An open letter to Air New Zealand

Dear Air New Zealand

Why are you walking away from the revenue provided by people with bank rewards programs – and stopping conversion to Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars?

I refer of course to the recent notification by BNZ and other banks that they will no longer support Airpoint Dollar conversion.

It puzzles me I admit – as it would seem to me that the program would be 100% electronic and cheap to administer, that the extra money people place in to their Airpoints accounts would encourage them to buy significantly more flights – with both Airpoint Dollars and cash, and that the effort you have put into making the Airpoints Rewards program as good as it is – well it’s a bit wasted now isn’t it?

It also seems like a bit of a clunker of a move for an organisation that in recent years has been getting everything right. What gives? Are you launching a bank?

Please work it out with your former partners – all we want is our AirPoint Dollars back.

Looking forward to your reply


Lance Wiggs

P.S. BNZ, Westpac, ASB and Amex are still on the hool for their annual fees if this benefit does  go away.

Published by Lance Wiggs


3 replies on “An open letter to Air New Zealand”

  1. Hi Lance,

    Thank you for your letter regarding the changes to our Airpoints programme.

    On the 8th October Air New Zealand announced the introduction of a new banking partner for our Airpoints programme, Kiwibank, with other new partners to be launched over the coming months.

    With the expansion of financial partners, BNZ Visa Platinum reward point conversions will no longer be available from 9 November, as well as other reward programme conversions of ASB True Rewards or Westpac Hotpoints into Airporints Dollars no longer being available from 30 October and 7 November 2009 respectively.

    BNZ’s GlobalPlus will continue to be a valued credit card partner, with a range of additional benefits for customers including the ability to earn Status Points on all credit card spend for GlobalPlus Gold, Platinum and Business card holders. We chose to work with our financial partners to provide credit cards where customers can earn Airpoints Dollars directly on their credit card spend. Moving to a GlobalPlus card would be beneficial for current BNZ Visa cardholders who previously converted their reward points to Airpoints Dollars, as each time you use your GlobalPlus card, Airpoints Dollars are directly added to your Airpoints account – you don’t need to wait for reward points to accumulate before converting them. (Air New Zealand advises Airpoints members to speak to their credit card provider for the card product best suited for their individual circumstance).

    The launch of new financial partners follows on from a series of new customer-led initiatives last year which earned Air New Zealand the Global Loyalty Innovation Award by Airline Business. The initiatives have included:
    – Airpoints members earning Status Points on every flight including Smart saver and grabaseat fares
    – Gold Elite, Gold, S ilver and Koru members provided with a new ePass to help them speed through the domestic airport
    – The introduction of Space+ seating in 767, A320 and 737 aircraft for Gold Elite, Gold and Silver Airpoints and Koru members.

    If you would like to read more, our media release detailing the changes is available on the Air New Zealand website:


  2. Hi Jo
    Many thanks for your timely reply and yet another demonstration of how Air New Zealand really does get the internet as a media. We count ourselves lucky to have such a good and responsive local airline.

    However like Stuart I didn’t see the answer to the crucial question – why the reward programs for the Westpac, ASB and BNZ Platinum cards are being discontinued.

    I can only infer that Kiwibank came up with some money, and that the next partner to be announced (only National Bank and Amex are left) will be doing the same. Meanwhile BNZ, Westpac and ASB didn’t make the cut.

    That’s a different spin from BNZ’s reason for changing – “Air NZ had made some changes in the way Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars can be earned through credit cards”. Can anyone explain that?

    Knowing from personal and from professional experience how hard it is to switch credit card providers, I can only watch in dismay as this happens. However knowing just how much a high end credit card revolver can provide in income to a bank I can imagine that AirNZ can receive fairly good compensation for any new customers bought over to a bank.

    But good on you Kiwibank for grabbing this business. It is indeed great to see the two NZ icons combining forces.


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