ANZ partners with a variety of frequent flyer programs to let its cardholders earn points on every credit card transaction they make, from Virgin Australia Velocity to neighbouring Air New Zealand Airpoints through to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and even Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Members of the program simply swipe their ANZ Rewards credit card (or use Apple Pay) whenever they can to notch up reward points, which can then be converted to the airline frequent flyer schemes above.
Australian Business Traveller looks at how ANZ Rewards works, how you can earn credit card points and turn them into frequent flyer points, and even ways to earn bonus reward points.
ANZ Rewards 101
Although ANZ no longer issues American Express cards, earn rates across its suite of Visa products have recently been improved.
ANZ Rewards Black is the pick of the bunch for frequent flyers with two reward points given per dollar spent up to $5,000 per month and then one reward point per dollar thereafter.
Next in line are both the ANZ Rewards Platinum and ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures cards, providing 1.5 reward points per dollar spent up to $2,000 per monthly statement period and then 0.5 reward points per dollar thereafter.
ANZ’s entry-level Rewards Classic card instead piles up one reward point per dollar spent on the first $1,000 of monthly charges and then 0.5 reward points per dollar thereafter.
Hot tip: Cardholders charging purchases to a Rewards Black Visa could be earning up to four times as many points per dollar than when using the entry-level Rewards Classic card (up to 2/$1 on Rewards Black versus as little as 0.5/$1 on Rewards Classic): so if you’ll be making good use of your card, the Black-level card could be the best fit.
ANZ Rewards: earning frequent flyer points
While you may be earning up to two ‘reward points’ per dollar spent, you’re not actually earning two frequent flyer points, which can be a little confusing for newcomers to the program.
Instead, those reward points can be converted into airline frequent flyer points when you’re ready to fly at the following rates:
- 2 ANZ reward points = 1 Virgin Australia Velocity point
- 3 ANZ reward points = 1 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer mile
- 3 ANZ reward points = 1 Cathay Pacific Asia Mile
- 200 ANZ reward points = 1 Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollar ($1)
Here’s how that looks on a per-dollar-spent basis across ANZ’s range of Visa rewards credit cards.
Rewards Black (up to $5,000 per month): 1 Velocity point, 0.66 KrisFlyer miles, 0.66 Asia Miles, $0.01 in Airpoints Dollars
Rewards Black (monthly spend >$5,000): 0.5 Velocity points, 0.33 KrisFlyer miles, 0.33 Asia Miles, $0.005 Airpoints Dollars
Rewards Platinum & Rewards Travel Adventures (monthly spends of >$2,000): 0.25 Velocity points, 0.167 KrisFlyer miles, 0.167 Asia Miles, $0.0025 Airpoints Dollars
Rewards Classic (<$1,000 per month): 0.5 Velocity points, 0.33 KrisFlyer miles, 0.33 Asia Miles, $0.005 Airpoints Dollars
Rewards Classic (monthly spend >$1,000): 0.25 Velocity points, 0.167 KrisFlyer miles, 0.167 Asia Miles, $0.0025 Airpoints Dollars
Again, you’ll need to convert your ANZ reward points into frequent flyer points, with the figures above taking into account the bank’s current earning rates, caps and conversion rates.
Converting ANZ reward points to frequent flyer points
Swapping ANZ reward points for airline frequent flyer points is relatively straightforward: just head to the ANZ Rewards website, choose your preferred frequent flyer program and click ‘transfer now’:
The only catch: you’ll need at least a minimum number of reward points in your account before you can initiate a transfer with some airlines, being 3,000 reward points for Asia Miles and Airpoints; and a much higher 6,000 reward points for KrisFlyer.
With Virgin Australia Velocity, the minimum conversion is just two ANZ reward points – or you can opt-in to ‘ANZ auto-redemption’ to have your points automatically swept across to Velocity every month where your ANZ Rewards balance is at least 3,000 points.
Given these varying minimums, here’s the smallest number of airline frequent flyer points you can convert in one transaction: useful if you already have some points in your frequent flyer account and just need a few more to book your desired reward flight.
Virgin Australia Velocity: 1 Velocity point (manual conversion from 2 ANZ reward points) or 1,500 Velocity points (auto-redemption from 3,000 ANZ reward points)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 2,000 KrisFlyer miles (converted from 6,000 ANZ reward points)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1,500 Asia Miles (converted from 3,000 ANZ reward points)
Air New Zealand Airpoints: $15 Airpoints Dollars (converted from 3,000 ANZ reward points)
ANZ Rewards: earning bonus points
ANZ partners with many businesses to offer bonus points over and above those you’d normally earn on any given transaction, and which can be converted into frequent flyer points in exactly same way.
Those bonus points are earned via the ANZ Bonus Points Mall, and much like the Qantas Points Online Mall or the Velocity eStore, clicking through the ANZ website when shopping online can deliver bonuses of up to 10 ANZ reward points per dollar spent, atop your usual points haul.
You’ll earn the most points when shopping with brands like Adidas, ASOS, Charles Tyrwhitt and David Jones, with a lower number of points on offer at websites such as Apple, Dell, eBay and Microsoft, and when booking Etihad Airways flights.
Many more stores take part in the program too, so be sure to visit the Bonus Points Mall whenever making an online purchase to see if extra points can be had on your next purchase.
Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyers will enjoy have access to Qantas Clubs around Australia under the newly-forged alliance between the two airlines.
As of October 28, 2018, Airpoints Elite and Gold members booked on a codeshare flight with Qantas will find the doors swing open for them at the two dozen Qantas Club lounges in Australia's capital cities and regional centres. They'll also be permitted to bring in one guest.
But it won't be as easy as flashing your shiny Airpoints card, as the following conditions apply:
- you have to be travelling on a domestic Qantas flight
- it has to be booked under the Air New Zealand codeshare (those flight numbers will be in the NZ7xxx range)
- and this must be booked as part of a trans-Tasman booking
This arrangement replaces Airpoints access to Virgin Australia lounges following the dramatic bust-up between the two former allies.
However, there appears to be no Qantas Club lounge access for Koru Club members, nor can AirNZ frequent flyers cool their heels in the more upmarket Qantas Business lounges.
The Qantas / Air New Zealand alliance covers selected flights on the domestic network of each airline, however trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement.
Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.
Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.
Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.
Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December).
And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.
On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.
Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as
- Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
- Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
- Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
- Mango with pomelo and sago
But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.
Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.
There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.
However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.
In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.
Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.
Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.
Very few watches can claim true originality, and the Cartier Santos is among those few.
The Santos made its debut way back in 1904 as a personal timepiece for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, making it both the first pilot’s watch and one of the earliest known men’s wristwatches.
As we've previously detailed, the Santos was borne from a request by Brazilian flyer Santos-Dumont, who told his friend Louis Cartier – then a Parisian watchmaker – of the challenge of timing flights using the then-conventional pocket watch, as pilots needed to keep both hands on the aircraft controls.
In response, Cartier designed a large square-faced watch and fitted it to a strap so it could be worn on the wrist – quite a revolutionary concept at the time.
The first commercial Cartier Santos watches went on sale to the public in 1911 with solid gold cases and ultra-thin mechanical movements designed by French clockmaker Edmond Jaeger.
(In order to produce this movement for Cartier, Jaeger worked with Swiss movement manufacturer Jacques-David LeCoultre, a partnership that would lead to the birth of storied brand Jaeger-LeCoultre.)
The enduring design of the Cartier Santos was reimagined in the late 1970s as a luxury steel sports watch, later adding two-tone steel and gold and the now-iconic screwed bezel with exposed gold screws along the bracelet for a modern, industrial aesthetic.
For 2018, Cartier has once again re-invented the Santos.
The distinctive screw-set bezel now tapers at both ends towards the bracelet to create an organic, integrated look.
The satin-brushed case features a wide mirror-polished bevel along its length, extending all the way to the gracefully curved crown guards at 3 o’clock. A square watch the Santos may be, but there’s hardly a sharp edge or straight line to be found.
The case has been slimmed dramatically from previous incarnations of the Santos, allowing this watch to disappear easily under a shirt cuff when needed.
The bracelet is fitted with a new 'QuickSwitch' system allowing for easy swapping with the included tan calfskin strap or Cartier’s alternative crocodile straps, providing some style versatility.
Adding or removing bracelet links has also been made easier with a new 'SmartLink' design which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet during a hot summer’s day without requiring a tool.
While the bezel, case and bracelet have all been modernised, the dial remains classic Cartier. With Roman numerals, a railroad minute-track and heat-blued hands, it’s hard to imagine a more traditional look.
The 2018 Cartier Santos can serve dress-watch and sports-watch duties equally well, and boasts a history that few timepieces can match.
• In-house mechanical movement with automatic winding
• Seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel
• Silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres)
• Medium version case width: 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.83 mm
• Large version case width: 39.8 mm, thickness: 9.08 mm
• Pricing from A$8,750 for the Cartier Santos Medium in steel, to A$52,500 for the Cartier Santos Large in solid pink gold with matching pink gold bracelet. For stockists, visit www.au.cartier.com.
Finnair will launch inflight Internet on its European flights this week, with travellers able to enjoy the high-speed satellite service free of charge during a two-month trial period running through to the end of September.
The Oneworld airline has already outfitted six of its single-aisle Airbus jets with technology provided through partner Viasat, which also provided the backbone for Qantas' Australia-wide WiFi system.
By the end of northern summer some 20 aircraft will be upgraded, with Finnair's entire single-aisle Airbus fleet slated for WiFi by mid-2019.
The system will be available on a gate-to-gate basis, so passengers won't even need to wait for their jet to reach level flight – which will maximise time online for many of Finnair's relatively short European hops.
However, parts of some European routes will present black spots to the satellite network, including above the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, while some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia.
Over the two-month testing period Finnair intends to "gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience."
"In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours," explains Viasat vice-president Don Buchman.
The airline has yet to reveal what pricing it will charge for its sky-high WiFi once the trial period ends, although frequent flyers will no doubt hope that some sort of monthly pass is available as an alternative to paying on a per-flight basis.
Finnair already offers WiFi on its long-range 'intercontinental' jets, with the first hour free for business class and Finnair Plus Gold members, then €3 (A$4.70) for three hours or €20 (A$31) for the entire flight. Finnair Plus Platinum frequent flyers are provided with free Internet access for the whole flight.