AirNZ offers Star Alliance Gold status match to Qantas, Virgin flyers

AirNZ offers Star Alliance Gold status match to Qantas, Virgin flyers

Air New Zealand is looking to bolster its frequent flyer ranks by raiding the Gold-grade ranks of competing airlines with the promise of an instant status match to its Airpoints Gold / Star Alliance Gold tier.

The Kiwi airline's 'Touch of Gold' promotion is limited to residents of Australia and New Zealand, and no doubt is another salvo in the stoush between AirNZ and former-beau-turned-foe Virgin Australia – although Qantas frequent flyers are also eligible to apply for the status match.

It's a generous status match, running for six months instead of the usual three and including a 'status challenge' component to extend your newly-minted Gold status to a full year.

Here's what you need to know about Air New Zealand's Touch of Gold status match and status challenge.

As mentioned earlier, you'll need to live in Australia or New Zealand and of course already be a member of Air New Zealand's Airpoints loyalty program (with your Australian or New Zealand residential address listed on your Airpoints account).

You'll also need to hold Gold or higher status with another airline – the only exceptions are that it can't be another Star Alliance member (such as Singapore Airlines) or Cathay Pacific (due to AirNZ's partnership with Cathay Pacific on Auckland-Hong Kong flights). This obviously puts Qantas and Virgin Australia in the promotion's gold-plated crosshairs, along with the likes of Emirates and Etihad Airways.

If you tick those two boxes, apply for that 'Touch of Gold' via email to touchofgold@airnz.co.nz and include your Airpoints membership number along with photo or scanned copy of your Gold or higher frequent flyer membership card with that competing airline

We suggest also including a scanned copy of a recent activity statement showing your flying pattern, especially on trans-Tasman services, to help assure Air New Zealand that you're a legit and Gold-worthy traveller rather than somebody looking to line his or her pocket with another shiny frequent flyer card.

Air New Zealand says that applicants for the Touch of Gold promotion will hear back without 10 business days – and as always, acceptance (nor otherwise) is at the airline's discretion. Assuming you pass muster, here's what you get.

Six months of Air New Zealand / Star Alliance Gold status

Right off the bat, the Touch of Gold status match gifts you six months of gratis status at Air New Zealand's Airpoints Gold tier, which is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold.

This immediately unlocks Gold-grade benefits across all Star Alliance partner airlines: a solid roster which includes Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Thai Airways, Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa and Swiss.

You can look forward to some very practical perks such as airport lounge access, priority check-in and boarding and a boosted baggage allowance.

Air New Zealand also sweetens the pot with two free business class upgrades on flights between Australia and New Zealand (the Kiwi carrier calls these 'short-haul recognition upgrades'), free seat selection, one extra bag on all fares which include a bag (this obviously excludes the cheapest seat-only fares) plus priority waitlisting and standby at the airport.

Fast-track to a full year of Air New Zealand / Star Alliance Gold status

The Touch of Gold promotion also comes with the option to extend your Airpoints Gold status by earning just 450 status points instead of the usual 900.

As soon as your Touch of Gold application is approved your Airpoints account will sprout an instant 450 status points, putting you halfway towards the 900 status points usually needed to earn or retain Gold.

You'll have the fill six months of your temporary Touch of Gold status to earn those status points.

If the bulk of your potential Air New Zealand travel is across the pond, you'll be looking at anywhere from 7-107 status points on a Sydney-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland or Brisbane-Auckland flight depending on your class of travel and fare type.

Assuming you typically opt for a flexible economy Seat+Bag fare, that'll land you between 35 and 83 status points – so that's six return trips at the cheapest fare or four return trips at the highest fare category.

If you fly with Air New Zealand from Australia to any of its US mainland destinations (Los Angeles, San Francisco or Houston) in business class you'll be good for Gold with one return trip.

It's also worth noting that you can earn those Status Points with fellow Star Alliance airlines and some other partner airlines – so if you've got a Singapore Airlines flight coming up, consider adding your Airpoints frequent flyer number into the SQ booking to edge you closer to a year of Gold.

Also read: How to apply for United Airline's Star Alliance Gold status match

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

50 comments

  • Fqtv

    Zac

    10 Sep, 2018 11:22 pm

    It is always great to see a status match promo, especially one as useful to Australian biz travellers as AirNZ - so great news for aussie FFs and many will benefit.

    But - as a former AirNZ *E for many years (at one point one of “Fyfe’s 100” for those in the know) - I wouldn’t want to be an Airpoints member today. I feel the program is poor value, now relying heavily on AirNZ’s dominant position in NZ and monopolies / tie ups on major routes out of NZ - i.e. it’s geared towards a captive NZ audience who don’t have much choice. For those of us in Australia who have lots of choice, Airpoints has relatively low earn levels, relatively high redemption costs esp for long haul premium tickets, and a fairly opaque upgrade bidding system - all uncompetitive when compared with Qantas, Virgin and Singapore Airlines. Add to that weak credit card options and no ability to buy Airpoints dollars.

    So thank you AirNZ for the status match promo - but along with a touch of gold I think you need to bring a touch of competitiveness back into Airpoints if you really want to compete and retain more Australian frequent flyers, longer term.
    Members who gave thanks

    jch, wdeguara, DGB, aussiepiper

  • flyerboi

    flyerboi

    11 Sep, 2018 09:01 am

    I think the upgrade certificates can be used as 1 class single sector upgrades on long haul flights? As in from PE to Business or Economy to PE from AKL to USA. Nice perk that.
    No member give thanks

  • DGB

    DGB

    13 Sep, 2018 10:13 am

    Great Points Zac - nailed it!
    No member give thanks

  • Daniel Kinnoch

    kinnoda

    14 Sep, 2018 10:26 pm

    Only thing I will add is - yes, you can buy Airpoints Dollars, with one credit card in NZ (KiwiBank). But only worth it for small top-ups, or for partner redemptions.
    No member give thanks

  • AwaywithMike

    AwaywithMike

    11 Sep, 2018 05:07 am

    Yay for a status match!... however, further to Zac, the face that NZ is offering VA or QF P's - only a match to NZ Gold... thanks, I'll keep my VA P...
    No member give thanks

  • les harvey

    cambriamarsh

    11 Sep, 2018 08:46 am

    You don't have to give up VA P tho, use the NZ gold benefits when flying where VA benefits aren't available, ie most places on NZ flights after the split.
    No member give thanks

  • adv

    adv

    11 Sep, 2018 09:35 am

    Very quick status match - was all confirmed within 24 hours
    Member who gave thanks

    Rhinojames

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    11 Sep, 2018 11:12 am

    Is this an 'offer' and valid for a certain period time before requesting one?
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    11 Sep, 2018 11:35 am

    If I am not currently an airpoints member, can I sign up and then apply or did I need to be a member prior to them announcing this?
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    11 Sep, 2018 12:01 pm

    You can sign up right away and apply right away.
    No member give thanks

  • ajobbins

    ajobbins

    11 Sep, 2018 12:54 pm

    I applied a few days ago and was approved and activated in about 5 hours (from VA gold). Will be great later in the year when the VA-NZ alliance ends as I do a number of NZ trips each year and prefer to fly NZ. The short haul RU's are a nice bonus too - and will take you from economy to business premier on east coast TT routes (where they are flying a widebody). Will be lodging one for my MEL-AKL flight later this month.
    No member give thanks

  • Lake Pacific Airways

    lakepacificair

    11 Sep, 2018 01:24 pm

    Hi David, if I may ask when does the first day of the six month membership start? And how long does it take Air Newzealand to process the application? Thank you in advance.
    No member give thanks

  • ajobbins

    ajobbins

    11 Sep, 2018 02:52 pm

    I applied on 07/09 and was approved same day. Email says status is good until 10/03/2019
    No member give thanks

  • Lake Pacific Airways

    lakepacificair

    11 Sep, 2018 08:41 pm

    Thank you Ajobbins for your reply.
    No member give thanks

  • Jamesflyer

    Jamesflyer

    11 Sep, 2018 07:56 pm

    does this promotion end on a certain date
    No member give thanks

  • mara

    mara

    12 Sep, 2018 09:25 am

    It feels like VA is playing catch up with this break up. Just called VA and asked if they would be making the same offer. Reply - "we don't do that". Might have to wait a few months til their bookings drop and they decide to react.
    No member give thanks

  • bmc

    bmc

    12 Sep, 2018 11:45 am

    Where is the offer? Is there a webite to sign up to it?
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    12 Sep, 2018 09:47 pm

    Send an email to touchofgold@airnz.co.nz with all the details required as mentioned in the article. Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    12 Sep, 2018 03:10 pm

    Thanks AusBT, signed up for this as a status match against Qantas and boom, two days later I was granted Gold with Air New Zealand. This will be very handy for travel within NZ, ans I like the two free business class upgrades. I should be able to make Gold for 12 months under the 'status challenge' so this will be a very handy card to have in my wallet!
    No member give thanks

  • JBH

    JBH

    12 Sep, 2018 04:22 pm

    Hi - apologies this is slightly off topic, however does anyone know of the ability to status match within the same Alliance i.e. Oneworld QF > CX for example?
    No member give thanks

  • Gareth Woodham

    Gareth

    12 Sep, 2018 04:43 pm

    For those who have achieved this, did you send through a statement of travel or just a copy of your VA card?
    No member give thanks

  • Bozman

    Bozman

    12 Sep, 2018 06:52 pm

    So my partner is VA Platinum. We don’t tend to use AirNZ but would Singapore. What’s the benefit of her getting the status match?

    We’re actually flying to Singapore on SA on Friday so maybe just do it so we get the status credits under this.
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    12 Sep, 2018 10:06 pm

    Bozman: benefits of Star Gold applicable across all star Alliance airlines include lounge access even when flying economy (nice lounges outside of Singapore, but SQ's SIN T3 'Gold' lounge is rather dire), a more generous baggage allowance etc, but Friday might be pushing things as you'd need to be approved for Touch of Gold before your status-earning flight.
    Member who gave thanks

    Ho Really

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    12 Sep, 2018 10:09 pm

    This status match gives you *G and can be used with any Star Alliance member. VA Platinum can't get you that. Also in the short term this will be handy for your flights through Singapore with SQ. The points accrued will help to extend the Gold status to twelve months, hopefully. One last thing, having Airpoints Gold can be useful in other status matches. You'll never know in the next twelve months who will be offering one. Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • Johnny9

    Johnny9

    12 Sep, 2018 08:46 pm

    For the 450 status points to extend gold for +1year does one need to fly one or several segments on AirNZ or can it be covered by any *A partner (e.g. flying only on LH, SQ, UA, etc)?
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    12 Sep, 2018 09:48 pm

    You can accrue points by flying any of Air New Zealand's partners, such as: LH, SQ, UA, etc. Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    12 Sep, 2018 10:01 pm

    As explained in the article, "It's also worth noting that you can earn those Status Points with fellow Star Alliance airlines and some other partner airlines"
    No member give thanks

  • Johnny9

    Johnny9

    12 Sep, 2018 11:56 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was more referring to if NZ has same rule as QF where you have to fly sectors on its airline’s own metal in order to reach/ extend gold. Some airlines do have this rule (like QF, UA) some airlines don’t have it (eg OZ).
    Reformulating the question: can one extend the +1y gold with this promotion by not flying a single AirNZ flight (ticket/metal), but on solely other *A partners?
    Many thanks in advance
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    13 Sep, 2018 01:18 am

    In short yes. See my other post for the Terms & Conditions. Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    13 Sep, 2018 07:01 am

    Johnny9: yep, AirNZ gifts you the first 450 status points but the next 450 needed top get to legit Gold (beyond the trial) can be fully earned on any Star Alliance member.
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    13 Sep, 2018 01:15 am

    The Terms & Conditions of the promo can be found here: https://www.airnewzealand.com.au/touch-of-gold-terms-and-conditions As I understand you can extend the Gold status by flying any of the Star Alliance partners. You can also check Air New Zealand's webpage on Star Alliance: https://www.airnewzealand.com.au/star-alliance and the Airpoints T&C: https://www.airnewzealand.com.au/airpoints-terms-and-conditions#earning-airpoints-dollars-status-points-partner-airlines Cheers
    No member give thanks

  • Bozman

    Bozman

    13 Sep, 2018 10:44 am

    We’ve signed up. Not looking to use it before our flight on SA tomorrow night, but if we earn status credits on our flight tomorrow, and the increase in Airpoints status to gold hasn’t yet been processed, those earned credits will still count towards the 450 req to keep Gold for a year won’t they?
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    13 Sep, 2018 12:01 pm

    Bozman: should your application be successful and are notified before flying with Singapore Airlines quote the Airpoints membership number at check-in (online or at airport). After check-in or possibly boarding it's no good. I guess David will confirm this. Good luck.
    No member give thanks

  • Bozman

    Bozman

    13 Sep, 2018 12:37 pm

    Thanks. I understand I can’t apply status credits after I’ve boarded, but if I put my new Airpoints membership number in now (while still basic - Bronze?), and the status credits are applied to the account, if I’m upgraded to Gold next week, these status credits will still count towards the 450 I need to keep Gold for 12 further months?
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    13 Sep, 2018 08:59 pm

    Bozman: it's possible that you may need to be accepted for the promo before you can add the status credits to extend Gold to 12 months. Reading the T&Cs there's no mention of this but I suspect that's how the promo works.
    No member give thanks

  • Ben Leszczynski

    ausben85

    13 Sep, 2018 07:02 pm

    Just curious, as I have no status now. After the 6 months do i go back to the base level or to Silver. As i do not think I will earn enough status' before then
    No member give thanks

  • Ho Really

    Ho Really

    13 Sep, 2018 09:01 pm

    ausben85: back to Silver.
    No member give thanks

  • Annette Hos

    PerthtoParis

    13 Sep, 2018 11:43 pm

    Applied 4 days ago, confirmed receipt but nothing else yet, strange asothers got advised quickly?
    No member give thanks

  • Michael63

    Metoo

    14 Sep, 2018 12:31 am

    I'm the same as PerthtoParis, applied 4 days ago and no response except for acknowledgment of application. I'm Qantas Platinum with more than enough travel but to Singapore and area. Looking at the quick approvals above maybe Air NZ is looking at Virgin Plat members more? Or those who travel to NZ on a regular basis. I'll see what comes down the line.
    No member give thanks

  • ajobbins

    ajobbins

    14 Sep, 2018 09:36 am

    I am VA Gold and got approved same day - however that was a week ago, before this was widely reported on in AU. I suspect they probably just now have a large backlog to work through.
    No member give thanks

  • Laura K

    lkeogh

    14 Sep, 2018 10:59 am

    Any other QF Golds still waiting to hear? Been only three days since I provided my last 6 months travel log, scan of my gold card and airpoints#...could it be a backlog??
    No member give thanks

  • rocketship

    rocketship

    18 Sep, 2018 11:59 am

    I'm a QF Gold too and sent my details in on 12th Sept. Haven't had a "promotion now closed" message, so hopefully they're still working through the backlog.
    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    17 Sep, 2018 09:38 am

    Does this confer any more benefits that Qantas Gold etc. would get after 28 October 2018?
    No member give thanks

  • charlieg

    charlieg

    17 Sep, 2018 01:52 pm

    Automatic Reply: Thank you for your interest in the Airpoints™ programme. The Touch of Gold promotion has now closed and no further applications are being accepted at this time.

    ....seems i was too late

    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    18 Sep, 2018 12:23 pm

    Mine came in this morning.
    No member give thanks

  • jamieavenger

    jamieavenger

    18 Sep, 2018 02:15 pm

    Mine came in after 5 business days. Provided my VA Gold card and a screen shot of my VA personal details. They did not ask to see activity statement.
    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    18 Sep, 2018 02:22 pm

    No activity statement form me either but if you are Gold + then you must have done some travelling.

    I have two pet peeves about Air NZ; no afternoon flights Wlg-Mel, and no business class to anywhere from Wellington.

    No member give thanks

  • Comyns Ian

    aussiepiper

    19 Sep, 2018 04:25 pm

    Unfortunately I just went to redeem and the promotion is closed.
    No member give thanks

  • Brassy

    Brassy

    20 Sep, 2018 05:58 pm

    For anyone still wondering/waiting,

    I applied (Platinum) Tuesday 11/9 sans travel record, just photo of velocity card.

    Heard nothing so followed up with an email Tuesday 18th. Still have had no email reply, but today noticed my airpoints is at gold.

    Best of luck!!

    Brass.

    No member give thanks

  • rocketship

    rocketship

    21 Sep, 2018 09:44 am

    Like @Brassy, mine also just came through (applied on 12th Sept). No email confirmation, but noticed I was updated to Gold when I checked the app :) Expires end of March 2019.
    No member give thanks

Guest

23 Sep, 2018 07:38 am

×
×

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.

×