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Free flights cost more

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Wednesday 28th November 2001

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It's going to be more expensive for Bank of New Zealand customers to earn free flights on Air New Zealand (NZSE: AIRVA).

The National Australia Bank subsidiary has announced changes to its market-leading GlobalPlus scheme which will require people to spend considerably more to earn Air Points with Air NZ.

The bank says it has been advised by the airline that recent events in the airline industry have made it necessary for it to increase the cost of its Air Points.

"That means that we must pay more for Air Points on the new contract that we have negotiated with Air New Zealand," says BNZ card manager, Pradeep Roy.

"It is necessary for us to make changes to the current rewards programme to meet that increased cost. Air New Zealand have advised us that these changes will have no bearing on the Air Points earned to date."

Customers affected are GlobalPlus cardholders and GlobalPlus Home Loan customers.

Under the changes standard GlobalPlus cardholders will now receive one Air Point for every $2.00 spent. Previously the amount was $1.00, which effectively doubles the price of an airfare reward.

Gold cardholders fare slightly better and will now have to spend $1.50 to earn one Air Point whereas previously $1.00 spent earned 1.1 points.

BNZ's GlobalPlus Home Loan customers will also be hit, earning 20 fewer points for every $1,000 outstanding loan balance than previously.

BNZ is not alone in making changes to its air travel scheme. Commonwealth Bank-owned ASB also recently raised the rewards levels for its credit card holders and is now charging a fee to be a part of the scheme.

Most changes to the GlobalPlus scheme are due to take place early next year.

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