Qantas: "we won't give away status credits at supermarkets"

Qantas is ramping up its points game with the launch of an own-branded credit card but the head of the airline's frequent flyer arm says there are no plans to make status credits available at the supermarket.

"The way I think about it is that status credits are about recognition for your loyalty, while points are about rewarding (your loyalty)" says Lesley Grant, CEO of Qantas Loyalty. "Status credits need to be protected because they are recognising somebody's repeat business with Qantas."

"From our perspective we think it's not appropriate to link status credits with everyday spend such as supermarkets," Grant expands, with clear reference to challenger Virgin Australia's partnership with Coles Flybuys which allows Velocity Frequent Flyer members to pick up 120 status credits each year at the checkout.

"For us, status credits will always be in some way linked to flying and that will protect and recognise our tiered flyers in the program."

Grant's position could split frequent flyers – some of whom want a way to top up their status credit balance to bridge the gap between tiers such as Gold and Platinum, while others would rather keep status as a travel-only privilege.

Qantas has recently trialled promotions with American Express and ANZ  to earn a side serve of 75 status credits on the ground, but those credits could be won only by using either card to pay for a Qantas flight.

"As a trial that was interesting for us, but it was still linked to flying... we will continue to protect the recognition of our tiered flyers and ensure that status credits truly recognise that ongoing loyalty."

Does Grant then see a potential for status credits to be earned when booking a flight with the new Qantas Premier credit card?

"I'm not going to commit to what any future campaigns might look like," she parries, "but status credits will always be associated with flights and they will always be linked to loyalty to Qantas."

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Richard R


    13 Jun, 2017 10:51 am

    What with family pooling and supermarket earn Virgin does make it a lot easier to pile on the status credits however they don't have lifetime status. If Virgin did ever add lifetime status one would expect they'd exclude family pooling credits and supermarket credits.

    QANTAS has the bigger network, more flights and the lure of lifetime status. Status brings access to lounges on the OneWorld network.

    I find the Double Status Credits promos that QANTAS offers or even 50% bonus promos are a great way to top up credits.
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  • large


    13 Jun, 2017 10:56 am

    It would be great if QF would allow status credit famil transfers as the do with FF points.
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  • russell


    13 Jun, 2017 10:58 am

    Will never happen, and nor should it. Its about rewarding loyalty to the brand.
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  • ecbailey


    13 Jun, 2017 11:17 am

    So is the implication that a single person spending x on flights for themselves hence gaining status is greater brand loyalty than a parent spending the same amount but between them, their partner and their two kids and seeing no status in return?  

    (e.g., is one business class ticket purchase greater loyalty than four economy tickets, which for a international flight is probably a similar $ amount)
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    large, hossein_au

  • mviy


    13 Jun, 2017 12:01 pm

    Passengers earning high status may be doing work travel plus spending for family trips as well. Status comes from your own flying not a family members on QANTAS.

    If it becomes too easy to earn status then the lounges get all that more crowded and QF has to make the lounges bigger and/or take benefits away.
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  • Rigs


    14 Jun, 2017 05:37 am

    Qantas would need family pooling to win me back. From a pure money spent point of view I pay for my families tickets. My corporate travel is frequent as well. But as recognition of what I spend (which is what qantas has made status credits into lately) me buying two return business class tickets should be recognized in my status.
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  • alenb


    13 Jun, 2017 02:10 pm

    it should be named "we won't give away anything" hence australians are looking elsewhere. this reliance on because we're australian we'll be supported by australians will not work forever when you are screwing the flying public constantly , look elsewhere people you'll be treated better   
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  • mitchimus


    13 Jun, 2017 02:34 pm

    Wow, I think I agree with QF. Status should be about your flying and loyalty, not where you buy your groceries. 
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  • airADL


    13 Jun, 2017 03:16 pm

    I agree  its nice to see them being loyal to their actual core business their frequent travellers. 
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  • markpk


    13 Jun, 2017 04:00 pm

    I'm with Qantas on this one - SC's are all about flying loyalty and to be honest I covet them more than points. 

    Having said that, I'd also appreciate the opportunity to do family transfers of SC's - either a set number of times per year or to a tap of SC's. 

    For example, I took my family to the US, they piggy backed off one of my work trips. Family accumulate SC's - their total fare spend was equivalent to a J fare. I travelled in Y with them - so I've spent the equivalent of a J fare but got SC's for discounted Y...

    I'm not loosing sleep over it, but it would be nice if Qantas polled their FF's to find out what we think of family pooling...
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  • Adam T


    13 Jun, 2017 04:56 pm

    Status credits are absolutely sacred to those that are loyal to Qantas and choose to fly Qantas. I want to know that fellow status members earned it just like I have, in the air and not down the canned soup aisle.
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  • jubsie


    13 Jun, 2017 05:56 pm

    Even though I struggle to make enough SC to get to Gold (yet want to!), I fully agree with Qantas here, as it is recognition for loyalty to Qantas and protects the status tiers from being undervalued. Flights are appropriate. Maybe a smaller amount offered for other purchases through Qantas - hotel or car perhaps...
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    13 Jun, 2017 08:12 pm

    The great debate for Qantas, defining loyalty. Whilst it hangs onto the shackles of an airline base it continues to promote and diversify it's business and subsequently its interpretation of loyalty, , I can be a Qantas wine drinker with Qantas health insurance shopping at Woolworths, booking my accomodation and hire cars through Qantas but only get to 400 status credits a year and be instantly dismissed as a low tier loyalty customer, interesting. 
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  • Butwhy


    13 Jun, 2017 09:02 pm

    Do you won't give them away at the supermarket, but you will if you sign up with certain credit cards. Hypocrite much?

    Ps I do agree with the sentiment
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  • Andrew


    13 Jun, 2017 09:37 pm

    I'm more than happy with Virgin's deal, to the point where I now prefer Coles over Wollies. The 12 or so status credits I got over the last 3 months is pretty minimal, but was the difference between moving up to Gold and staying at Sliver.
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  • LP


    14 Jun, 2017 08:00 am

    I agree with most commenters, status should be earned by flying, not everyday supermarket spending. But a cheap shot from QF when 75 SCs can be grabbed from one credit card... 'but it's related to flying' is just marketing fliff
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  • peteshep


    14 Jun, 2017 03:18 pm

    Agree with QF on this. What I'd like to see is not pooling, but at least some rollover of SCs. I'm lifetime gold and most years still earn over 1200 towards my platinum. But would be nice if the extra 100 or 200 each year rolled over for those occasional years when I don't make it. They've always renewed anyway, but it would be nice to have it more official.
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  • Jazzop


    14 Jun, 2017 04:53 pm

    I agree with QF on this one, and I'm only Gold with them ;)

    Have you been to a VA lounge lately?  Packed.  My VA flight this morning had more people boarding in the priority queue then in the standard queue, and that's not unusual.  It's at the point now where I think VA need to rethink the 'family pooling' of status credits
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23 Jul, 2019 09:54 pm


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