Status credits are your ticket to climbing through the Silver, Gold and Platinum frequent flyer ranks, and there are many easy ways to boost your balance of status credits with Qantas and Virgin Australia without booking extra flights: and in many cases, without even travelling at all.
Here are five easy ways to add extra status credits to your frequent flyer tally which could help you move up to a higher loyalty tier – unlocking perks like airport lounge access and priority boarding – or to retain your existing status for another year.
1. Use an AMEX Velocity Platinum Card for your everyday spending
As part of a recent revamp to American Express’ credit card line-up, its AMEX Velocity Platinum Card now offers customers 100 bonus Virgin Australia status credits each year when at least $50,000 is spent on the card in the 12-month period between annual fees.
Certainly, that’s not an option for everyone, but as you can also give a card to your partner or spouse at no extra charge which is linked to the same account (and contributes towards that spending tally), using these cards for all, or at least, most, of your combined everyday purchases could get you over the line.
For instance, a spend of $50,000 per year equals about $4,168 per month. Divide that by two for a couple sharing the account, and you’d each need to charge just $2,084 per month, which is much easier to achieve: especially when using the card to pay for things like rent, groceries, and of course, travel.
The card carries a $375 annual fee, but that’s largely offset by the inclusion of a complimentary return domestic flight each year with Virgin Australia, two Virgin Australia airport lounge visits (valued at $65 each) and two visits to the AMEX lounge at Sydney Airport (valued at $55 each).
2. Apply for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa
Looking for extra status credits with Qantas instead? Then apply for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa credit card by October 31 2017 and then book and take a return Qantas flight by February 28 2018 to pocket a one-off bonus of 75 Qantas status credits.
That’s on top of the status credits you’d have otherwise earned from your travels, and if you were going to book that return trip anyway, you may as well do so via the ANZ card and take those extra status credits – equivalent to what you’d otherwise get from five one-way Melbourne-Brisbane flights on Red eDeal fares.
With no annual fee in the first year, an earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent up to $7,500 per month (0.5/$1 thereafter) and the ability to buy Qantas Club membership at a $475 discount in the first year, this card is a no-brainer for Qantas flyers.
3. Choose status credits as your Qantas ‘loyalty bonus’
Another boost for Qantas travellers is the option of extra status credits as part of the Qantas Frequent Flyer ‘loyalty bonus’.
Every time you earn 500 status credits from flying on Qantas and Jetstar flight numbers in a single membership year (up to four times per year), you can choose to pocket either 8,000 bonus Qantas Points or 50 bonus status credits.
That means every 500 status credits you earn really equals 550 status credits, with this bonus unlocking up to 200 bonus status credits each year for high flyers, and also contributes towards your lifetime status credit tally, helping you quality for Lifetime Silver or Lifetime Gold status.
4. Shop at Coles, First Choice Liquor and Liquorland
Through Virgin Australia’s partnership in the Coles Flybuys scheme, shopping at Coles, First Choice Liquor and Liquorland unlocks one status credit per $100 spent, up to 10 status credits per month, when you link your Flybuys and Velocity memberships and scan your Flybuys card at the checkout.
Over the course of a year, that’s up to 120 bonus Velocity status credits to be earned from everyday purchases like groceries: and of course, when topping up your cellar, buying spirits or stocking up on craft beer or cider.
You can also triple-dip on these purchases, earning not only status credits on your spend, but also Flybuys points via the Flybuys program – which can be converted into Virgin Australia Velocity and Etihad Guest frequent flyer points – and by paying for your purchases using a points-earning credit card.
5. Take advantage of Virgin Australia family pooling
Virgin Australia Velocity’s great ‘family pooling’ feature allows you to earn frequent flyer points and those all-important status credits when your loved ones travel, whether you’re joining the journey or they’re flying solo.
It works like this: each Velocity member can be on the receiving end of points and status credits from one other adult (such as a partner or spouse) and up to four under-18 children living at the same address. Every time somebody in the group earns status credits, they’ll be automatically transferred to the designated recipient.
This is a particularly good strategy when nobody in the family would otherwise qualify for Gold on their own – but when everybody’s status credits are pooled together (usually to the most frequent traveller), Gold membership can be within easier reach.
Once somebody in the group has indeed reached Gold and unlocked perks like airport lounge access, they could then use their membership to ‘guest’ the others into airport lounges when travelling together.
Gold members can bring up to one adult guest and up to two under-18 children into Virgin Australia lounges lounge each time they visit, and infants aged two years or under don’t count towards that tally.