How to get Qantas Lifetime Gold status

How to get Qantas Lifetime Gold status

Lifetime Gold status with the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is the goal of many business travellers and high flyers, and with good reason.

It means you get all of those prized perks of a Gold-grade member – such as priority check-in, a more generous checked baggage allowance, airport lounge access, bonus points and a higher spot in the pecking order for upgrades – for the rest of your life.

Forget about trying to re-qualify each and every year: once you have enough status credits for Lifetime Gold, that card and its many benefits are yours to enjoy for a lifetime, regardless of how often you fly.

Of course, you'll also enjoy similar benefits on all other airlines in the Oneworld alliance for the rest of your life, such as access to the business class lounges of British Airways, Cathay Pacific, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and more, even when you're flying economy.

Qantas Lifetime Gold status is clearly a goal worth pursuing, so here's how to map out your strategy to get there.

Earning Qantas Lifetime Gold status

Earning Qantas Gold status for a single year requires 700 status credits to get your first Gold card, and then 600 status credits each year after that to keep it.

But while your annual status credit count is wiped clean at the start of each membership year, the total number of status credits accumulated across the life of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership is your tally for lifetime status.

To reach Lifetime Gold you'll need 14,000 status credits. And make no mistake, that's a lot of flying.

Smile: you're on your way to earning Qantas Lifetime Gold...

It’s the equivalent of 175 business class return trips between Sydney and Melbourne; 59 return business class treks between Sydney and Singapore; or 25 return business class jaunts to London (all when travelling with Qantas on a QF flight number).

Naturally, a frequent international traveller who typically flies in business class or first class will find it easier – and faster – to reach Lifetime Gold than somebody primarily flying within Australia on the lowest-cost economy class fares, which earn far fewer status credits.

Lifetime Gold: is it reachable within your lifetime?

Begin by checking your lifetime status progress via the Qantas website: login using your frequent flyer details, head to the Your Account page, scroll down and click on “show additional status information” underneath the paper aeroplane icons:

In the example above, this traveller's 4,370 lifetime status credits peg him as roughly one-third of the way to Lifetime Gold.

A harsh reality is that only the most frequent travellers will ever ascend to the ranks of Lifetime Gold, so before you embark on the long journey, doing a few quick sums now can save much disappointment later.

Let’s say you’re a high flyer in your mid-30s with a lifetime balance of around 4,000 status credits. You plan to do most of your business travel over the next five years before winding things back to spend more time at home.

To reach Lifetime Gold by the end of that five-year period you’d need to earn an average of 2,000 status credits every year. If that's do-able, then go for it.

However, if you’re the type who just scrapes 600 status credits each year to retain year-on-year Gold status, you’d need to keep that up for just over 15 years (assuming you also start with 4,000 lifetime status credits under your belt) to reach your target. That's a much tougher ask, so be realistic about your expectations.

(As a fall back, Lifetime Silver membership is yours after racking up a total of 7,000 status credits, but the relatively meagre benefits such as priority check-in and a single Qantas lounge pass each year make this more of a 'mile marker' on the road to Lifetime Gold than a goal in its own right.)

Can you fast-track to Lifetime Gold?

Status credits, not frequent flyer points, are the key to Lifetime Gold - so every time you book a flight, consider all of your options and how those options will affect your haul of status credits.

For example, Qantas 'flexible' fares in economy, premium economy and business class earn up to twice as many status credits as lower-priced tickets although they don’t necessarily cost twice as much (and they're often better suited to business travellers and their changeable schedules).

You'll end up with a higher number of status credits per dollar spent (and per flight), which makes flexi fares particularly useful if a client is picking up the bill.

Your choice of airline and flight number is also important: you’ll generally earn the highest number of status credits on flights booked via Qantas (with a QF flight number) and a reduced number of status credits on flights booked via partner airlines.

Book a journey directly with Emirates under an EK flight number, for instance, and you’ll actually earn no status credits at all (along with a much smaller serve of frequent flyer points).

Read: How to max your Qantas frequent flyer points, status credits on Emirates flights

Another notable example: a Malaysia Airlines business class ticket from Australia earns Qantas status credits at the much lower economy rate.

Malaysia Airlines business class earns status credits only at economy rates...

The gap becomes more notice on longer trips such as between Sydney and Paris: a business class journey with Qantas partner Emirates on QF flight numbers nets a solid 560 status credits, but choosing to fly the same route with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong returns a lower 360 status credits.

Also keep your eyes peeled for any bonus status credit deals which may land in your inbox from time to time: there's typically an extra 50% or even 100%  of status credits if you book within the promotion period, even if the flights are up to a year in advance.

Also read:

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

27 Comments

  • Mark77

    Mark77

    1 Jul, 2016 10:43 am

    I'm not sure that this article says much more than any gold flyer would know already. everyone knows more expensive flights  get more status credits, and that Qantas emails you special status credit offers.

    Member who gave thanks

    jeff.francis

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Jul, 2016 10:59 am

    You'd be surprised to learn how many frequent flyers know very little about the frequent flyer program they're enrolled in – and while some readers on this site are very knowledgeable in that regard and we write some higher-level articles from time to time tailored to those readers, this article (like much of what we write) is positioned at a mainstream audience, comprised of those many people who aren't as clued-in as you are.

    Member who gave thanks

    1 guest

  • S

    S

    1 Jul, 2016 11:37 am

    So true!

    One of the guys at the office made it to P1. He had no idea there was a higher status than Gold. (Let alone that he must've previously been Plat)

    Some people are regular commuters to Europe in J and have very little knowledge about their FF program

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    1 Jul, 2016 10:47 am

    To achive Lifetime Gold one has to attain and retain Gold for (14,000 - 100)/600 = 23.16 years.

    To achieve Lifetime Gold in a more realistc timeframe one has to attain and retain Platinum for (14,000 - 200)/1,200 = 11.5 years.

    What's the likelihood of a Platinum members of 11.5 years standing to be contented with Lifetime Gold, when he/she would have tasted the benefits of First Class lounges and other perks of Platinum/Emerald?

    Is there a way for QFF to earn Lifetime Platinum? No. So what's the value proposition here, when the lifetime offering is a step down?

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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    1 Jul, 2016 01:47 pm

    When your travelling decreases, a soft landing at Lifetime Gold is better than descending to bronze. At the same time QF offers little incentive to earn status points for its members that are at Lifetime Gold, but cannot maintain Platinum status.  There was speculation that with the introduction of P1 status, there was a case for offering Lifetime Platinum.

    No member give thanks

  • AJW

    AJW

    1 Jul, 2016 06:31 pm

    Not quite sure your question/point?

    I made LTG over 20 years. I went from lifetime silver to gold over a 4 year period I lived in London.

    My travel patterns now won't get me seeing platinum again, so rather happy to have LTG as the fallback for those 4 intensive years (and the previous 16 not so intensive years)

    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    1 Jul, 2016 10:52 am

    Chris, quick clarification question...

    Even with Lifetime Gold don't you need to do a minimum of 4 sectors per year to retain?

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Jul, 2016 10:55 am

    Nope – once you have Lifetime Gold, it's yours for life.

    Of course, if you hope to attain or retain Platinum status or higher in individual years, you still need to meet the regular requirements of that higher status (including the minimum sector requirements).

    No member give thanks

  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    1 Jul, 2016 10:59 am

    Up the pecking order for Lifetime Gold is a complete joke. I have been lifetime Gold for about 5 or six years now. There are probably 20 or 30,000 people who are Platimum or Chairman who are alwyas in front of you.  I looked for something BNE>>HKG>>BNE in business next March (yes nine months away). I couldn't find anything buit it didnt really matter because I am still waiting two weeks after cancelling a flight from JFK for the points to be refunded.  Getting into the Qantas Club IS a benefit but not much of one. What WAS a teriffic LOYALTY scheme is now justa way of selling economy tickets to banks to bestow on their customers.  I gave up defaulting to QF about 4 yaers ago, swapping opver to Virgin as I knew there was no chance of advancing on a long term basis on Gold with QF.

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Jul, 2016 11:06 am

    Hi readosunnycoast, just to clarify, what you're referring to above is outright award bookings on Qantas flights rather than upgrade priority after booking Qantas flights with money and using points to upgrade, which is what we've referred to in the article.

    No member give thanks

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    1 Jul, 2016 12:30 pm

    Wouldn't points plus pay be one way of effectively buying status credits, if someone has a heap of points and is a liitle short of lifetime gold and travel is slowing, if I read it  right points plus pay still earn status credits I believe.

    No member give thanks

  • Mark77

    Mark77

    1 Jul, 2016 02:01 pm

    yes if you're willing to "burn" points as the value of points are much less in point plus pay but there is the significant advantage of earning status credits as opposed to reward flights

    No member give thanks

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    1 Jul, 2016 01:23 pm

    I was made lifetime gold some years ago...just checked my balance now...I have ~36,000  status credits...given life silver @7k; gold @14k... how about Plat @28k?

    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    1 Jul, 2016 03:38 pm

    No there has never been a Lifetime Plat level.

    Start crediting to AA if you're happy at Gold or post retaining platinum if you're still travelling regularly.

    No member give thanks

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    1 Jul, 2016 04:53 pm

    that's my point I suppose...why dont they have life time Platinium...it would logically kick in at 28k status credits.

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  • stoll

    stoll

    1 Jul, 2016 02:09 pm

    Can anyone tell me please when status credits were introduced and if there was any recognition of flights prior to their introduction for the purpose of calculting lifetime Gold?

    No member give thanks

  • JacobW

    JacobW

    1 Jul, 2016 02:41 pm

    Would the extra SCs earned from the double SC campaigns count towards lifetime gold?

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Jul, 2016 02:49 pm

    Yep – any status credits you've earned in any way are counted.

    No member give thanks

  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    1 Jul, 2016 03:03 pm

    Yes, and can you be sure that after years of chasing the goal QF won't change the rules? Live for the day, book the flight that works best for you and offers the best value.

    No member give thanks

  • Mark Ward

    mjward555

    1 Jul, 2016 03:14 pm

    When I converted from QF to VA my biggest concern was I could not find a lifetime benefit with VA. Is this still the case. As a PT member, but only scraping in each year, I think it would be great to reach gold status for life.

    No member give thanks

  • William G

    William G

    1 Jul, 2016 03:58 pm

    I have been Platinum for the last 10 years and Lifetime Gold for the past 5 years.

    I cannot understand what the fuss is all about. Qantas does not give any special treatment in recognition-in fact I feel they look upon me as been a fool for flying with them; they already are aware of my stupidity (loyalty), so why try to accomodate me with non paying upgrades as an example etc?

    No member give thanks

  • John Prior

    JohnP

    1 Jul, 2016 04:02 pm

    I am about to go from Platinum to Lifetime Gold.  

    Will Lifetime Gold have me higher up the pecking order for upgrades, F/Flyer Rewards etc, than normal Gold?

    No member give thanks

  • William G

    William G

    1 Jul, 2016 04:14 pm

    It should however it hasn't work me but good luck anyway!

    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    1 Jul, 2016 05:12 pm

    I think your situation is probably the most common (Platinum aquiring Lifetime Gold).  It makes no difference while you continue to earn status points at Plat or Gold level.  It is only if you reduce your flying with QF that you will see some benefit.  It got me into a CX lounge earlier this year ! 

    No member give thanks

  • Jonnie

    Jonnie

    1 Jul, 2016 05:25 pm

    Don't you get all these perks and more by purchasing Business and First class tickets?  That seems to me to be the easier way amd how I get them.

    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    1 Jul, 2016 06:52 pm

    Yes you'll get Gold perks by purchasing business class fares but those last only for as a long as you're flying business class. If you end up flying economy or premium economy, forget about lounge access etc. Jonnie, if you are always flying business or first you definitely want to be in a QFF member so you can start earning those status credits to get lifetime Gold or one day you may look back and wish you'd done so!

    No member give thanks

  • quick_dry

    quick_dry

    2 Jul, 2016 12:12 am

    status also nets benefits when things go wrong - most elite statuses have their own call centre number but business/first class ticket holders join the regular call queue. At the end of the day - if you're already flying you might as well get something extra, you never know when you might only be able to fly economy class on a flight and need/want your usual business class perks that status would give.

    No member give thanks

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    2 Jul, 2016 02:10 pm

    Lifetime Gold is really about retirement travel for those used to the pointy end paid for by someone else. I have been a member since 1992 and will get lifetime gold in the the next 2-3 years when I am heading to retirement. Perfect I can find cheaper tickets on  wider range of airline and still have shorter queues and lounge access not to mention the odd upgrade (for the QF flights).

    No member give thanks

  • Dale

    hakkinen5

    2 Jul, 2016 02:40 pm

    The article mentions about the 1 free qantas club pass per year with lifetime silver. I remember another thread on here a few years ago where it was discussed that you only get that pass as you requalify for silver each year, but once you make lifetime silver, you are no longer offerred that pass once a year. It's actually a disadvantage of becoming LTS. Has that now changed?

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  • Doubleplatinum

    Doubleplatinum

    3 Jul, 2016 10:11 pm

    Negative, I'm LTS and get the passes still in the mail

    No member give thanks

  • airADL

    airADL

    3 Jul, 2016 10:35 am

    I am happy with LTG

    I have never paid for QF Club and appreciate the lounges overseas and here in Australia. I see that as bonus. If you fly at the right time form Asia you will get free upgrades.

    Lounges have got better and so has the overall experience on QF.

    Oneworld LTG is a bonus also

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    5 Jul, 2016 08:21 am

    The prize is Lifetime Oneworld Emerald. 

    No member give thanks

  • airADL

    airADL

    5 Jul, 2016 09:11 am

    For me never to pay for Q Club ever has been the prize.

    No member give thanks

  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    5 Jul, 2016 09:24 am

    Horses for courses. But as a retention tool I wonder about its effectiveness. I still find the audience that this is pitched at a bit muddled. Seems like a throwback from another time before the great strides in First Class offerings...

    No member give thanks

  • Bengo

    Bengo

    13 Jul, 2016 05:00 pm

    When will Virgin Australia be adding this lifetime status program and will they allow for points gianed since membership retrospectively? 

    No member give thanks

  • trevor

    trevor

    13 Jul, 2016 11:58 pm

    One wonders where in the upgrade pecking order LTGs sit. Whether they are above or below 'paying' Golds. Does anyone know?

    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    21 Jul, 2016 12:07 pm

    Sorry to leap in at this stage. I am Platinum going for LTG in the next 18 months and Platinum again next year. I joined in 2001 but only intensive travel in the last 5 years.  I am looking forward to LTG but Gold is no problem, but at least it takes out the worry.  I have been in the Sydney F lounge many times and appreciate the environment and food so I can work in comfort after a hard few days in Australia. (I live in NZ). Travel next week is to Glasgow Scotland with EK via Dubai on a QF ticket.  The EK F lounge in Dubai is soemthing else. Been there once before, just not enough time between flights.

    No member give thanks

  • Slippery Pete

    Slippery Pete

    4 Dec, 2016 03:19 pm

    What does lifetime gold actually mean when it comes to the on-plane experience?  Are you called out like Platinum and above members by flight attendants at service time?  Or are you just regarded as an ordinary gold member?  I have almost 8000 status credits of almost 7 years of solid air travel and I'm in my early 40s.  Would love to get it.
    No member give thanks

  • bert

    bert

    20 Dec, 2016 07:13 am

    Have 8500 status credits, also looking forward to the privilege of getting lifetime gold status. Not looking forward to moving down from Platinum in the later years. Got a taste of the difference this year when a Qantas flight attendant was very aggressive towards me during the boarding process, almost got my carry on thrown at me.  Got the royal suck up treatment the rest of the flight after no doubting doing the check of the seats of the frequent flyers post takeoff.
    No member give thanks

  • PK

    PK

    20 Dec, 2016 08:12 am

    My two cents worth, for people who want these things for later in life leisure travel.  Only shoot for these goals if they are a happy by product of flying that you would do anyway and which someone else is paying for.  The airline industry is one of the most unstable in the world.  This does not just mean survival of airlines, but the nature of products, routes and services each airline offers change markedly over time, as do the "alliances" or "relationships" they are in.  Do not waste your own money trying to acquire status credits in a product or service that may, or probably will not offer in 20 years what you think it will now.  Save or invest that money, and if you are fortunate later in life and want to take the occasional leisure trip, buy a cheap business class airfare with an airline that will take you where you wish to holiday.  Airlines are so advanced in determining their load factors now that as "Lifetime Gold" you will always get your clock cleaned by a Chairman's Lounge member.  Trust me, unless you have lived in the CL world, or know somebody who has, you do not know how much better they get treated than an "ordinary" FF.  Even then, there are 1000s and 1000s of Plats out there.  Even a low priced business class fare will have you guaranteed of a spot on the plane, lounge access and decent service, on the airline that can take you where you want to go at any particular point in time.
    No member give thanks

  • tuzza1

    tuzza1

    20 Dec, 2016 09:23 am

    I have more than 28000 status credits but still have to qualify each year for platinum. It seems strange and a little unfair that QF dont give life platinum .
    Especially considering that there are now 2 levels above. Plat' one and captains club
    No member give thanks

  • dpt21

    dpt21

    20 Dec, 2016 10:07 am

    Actually, there's only one. Platinum One. "Chairmans Lounge" is by invite only and is not based on flying. It's for 'captains of industry', politicians and celebrities. People who control $1m plus p/a travel budgets may also be considered if anecdotal evidence is to be believed. Every member must be signed off by the Chairman of Qantas, and membership numbers are strictly capped. 
    No member give thanks

  • Bengo

    Bengo

    20 Dec, 2016 09:52 am

    Qantas used to be the Best airline in the world but they've lost it - when Virgin Australia bring lifetime status on board guess where I am going! Yes, I am a Lifetime Gold FF with Q
    No member give thanks

  • drgmarshall

    drgmarshall

    20 Dec, 2016 10:34 am

    I achieved Lifetime Gold about 4-5 years ago but have retained Platinum so I've not got the card yet. I stopped flying Qantas in January 2016 and will default down to Lifetime Gold in July 2017. I really cannot see the logic in Qantas NOT setting a lifetime Platinum level as once the gold card is in the pocket, there's really not much point continuing to fly with them. I switched to Air NZ and am now "Elite" level with them (for Star Alliance benefits) and will retain the Lifetime Gold card for flights on One World network. I think Qantas have really missed a trick here and lost my spend of about $75,000 per year. If they had lifetime Platinum I'd probably have kept going for several more years. I'm 52 now and have at least 8 years business flying ahead. then the retirement flying will start. I'm sure there must be a lot of frequent flyers in a similar spot.
    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    20 Dec, 2016 11:56 am

    Seeing they don't want to give LTP it would be good if they gave some benefits for continued loyalty to flying QF at higher lifetime status tallies or at discounted rates for continued flying on QF marketed and operated flights after reaching LTG. Things like reduced number of SC to get WP (provided QF marketed and QF operated) or a QANTAS first class lounge invitation after so much QF flying, partner gold etc. could all make a difference.

    Until/unless the market puts pressure on them to do so I think there's unlikely to be any change. LTG is as good as it gets on QF for lifetime loyalty.
    No member give thanks

  • Dave Burrows

    ConMon

    22 Dec, 2016 05:41 pm

    12670 lifetime status credits. 18 months and I'm there.
    No member give thanks

  • Bill

    QF_ALT

    2 Jul, 2017 01:48 pm

    Some interesting comments. Have accrued around 30,000 status credits but haven't - for 15 yrs (and wouldn't) by choice fly QF long haul. Very occasionally I'm on a CX/JAL/BA or AY ticket and unfortunate enough to get one QF sector. It's enough to reinforce my resolve do dodge the Red Roo wherever possible. LTG came my way about 10 yrs ago and to be frank it's of little value while retaining the black card. The point I am making is that even without selecting a QF flight number, it is relatively simple to accrue around 2,000+ SCs p/a. There seems to be a disproportionate OW SC earn on sectors not operated by QF. Check out for example NRT/HND to Europe or HK to HEL then HEL to anywhere in Eu. It may be an hour or two longer but any flight with CX or JAL eclipses QF.

    The really interesting thing though is that QF can clearly see my activity and, that my long haul spend is overwhelmingly with other carriers. Do their "loyalty" people ever call to see why?........................crickets!
    No member give thanks

  • nathanp

    nathanp

    16 Jul, 2017 02:27 am

    LTG offers no real incentives to remain loyal to Qantas. At a minimum requalification to Platinum should be 1200 SCs not 1400. 
    No member give thanks

  • AJW

    AJW

    16 Jul, 2017 06:33 am

    That really depends upon ones flying habits and personal circumstance. 

    At the peak of my flying I would have agreeded with you. I was earning 2000SC's per year so made platinum 6 years running and held for 8 so gold meant nothing abciously. 

    But now I am very grateful I have LTG because my job has changed to the extent I rarely fly international business for work anymore. My flying is mostly domestic Y and having LTG means a lounge and few other perks which is enough to keep me from flying Virgin. 
    No member give thanks

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19 Dec, 2017 07:23 am

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