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A bookable route to New Zealand opens up with Virgin Points

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As we discussed in our article last week on spending Virgin Points with non-SkyTeam alliance partners, it is possible to book Air New Zealand flights with Virgin Points.

The snag is that Air New Zealand no longer flies from the UK or indeed anywhere in Europe. It now focuses on flights from the United States. On top of that, availability was very tight.

Something seems to have changed.

A potential route to New Zealand opens up with Virgin Points

According to this US blog post,  Air New Zealand has started opening up business class availability from most of its US destinations close to departure.

This applies to its flights to Auckland from Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco.

It is opening up two seats on most flights from the US, and even more on the return flights from Auckland.

You can currently book until early September, which implies that the airline is opening up space on a regular basis in the four weeks up to departure.

A business class one way flight between the US and Auckland on Air New Zealand is 62,500 Virgin Points each way.

You still need to get to Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston or San Francisco of course, but there should be reward availability via either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. These are also decent cities to spend a day or so if you can’t get a same day connection or want to break your trip.

You can learn more about booking Air New Zealand on Virgin Points in this HfP article. You need to call to make a booking and you should ensure that you can see reward availability via the website of another Star Alliance partner airline before ringing.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (30)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • occasionalranter says:

    I wouldn’t fly Air NZ business class until they introduce their new seat, whether for cash or on a redemption. The current coffin class is just not good enough, no matter how lovely the crews and how tasty the food.

    • Publius says:

      Agreed -AirNZ has one of the worst business classes around.
      Absolutely zero privacy and 12 hours looking directly at everyone’s croches.
      Simply awful experience.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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