Qantas Frequent Flyer status benefits & credit guide

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

QantasThis is a status guide

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Overview

Qantas Frequent Flyer offers its members a host of added perks subject to their status level. In this guide, we review what you need to do to reach each Qantas status level, along with the benefits on offer!

Qantas Frequent Flyer offers four status levels, starting with Bronze, where new members begin. Following Bronze, there’s Silver, and the two most worth-while levels, Gold and Platinum. To reach each level, you must earn the required number of status credits. This is determined by your flying activity.

Status credit can be earned on all Qantas flights, selected Jetstar fares, along with most international partners (with some notable exceptions, like Emirates).

Qantas status, particularly Gold and Platinum, offers some nice benefits to those that fly regularly. Gold is the sweet-spot, opening the door to benefits like priority seat upgrade requests and Qantas Club lounge access. As with all our reviews, we recommend that you don’t ‘stretch’ your spending to qualify for a benefit.

For those wishing to jump ahead, we’ve provided some tips and examples on how to reach Qantas Gold here.

Qantas Gold Status

We show you some of the tips and tricks to reach Qantas Gold, which offers priority services, a bump in the seat upgrade queue and premium lounge access around the world!

Qantas Reward Seats

Learn more about the traditional Qantas points redemption method – Classic Reward seats.

Qantas Earn Guide

Learn how to earn more Qantas points flying on Qantas, Jetstar and the Flying Kangaroo’s international partners.

Qantas status explained

Base level – Bronze

Bronze is the ground-level status for Qantas Frequent Flyer membership. If you’re a new member, or have not reached the status credit requirements for Silver, you’ll start at Bronze.

Bronze members receive the standard Frequent Flyer benefits, which include the ability to earn Qantas points (at the base rate) and redeem them for flight rewards, upgrades, or in the Qantas eStore.

Premium levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum

Silver, Gold and Platinum are Qantas Frequent Flyer’s premium levels. These can be accessed by reaching the required number of a) status credit (determined by miles flown) and b) eligible flight sectors in any single membership year.

We’ve summarised the major benefits at each level below, along with what you need to do to get there.

Qantas offers an optional 50 status credit ‘loyalty bonus’ at the 500 status credit mark, which effectively drops the Gold threshold down to 650 (reach Gold status) and 550 (retain Gold status).

* For a detailed run-down on Qantas premium lounge access and eligibility, launch our full Qantas lounge guide.

Give yourself the best chance of securing a Business upgrade with premium Qantas status.

We’ve provided some tips on how to reach Qantas Gold here.

Qantas status reciprocal benefits – oneworld

Qantas Frequent Flyer members receive the following reciprocal status benefits on oneworld airlines. These include priority services, preferential wait-listing, and access to premium lounges.

The table below outlines partner carriers within the oneworld alliance (and importantly, those outside of it). It also provides a break-down on the corresponding Qantas status credit earn-rate for each partner airline fare type (the point earn rate is also included).

About Qantas status credits

Qantas status levels are activated by reaching the required number of status credits (determined by miles flown).

Flights on all Qantas, selected Jetstar and most international partner airline fares earn status credits (including all oneworld alliance carriers, but notably excluding Emirates). These are based on miles flown and your fare class. Like Qantas points, partner fares attract a reduced status credit earn-rate. Currently this ranges from 10 status credits (a Discount Economy Sydney-Melbourne flight) to 310 status credits (a Business Sydney-Los Angeles flight).

Status credits are earned per flight sector, which is defined as a single direct flight between two consecutive locations. For example, a once way Economy flight from Sydney to Perth via Melbourne includes two flight sectors (Sydney – Melbourne and Melbourne – Perth). This Sydney – Melbourne sector is within Zone 1 (10 status credits) and the Melbourne – Perth sector is in Zone 3 (20 status credits). This equals 30 status credits and two flight sectors. See our full earn rate tables below.

Qualifying period: your ‘membership year’

Qantas status credit balances are calculated daily, based on the number of status credits earned in your current membership year. This is different to Velocity’s rolling 12-month rule, which allows more flexibility in reaching premium status. You can find out when your membership year starts and stops by referring to your ‘anniversary date’, which is displayed in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account online.

Qantas flight sector rule

Qantas also apply their ‘minimum flight rule’. This requires you to make at least four eligible flight sectors on Qantas or Jetstar operated flights (with a QF or JQ flight number) in each Qantas membership year.

Reaching and retaining

Reaching Qantas status

You are required to meet the below requirements to qualify for each Qantas Frequent Flyer status level in any one membership year.

Status Silver Gold Plat.
Credits 300 700 1,400

Status benefit period and how to retain

Once you reach each status Level, you’ll receive that level’s benefits for the remainder of your current membership year until your annual anniversary date, in addition to the next full membership year. This means the earlier you reach a certain Qantas status level in any one membership year, the longer you’ll receive the benefits!

To retain that level for your next membership year, you must reach similar (although slightly lower) requirements within your benefit year.

Status Silver Gold Plat.
Credits 250 600 1,200

Reaching & retaining example

For example, let’s say you are a new Qantas Frequent Flyer member, who joined on November 15, 2015 (membership anniversary), starting on Bronze status.

  • By mid-September, 2016 (approximately 10 months in to your membership year) you have managed to earn the required 700 status credits (including the ‘free’ 50 credits at the 500-mark) for Gold (also fulfilling the 4 Qantas flight rule).
  • You will receive all Gold level benefits instantly (remembering you have approximately 2 months remaining in your membership year, which ends on November 15, 2016).
  • You’ll also receive all Gold benefits for your next full membership year (so, you’ll receive Gold benefits for a total of 14 months, up until November 15, 2017).
  • To maintain your Gold status level beyond the membership year benefit period (that is, after November 15, 2017), you must earn 600 status credits (and fly 4 eligible Qantas flights) in the same membership year (that is, the 12 months up until November 15, 2017).

Qantas status credit earn rates

Domestic flights

Qantas domestic flights attract the following status credits, listed in brackets, (these examples are one-way flights). We’ve also listed the Qantas points earned.

The Qantas points + status calculator allows you to search for a specific flight result. Flight sectors with different flight numbers need to be searched separately – e.g. Sydney to Adelaide via Melbourne on two flight numbers, you’d need to look up: Flight 1. Sydney – Melbourne and then Flight 2. Melbourne – Adelaide). This is not the case for flights across multiple sectors that have the same flight number.

Jetstar flights

You can earn status credits on Qantas subsidiary, Jetstar, but only on selected fare types. These are Starter Plus, Starter Max and Business Max. No other Jetstar fare type earns Qantas status credits or points. The table below outlines the Qantas status and point earn-rate for each eligible Jetstar fare type. The Qantas status bonus applies to eligible Jetstar fares (Silver – 50% Qantas points bonus; Gold – 75% Qantas points bonus; Platinum – 100% Qantas points bonus).

As always Jetstar operated codeshare flights (with a QF flight number) will earn status credits at the full Qantas rate.

Learn more abut earning status credits on Jetstar flights.

International flights

International flights attract the following Qantas status credits, listed in brackets, (these examples are one-way flights). We’ve also listed the Qantas points earned.

All examples are flights departing from the Australian east coast and Adelaide (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide).

The Qantas points + status calculator allows you to search for a specific flight result. flight sectors with different flight numbers need to be searched separately (e.g. for Sydney to Bangkok via Singapore on two flight numbers, you’d need to look up: Flight 1. Sydney – Singapore and then Flight 2. Singapore – Bangkok). This is not the case for flights across multiple sectors that have the same flight number (e.g. QF1 from Sydney – London, which although has a layover in Dubai, is the same flight).

Status credit partner flight earn rates

Most Qantas international partners (including all oneworld alliance carriers, and notably excluding Emirates) attract Qantas status credits, albeit at a reduced rate. The discount is generally about 50% of the Qantas rate.

Examples from the Australian east coast have been explained below in one-way flight form. View the second table to confirm eligible status credit earning partners. Click on each row (‘+’ icon) to learn more, including example destinations.

Use the Qantas points + status credit calculator for a specific flight result, being sure to change to the partner carrier you are flying with (see circled below). flight sectors with different flight numbers need to be searched separately (e.g. for Sydney to Bangkok via Singapore on two flight numbers, you’d need to look up: Flight 1. Sydney – Singapore and then Flight 2. Singapore – Bangkok). This is not the case for flights across multiple sectors that have the same flight number.

The table below clarifies eligible status credit earning partners (refer to the far-right column). Note, Emirates is a notable exclusion – you won’t earn status credits on Emirates flights with an EK flight number (only on Emirates operated codeshare flights with a QF flight-number).

International partner airline earn summary

Click on each row (‘+’ icon) to learn more, including each partner’s eligible fare types and their corresponding Qantas partner earn fare.

Partner status credit crediting process

When you book eligible flights with Qantas status earning partners, whether on the airline’s website directly or via an online booking service, you’ll generally be able to add your Qantas Frequent Flyer number. This will ensure Qantas status credits and points are earned. However, sometimes, you may not be able to do so. In this case you can search for your booking (usually via the airline’s booking ID or reservation number on the airlines website.

If your Qantas status credits still haven’t been credited you can claim them on the Qantas website.

Tips for earning more Qantas status credits for less

Be flexible

The number one rule of Frequent Flyer programs is to be flexible, and it definitely applies to earning Qantas status credits. If you’re flexible with dates, times and even destination, you can improve your status credit earn rate drastically – read on to find out how. Obviously this works best with no-structured holiday-type travel plans, where your plans are flexible.

Buy limited promotional fares

If you have the opportunity to tailor your travel plans to find the cheapest eligible fares, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your cost per Qantas status credit. For example, every few months Qantas heavily discounts Economy fares to the US. We’ve seen Melbourne – New York available for under $850 return. With this flight earning 140 Qantas status credits, that’s a cool $6 per status credit (plus a handy 12,000 Qantas points).

Wait for Qantas ‘Double Status’ promotions

From time-to-time Qantas offers limited ‘Double Status’ promotions on Qantas operated flights. These usually don’t include partner operated flights, however sometimes Qantas partner codeshare flights are included. These promotions generally run for tight campaign periods (e.g. 3 to 5 days), with all Qantas operated flights eligible.

These are a great way to rapidly build your status credit balance (quite simply, it cuts the task in half).

Check our Frequent Flyer Promotions Hub for the latest Qantas status promotions, including offer history and a prediction on when we expect the next offer to occur!

Public Offers
Targeted Offers
Public Offers

Much of the time Qantas ‘Double Status’ promotions are promoted publicly on the Qantas website. These offers are available to all Frequent Flyer members. We’ll provide an update in our Promotions Hub when these occur. Here’s an example of a publicly available promotion archived on Qantas.com.

Targeted Offers

Qantas Double Status deals can also be sent as targeted offers, directly to eligible customers (usually email, so ensure your contact details are up-to-date in your Frequent Flyer account online). Sometimes you are required to ‘opt-in’ to each promotion. So ensure you read the instructions carefully.

Fly with Jetstar on a discounted ‘Max’ fare

Choosing Jetstar’s ‘Max’ bundle on majorly discounted Economy fares attracts a healthy Qantas status credit earn-rate (at the Qantas Flexible Economy earn-rate). You can easily target a rate of around $5/ status credit for most long domestic and international flights.

A summary of Jetstar’s status earn tips can be found below, or read the full article on earning Qantas status credits on Jetstar flights.

  • Buy Jetstar ‘Max’ Economy fares during major promotions
  • Avoid (the opposite of Qantas) layovers and multi-segment flights
  • Medium to long Domestic and short-haul international flights yields more value

Choose an indirect flight

By choosing an indirect flight, you’ll increase your Qantas status credit earning efficiency. For example, let’s say you’re travelling from Melbourne to the Gold Coast. A direct Qantas Economy Flex fare ($295) will get you 30 status credits. By selecting a Qantas fare with transit via Sydney (which is actually cheaper, at $294), you’ll receive 40 Qantas status credits. This is a very reasonable for an for an everyday Qantas domestic fare at $7.35/ status credit. Obviously your plans must be flexible, but it can be worthwhile.

Selecting indirect’transit’ flights can be a good Qantas status credit earner!


Fly with partner airlines

Qantas partner airlines frequently offer competitive promotional fares. These can slash your cost per status credit significantly. For example, oneworld member Malaysia Airlines offers some serious discounts on intra-Asia Business Class fares. These flights earn at the full Business Qantas partner rate. We’ve seen Business flights like Denpasar (Bali) to Bangkok for just $550, that earn a massive 100 Qantas status credits (just $2.75/status credit). Simply book a low-cost flight from Australia to Denpasar and you’re set!

We’ve seen Asian business class flights for just over $500 offering a massive 100 Qantas status credits!

But, be careful, some partner fares earn points and status at a lower fore level. For example, Malaysia Airlines Business Class short-haul flights from Australia to Kuala Lumpur attract the Premium Economy Qantas rate. Learn more about partner status credit earn-rates here.

Consider Business Class

Business Class isn’t always as expensive as you think, with Qantas and its partners regularly cutting fares on short-haul flights to and within regions like Asia. Unfortunately long-haul flights, especially with Qantas, rarely receive the same treatment. Be sure to search for Business deals, like this one to Bali below, as they can be a nice Qantas status credit earner. This particular deal yields 320 status credits at $5.50/ credit, plus 18,400 points!

Status Hold feature for parental leave

The Flying Kangaroo has recently launched a new initiative to help frequent flyer members keep their Qantas status level while on parental leave.

The ‘status hold’ initiative offers eligible Silver, Gold and Platinum members the chance to keep their status for up to 18 months, even if they are not hitting the usual required to retain their benefits. Members continue to receive their Qantas status benefits during the hold period.

Parents may action the hold feature when a child is due to be born within the next three months or were born in the last six months. Foster parents and those adopting a child are also eligible.

Members can apply for a Qantas status hold twice during any five year period.

 

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