Want to mix Airpoints Dollars with cash for your next Air New Zealand flight? Our comprehensive Flexipay guide explains everything you need to know.
Updated 10 September 2023
Summary of Flexipay
- Air New Zealand now lets you pay for a flight with a mix of Airpoints Dollars and cash, but for every Airpoint you use you'll have to pay a 10% fee.
- Any airfare purchased with Flexipay earns 20% of the standard earn rates of Airpoints Dollars and Status Credits, regardless of whether the airfare was 80% paid for in Airpoints or 20%.
- Flexipay offers a way for loyalty customers to use up small balances of Airpoints Dollars if they wouldn't usually have enough in their account a sufficient balance for one flight.
Airpoints Flexipay lets you pay for any Air New Zealand operated and marketed flight (and many partner airline flights) using a mix of Airpoints Dollars and cash. As with any ‘enhancements’ from Air New Zealand, there are a few things to watch out for. Overall, the ability to part-pay is advantageous to those with small balances earned on credit cards and occasional domestic travel.
We explain Flexipay, step by step, with real examples:
- Airpoints members with Airpoints Dollar balances BELOW the required level for Air New Zealand flights can now redeem their balances for travel.
- For example, if you have an Airpoints Dollar balance of $50 and want to book a flight from Auckland and Sydney that costs $200, you can use all of your Airpoints Dollars balance and pay the balance of the fare in cash, via bank transfer or card.
- You decide how many Airpoints you want to use, and how much of the fare you want to pay in cash.
- If you decide to select Flexipay as an option, from our analysis, you will pay 10% more on the Airpoints Dollars balance you wish to redeem for a flight. This may not sound like a lot, but it adds up, and the more Airpoints Dollars you cash in, the more Airpoints Dollars the 10% fee costs you.
- For example, an Auckland to Queenstown fare is $140. If you select Flexipay with $70 cash and 70 Airpoints Dollars, the Airpoints Dollars required will be 77 (10% of 70 being 7). This means your airfare actually costs $147.
- The extra 10% cost is applied, as indicated below - using 500 Airpoints Dollars (indicated under the total price of the fare) establishes a 10% fee of 50 Airpoints Dollars, known as the 'Flexipay Cost' (per the red box).
- Any airfare purchased with Flexipay earns 20% of the standard earn rates, regardless of whether the airfare was 80% paid for in Airpoints, 20% or anything else. For domestic tickets, the status points on cheaper bag-free fares will become zero.
- This also means that if it’s a expensive airfare, not only are you paying 10% more for it on the balance of Airpoints Dollars you redeem, you’re also losing 80% of the rewards.
- Using the Air New Zealand website, you can pick how many Airpoints Dollars you want to use at the final screen 'Review and Pay' when you select 'Use Airpoints Dollars' as indicated below.
- You can only use Flexipay via the Air New Zealand website or the Air New Zealand contact centre
- There is a 20% minimum and 90% maximum of Airpoints Dollars required for any Flexipay ticket
- You pay 10% more of the total airfare cost to use Flexipay, for example, with a $200 airfare a $100 cash payment will require a 110 Airpoints Dollars payment (100 Airpoints Dollars plus the 10% fee)
- You will receive both Airpoints Dollars and Status Points at only 20% of the fare class level. So if your airfare was meant to earn 40 Airpoints Dollars and 50 Status credits, you will instead earn 8 and 10 respectively. Most domestic fares will earn closer to zero using Flexipay.
- If you want to change your ticket, it won’t be able to be done online – you need to call the Air New Zealand contact centre and fees may, and usually do, apply.
- If you want to cancel your ticket, your ticket is classed as an Airpoints redemption ticket. As such, the refund will be made in the form of Airpoints Dollars and cash at the same level paid it in when booking.
- Eligible flights include:
- All Air New Zealand marketed and operated flights
- Air New Zealand codeshare Qantas operated trans-Tasman and Australian domestic services Air New Zealand, codeshare United Airlines operated flights between Auckland and San Francisco (return)
- Air New Zealand codeshare flights operated by Cathay Pacific.
- Any Flexipay booking avoids a credit card fee, which is ideal if you prefer to pay by card.
- You can use your Airpoints Dollars as long as the fare is above $9, which makes it accessible to even the smallest of balances.
- The 10% fare increase on the Airpoints Dollars component when using Flexipay. Whether or not you use your balance now and pay more, or save up Airpoints Dollars and use them later, will depend on your personal circumstances. We think it's better to use the Airpoints Dollars now given that it saves you real money, albeit with a slight penalty.
- Our advice is that for domestic bookings, Flexipay is worth trying to use up an otherwise nonredeemable balance of Airpoints.
Everyone is different. Generally, however, Airpoints account holders with small Airpoints Dollar balances which don’t increase much throughout the year. Such people are perfect for using Flexipay for domestic airfare bookings.