Low-cost airlines like Jetstar strip away many of the features of a full-service airline like its parent Qantas, and one of those is the ability to earn Qantas status credits.
If you're trying to lock down your Gold or Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer status for another year – or aiming to level up to the next tier on the ladder – this can mean foregoing anywhere from 40 to 80 status credits on a Jetstar return flight on the most popular domestic routes.
But you can earn Qantas status credits (and frequent flyer points) on Jetstar flights if you choose the right fare package.
While the ability to earn Qantas Points and status credits isn't included in most base fares, this can be added to any ticket by selecting a fixed-price 'Plus' or 'Max' bundle when booking your flight.
The points and status credit earn rates can be surprisingly generous too, with a 'Max' bundle equivalent to flying Qantas flexible economy and a 'Business Max' bundle giving you the same haul as flying Qantas business class.
How do I earn Qantas status credits on Jetstar flights?
It's easy to earn Qantas Points and status credits on Jetstar flights – just add the appropriate 'Plus' or 'Max' bundle to your ticket at the time of booking.
Economy 'Plus' and 'Max' bundles are available with all Jetstar Starter fares. After choosing your desired flight, proceed to the next page where you will be offered a number of bundles. Note that the 'Flex' bundle does not include Qantas Points and status credits.
Although the number of status credits you would earn isn't displayed with the points, rest assured that you'll still earn them on eligible bundles. The Qantas Points Calculator, which we'll explore later on in this guide, can help you calculate potential status credits earn.
For international Jetstar flights with business class, the process of choosing the 'Business Max' bundle is slightly different. At the stage where you choose your specific flight, the option will appear to add a 'Business Max' bundle for A$200-$220 extra.
Finally, no matter which option you choose, remember to input your Qantas Frequent Flyer number at the second-last booking step to ensure you earn Qantas Points and status credits rather than a Jetstar Rewards voucher.
After the eligible Jetstar flight, Qantas Points and status credits may take up to six weeks to credit. That is considerably slower than Qantas' own flights, which often credit by the time you've landed.
While Jetstar's process will usually be quicker than that, be sure to take the maximum six-week period into account before you consider lodging a 'missing points' claim with Qantas.
How many Qantas status credits can I earn on Jetstar flights?
The number of Qantas status credits you can earn on Jetstar flights depends on the distance of the flight, and the type of bundle you add to your ticket. Where available, 'Business Max' bundles will earn the most, followed by the 'Max' and 'Plus' bundles on economy fares.
This table lists just some of Jetstar's domestic and international routes, and how many Qantas status credits you can earn with each bundle.
|Route (one-way)||Economy 'Plus' bundle||Economy 'Max' bundle||'Business Max' bundle|
|Bundle cost||Status credits||Bundle cost||Status credits||Bundle cost||Status credits|
Note that bundle costs are in addition to the base economy or business class fare, and prices may vary from time to time.
How do I check how many Qantas status credits I can earn on Jetstar?
It's also fairly simple to work out how many status credits are up for grabs on a Jetstar fare.
- Go to the Qantas Points Calculator webpage.
- Enter in the route you're travelling on Jetstar.
- When the results pop-up, change the airline to Jetstar if it's not set by default.
- View the number of Qantas Points and status credits earned on your fare
The Qantas Points Calculator shows 'discount economy', 'economy', 'flexible economy' and 'business' for Jetstar fares. These align with the Jetstar fares as follows:
- Jetstar Starter fare (no bundle): Qantas discount economy – but no points or status credits
- Jetstar Economy 'Plus' bundle: Qantas economy points and status credits
- Jetstar Economy 'Max' bundle: Qantas flexible economy points and status credits
- Jetstar 'Business Max' bundle: Qantas business points and status credits.
Is it worth earning Qantas status credits on Jetstar flights?
From a purely financial perspective, a Jetstar fare with a bundle attached will usually be cheaper than the equivalent Qantas fare.
For example, a Sydney-Melbourne dash in flexible economy costs $517 on Qantas while the equivalent Jetstar option, departing the same day and time, costs $181 including the 'Max' bundle.
Both options earn 1,200 Qantas Points and 20 status credits, yet the Jetstar flight is barely one third the price of the equivalent Qantas flight, while also including other 'Max' bundle benefits such as 30kg checked luggage and extra-legroom seating.
Flying Qantas vs Jetstar
Of course, the overall decision on whether to fly Jetstar or Qantas on comparable routes will come down to other factors too. Jetstar does not recognise Qantas frequent flyer benefits with check-in or boarding, and the overall experience is 'no-frills' compared to Qantas offering full service.
Should delays or cancellations impact your journey on the day of travel, you can expect a better chance of being reaccommodated faster when flying Qantas, rather than Jetstar.
If you're already a Qantas Club member or hold Qantas Gold status (or higher), then you'll get the same lounge access benefits on either ticket. However, note that domestic Jetstar flights often depart from different terminals than where the domestic Qantas lounges are located, which will add extra inconvenience.
Finally, Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers who hold their membership with airlines other than Qantas won't get any lounge benefits when flying Jetstar, as this perk is only offered to Qantas' own elite frequent flyers.