rayonline: I just use the APD system for my credit card for the occasional fare to AKL or SYD. I use a overseas programme for rewards easier and for gold easier too like Aegean or Asiana. Only requires 1.5x return to Asia and back or 1x to further North America I think per year on average (for Gold). Asiana does it each 2yr cycle though. The best thing for me is to go for grabaeast fares primarily for 60% off fares like $699 Tokyo return even thou earns no APD, does earn SP but bugger all. Pay my own money for that. I'm not getting a Plat card and pay the higher annual fee for SP earing on the card - wont' get enough.
I have Aegean. Just been told that I need one round the world trip to keep Gold ... haven't decided whether to keep or not. (mind you better than 3 times round the world!)