Can I buy Qantas status credits?

By David Flynn, April 5 2016
Can I buy Qantas status credits?

Q: I currently have Qantas Frequent Flyer Silver status but am a few hundred status credits short of reaching Gold. Can I purchase Qantas status credits to bridge the gap?

A: While you can buy Qantas frequent flyer points directly from Qantas itself, you can't purchase status credits.

There's a good reason for that: frequent flyer points eventually make their way back to Qantas as a 'currency' used to purchase free flights, upgrades or products from the Qantas store.

So no matter how you earn those points – by flying with Qantas or partner airlines, though your credit cards or shopping with Qantas partners – in the end they make money for Qantas.

Status credits, however, are the unique currency of frequent flyer perks such as lounge access, priority upgrades, additional checked baggage and so forth.

They're earned only by flying with Qantas or partner airlines such as Emirates and Oneworld members – and they have a one-year expiry date which is used to measure your status in the Qantas frequent Flyer food chain.

(The exception is the total tally of status credits earned across the lifetime of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, which can eventually toggle your status to Lifetime Silver or Lifetime Gold.)

So if you're left a little or a lot short of your status credits goal, the only way to close the gap is to fly – and preferably with Qantas (or on a QF-coded flight with the likes of Emirates).

Travel booked during any special bonus status credit promotions will fast-track your way to Gold, Platinum or beyond, as can a carefully-engineered set of flights known as a 'status run', in which the travel route is deliberately chosen to maximise your status credit earn.

These status runs may be a weekend away in a far-flung destination or a more hardcore set of back-to-back flights over a couple of days. However, this can obviously be an expensive and tiring exercise.

Also read: Qantas vs Virgin Australia – which is best for frequent flyer award seats?

Check out the AusBT 'unofficial' status guides

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

kim
kim

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2013

Total posts 34

So you can "buy" status credits......as long as you are willing to back it up with taking flights 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 133

no, you buy flights.... they come with status credits.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1387

Should be mentioned that you can earn Status Credits using the very expensive Any Seat Awards, but obviously it's generally viewed as not the most optimal way to spend points

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

something something marginal any seat award

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 548

I use points plus pay all of the time so in my view is a good way to use points. Whether you want to buy points then use them on a flexible points plus pay flight (flexible fares give you more status credits) you should calculate how much it will cost you versus joining QANTAS club ($700).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

Objectively speaking, Points Plus Pay is one of the least efficient ways of using Qantas points; almost as bad as buying merchandise from the Frequent Flyer store.

I would sooner pay cash for an airfare and collect the status credits, than burn QF points inefficiently like that. To each his own, though... If it works for you & your lifestyle, more power to you!

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

What is your opinion of an efficient way to use points?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

Well, by value for conversion, objectively the #1 best way to use points are to redeem Round The World (RTW) airfares. With Qantas, these start at 140,000 points in Economy or 280,000 points in Business.

The #2 best way to utilise points is to upgrade your paid flights to a higher travel class; for example, on a flight from Dubai or Los Angeles to MEL/SYD you could upgrade from (flexible) Economy to Business for just 45,000 pts.

By comparison, you could jump on the Qantas store and blow 56,800pts (down from 79,730pts for a limited time only!) on a Scanpan IQ wok that retails at David Jones for $220 (or $160 online)...

Which one are you going to choose? :-)

11 Jun 2013

Total posts 17

Jay, the same RTW fare can be booked via CX Asia Miles programme for 110k in Y or 160k in J for up to 25000 miles(no brainer to pick J over Y). 25000-35000 miles is charged as 130k Y/190k J. In addition, CX rules are more lax - they don't count surface segments, only what is actually flown.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 548

Jay,

las I said the sums need to be done. The bonus status points plus the Aquire status points (if you are member of both) reduces the net cost quite a bit. I just bought my wife a PE seat the economy price plus 200k points, but it earns around 50k points which makes it cheaper than a cash ticket. As I said the budget has to be done on each flight to get the net cost in points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

I don't know which airfare you've chosen, but for arguments sake I'll run the numbers with Premium Economy return airfare on QF1 (Sydney to London).

(YMMV depending on the actual airfare you've booked for your wife, but the below principle is the same on any route.)

Apologies in advance for the formatting, as I'm typing on an iPhone.

QF1 basic info:

Economy return airfare cost $2,200
Premium Economy return airfare cost $5,700


OPTION #1
"Book an Award flight in Premium Economy."

Award fare cost: 192,000pts + taxes
Points earned: NIL

Net cost:
$1,200 (taxes) + 192,000pts


OPTION #2
"Book Economy, and points upgrade to Premium Economy."

Economy fare cost: $2,200
Upgrade cost: 60,000pts
Points earned: 18,600pts (excl. bonus)

Net cost:
$2,200 plus 41,400pts


OPTION #3
"Book Premium Economy, using Points Plus Pay... paying up to the Economy rate in cash, and balance via points."

Points Plus Pay fare cost: $2,200 + 400,000pts balance
Points earned: 31,000pts (excl. bonus)

Net cost:
$2,200 + 369,000pts


RESULT:

From a cash perspective, the best options would have been ranked:

OPTION #1 (an Award booking)
OPTION #2 (buy Economy & upgrade)
OPTION #3 (points plus pay)

From a points perspective, the best options would have ranked:

OPTION #2 (buy Economy & upgrade)
OPTION #1 (an Award booking)
OPTION #3 (points plus pay)


Run the numbers any way you like; different routes, different fares, add your Aquire and status bonuses, etc. The net result will always be the same: the Points Plus Pay method is (objectively) an extremely inefficient way to redeem Qantas frequent flyer points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

It looked prettier on my phone ;)

 

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

There are no questions – burning points for “points plus pay” is incredibly inefficient to use them, I agree with Jay 100%. Though if you have truckload of those points accumulated by weekly flying to Europe using company tickets then why not burn them by even buying some [email protected] at Qantas store?

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

And economy price plus even 150K point is very poor value – theoretically you can upgrade for business for less. Yes I understand availability issue.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 548

Yup jay but my fare calculation is a flex fare much closer to $3500 (it really depends on when you want to fly) and at peak times (when most people want to fly) the gap to discount prices is less and there are no sales on offer, and upgrades are verging on the impossible, that is when I do my sums. As I said do the sums before making the booking.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 548

In addition around November PE sale fares are on offer for the following six months or more, which have all the benefits of a flex fare without the vast fare difference. Also what else can you spend the points on: stuff you don't want to buy; upgrades with a 50% or less strike rate; award flights with no status credit when you are a year or two away from lifetime gold;  for me no-brainer really. That is why they are priced the way they are. As economists say the marginal utility varies from punter to punter.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

I call it Mileage Run. I can go Syd-Lax for the weekend.


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