Qantas Frequent Flyer

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Qantas Frequent Flyer is the most popular airline loyalty program in Australia. The program rewards Qantas customers with points for their travel that can be redeemed for a myriad of rewards, the best of which being First and Business Class flights across their domestic and international network. Flying also generates Status Credits which count towards a member's tier within the program, higher tiers give travellers benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding. This page summarises my opinion on the key strengths and weaknesses of Qantas Frequent Flyer, along with a summary of the program itself, how you can earn points and which flyers are most suited to it.

Strengths

  • Most extensive domestic route and lounge portfolio of any Australian airline
  • Huge range of credit cards and partners that offer Qantas points
  • Dedicated Business and First Lounges for Platinum members
  • Great app and booking tools, including reward seat search
  • Partnership with Emirates for one-stop connections to Europe (flights must be booked via Qantas.com to earn status credits)

Weaknesses

  • Reward seats in premium cabins are difficult to obtain and require bookings to be made very far in advance
  • Taxes and carrier surcharges on reward bookings with Qantas and Emirates are very high
  • Fares are often more expensive than their competitors, both for discount domestic travel and business class international travel

Earning points with Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Flying with Qantas or one of its partners
  • Credit card spend (NAB, ANZ, CommBank, HSBC, Bankwest, American Express)
  • Booking your accommodation via Qantas Hotels
  • Buying an insurance policy from Qantas Assure
  • Buying products online via Qantas Points Online Mall
  • Shopping at Woolworths with your Woolworths Rewards card

Earning status with Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Frequent Flyer has five membership tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One. A member's tier is based on how many Status Credits they've earned in a 12 month period. The status credits required for each level are as follows:

Bronze Silver Gold Platinum Platinum One
Status Credits to Reach 0 300 700 1400 3600
Status Credits to Renew 0 250 600 1200 3600

Bronze benefits

  • Entry level membership tier

Silver benefits

  • 50% more points
  • Free international seat selection
  • One complimentary lounge access pass

Gold benefits

  • 75% more points
  • Lounge access

Platinum benefits

  • 100% more points
  • Domestic Business Class Lounge access
  • First Class International Lounge access
  • 48 hour advance confirmation of international upgrades

Platinum One benefits

  • 100% more points
  • Access to exclusive award seats
  • Complimentary extra legroom on international economy flights

Is Qantas Frequent Flyer for me?

As Australia's largest airline, Qantas' domestic route and lounge network is the most extensive in Australia, along with a solid array of international services and codeshare partners.

I would recommend Qantas Frequent Flyer for travellers who are doing a substantial amount of domestic or international travel. If achieved, Qantas' Platinum tier is far superior to Virgin Australia's Platinum level, with Qantas offering access to their dedicated Business Lounges and the International First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. Qantas has many more incentives and benefits than Velocity Frequent Flyer for travellers who are pulling in a substantial amount of Status Credits.

For flyers who are unlikely to reach the Qantas Platinum membership tier, the difference between Virgin Australia and Qantas becomes much less. Qantas offers a higher Status Credit earn rate on short flights, but Virgin often wins on fare price and requires less Status Credits to achieve Velocity Gold. For self funded flyers, I would recommend searching the most common routes you'll be flying and comparing what you'd likely be paying for each airline and whether the additional Status Credits are worthwhile. I think for most people the difference between Qantas Gold and Velocity Gold is rather small.

Alternative programs

Not sure about Qantas Frequent Flyer? Australian travellers should also consider Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer.

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