpoints:
|Card Name||Status Point (SP) Earn Rate||Airpoints Dollars (APD) Earn Rate||Annual Fee|
|Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum||$200 = 1 SP||$65 = 1 APD||$150|
|Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard||$225 = 1 SP||$65 = 1 APD||$390|
|Westpac Airpoints Platinum Mastercard||$225 = 1 SP||$75 = 1 APD||$145|
|Westpac Airpoints Business Mastercard||$225 = 1 SP||$75 = 1 APD||$145|
|ANZ Visa Business Airpoints||$250 = 1 SP||$50 = 1 APD||$145|
|American Express Airpoints Platinum||$250 = 1 SP||$59 = 1 APD||$195|
|ANZ Airpoints Visa Platinum||$250 = 1 SP||$75 = 1 APD||$150|
Table sorted, from highest to lowest, by SP earn rate, than APD earn rate, and then annual fee. However you can sort however you like.
How many Status Points do I need?
When you join Airpoints, Qantas Frequent Flyer, or Velocity, you’ll just be a standard member. As you earn more Status Points (SPs), you will move up the ranks, with each level granting you privileges such as priority check-in and boarding.
The next tier is Silver, which with Airpoints, gives you a recognition upgrade and two complimentary lounge passes, but the third one—Gold—is where you start to get meaningful benefits like lounge access, extra baggage and premium seat selection.
The SP target with Qantas is lower, with only 700 SPs required to earn Gold, plus four eligible Qantas or Jetstar flights. That’s only 18 return flights with Jetstar between Auckland and Wellington, on a Starter Max Bundle— achievable for those flying for Business.
Once you reach Gold status, the number of SPs required to keep it decreases. For example, you’ll only need 810 SPs with Airpoints, with at least 405 SPs earned on qualifying flights as above, or 600 SPs with Qantas.
Personally I am a Qantas loyalist, but I still manage to occasionally earn status with Air New Zealand
How do I calculate how many Status Points I will earn on my flight?
With Airpoints, you can use this calculator. Use the ‘Advanced Search’ function to see the exact Airpoints Dollars and Status Point earn for your fare class.
Not an Airpoints loyalist?
Do Status Points expire?
Yes, they do. Status Points are valid for 12 months and reset every membership year.
Can you buy Status Points?
Status Points determine the level of status you hold in a frequent flyer programme. For New Zealand-based travellers, the most common programme is Air New Zealand Airpoints. Some may also opt to earn status with Qantas, thanks to the ability to earn status flying with Jetstar domestically.
You’ll earn Status Points mainly through flying, but you can also boost your balance by holding specific credit cards, pooling your points and doing grocery shopping.
Note that your status level resets every 12 months, but the requirement for maintaining status is lower than reaching it in the first place. This makes it easier to hold onto status once you have it.
Speaking of, if you are a new parent, you can pause your status with both Qantas and Velocity. Unfortunately a status hold is not something offered by Air New Zealand, which I’ve always found a little odd given how progressive the company otherwise is.
Once you reach Gold or Platinum status, it is worth looking into status matching to a similar level in other programmes.
Do you have any questions about Status Points? Ask me in the comments below.