How to get a lifetime of Qantas Gold frequent flyer perks

By Chris Chamberlin, March 27 2017

Imagine enjoying priority check-in and boarding, airport lounge access, a boosted baggage allowance and more for the rest of your life, rather than just for a year – that’s what you’ll get in return for reaching Qantas’ elusive Lifetime Gold tier… if you ever make it, of course.

It’s a hard slog to get there: Lifetime Gold is only awarded to the highest of high flyers who earn at least 14,000 status credits throughout their many years of membership.

That’s as many status credits as it takes to earn and then retain ‘regular’ Qantas Gold membership every single year for nearly 24 years, or to earn and then requalify for Qantas Platinum every year for almost 12 years.

But you can get there if you work at it step by step and work smart along the way...

Choose higher-priced fares to earn more status credits

As a rule, you’ll earn more status credits when sitting at the front of the plane and less status credits when stuck down the back – but wherever your journeys find you, the number of status credits you’ll collect also varies based on the type of fare you book, not just the type of seat.

For instance, fly from Sydney to Melbourne in Qantas business class and you’d normally earn 40 status credits per one-way flight: but book a ‘flexible business class’ fare instead and that’s bumped to 45 status credits.

The same applies in economy. Book the lowest-cost Red e-Deal fare and you’d earn 10 status credits each way, but spring for a ‘Flex’ fare instead and your haul doubles to 20 status credits, as Qantas' website now highlights during the booking process.

It’s not always practical to pay more for your flight – especially if you’re bound by your company’s travel policy or there’s a large price difference between fare types – but when that difference is smaller or you're free to choose, parting with a little extra cash now could reap bigger rewards later in life.

Look out for ‘bonus status credit’ deals

Qantas occasionally tempts travellers with the promise of more status credits per flight than would usually be earned, getting you closer to Lifetime Gold without having to spend more on your ticket or even flying more frequently than usual.

Most recently, Qantas Frequent Flyers were offered double status credits when booking flights by March 6 2017 for travel until February 19 2018.

On those same Sydney-Melbourne hops, that boosts Red e-Deal fares to 20 status credits, flexible economy to 40 status credits, business class to 80 status credits and flexible business class to 90 status credits, per flight – with double status credits again for the return trip.

Booking flights with Qantas, or as a Qantas codeshare

Another rule to remember: booking a flight with Qantas (under a QF flight number) will always earn you the highest possible number of status credits – whether that’s a codeshare service or a flight aboard Qantas’ own aircraft – compared to booking via a Qantas partner airline instead.

Consider a return business class flight from Sydney to Hong Kong, where you can choose between flying with Qantas or with its Oneworld airline partner Cathay Pacific.

Book that trip on the Roo and it’ll add 240-270 status credits to your lifetime pile...

... but fly with Cathay Pacific and you’ll get only 120 status credits on the round-trip – doubling the number of flights it’d take you to reach Lifetime Gold, because you’re earning half as many status credits per flight.

This becomes even more important when booking flights with Emirates, because you can only earn status credits when booking Emirates flights as a Qantas codeshare with a QF flight number. Book Emirates’ own EK flight number instead and you’ll earn points, but won’t earn status credits at all.

You can see how many status credits you could earn on any given flight or journey by using the handy calculator on the Qantas website.

Choose status credits as your ‘loyalty bonus’

For every 500 status credits you earn in a single membership year from flights booked with Qantas and Jetstar, you’ll be offered a bonus of either 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 status credits, up to four times each membership year.

Those bonus status credits naturally help with your yearly goal of reaching or retaining Gold or Platinum status, but they also count towards your lifetime tally!

Assuming you’re already earning 1,500 status credits from flying Qantas and Jetstar every membership year, choosing status credits as your reward boosts that to 1,650 status credits per year – 50 bonus credits for every 500 status credits flown – and ever closer to locking-in Lifetime Gold.

Earn extra status credits with the right credit card

Most credit cards can only earn you frequent flyer points (useful for booking flights and securing upgrades) rather than status credits (used to reach Lifetime Gold): but two choice cards from American Express and ANZ can each slip up to 75 extra status credits in your pocket.

Apply for a new American Express Qantas Ultimate Card by May 1 2017 and then book and take a return Qantas flight by September 30 2017 and 75 bonus status credits shall be yours.

ANZ’s Qantas Frequent Flyer Black Visa offers a similar deal: apply by June 30 2017 and then book and take a return flight with Qantas by 30 September 2017 to notch up 75 status credits also.

That’s up to 150 bonus status credits to be earned just by applying for two new credit cards!

These status credits do contribute towards your lifetime status credit tally, although they don’t count towards your ‘loyalty bonus’ for a double-dip – you can’t pair 75 of these bonus status credits with 425 status credits earned from Qantas flights to unlock a further 50 bonus status credits, for example.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and 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!

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

damn, I had missed that the bonuses counted towards the lifetime Credit count! I may have made different decisions so far (having elected the 8000 point options given I will make P either way).

Thanks Chris, good to know!

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

Still many years away from LTG but thanks to tips such as these I'm making good progress.

Another one worth mentioning is why fly direct when you can fly indirect?

It may cost a little more or perhaps even a bit less to fly indirect but you can earn a lot more status credits. So it's good to check what the price difference is to go indirect and if it's not that much and if you have some time on your hands take that option.

Take your example of flying SYD to HKG. Flying via BNE or MEL on a QF flight number in Business would add 40 SC in each direction (or 80 SC under a Double Status Credits offer)

There's creative routings with several flights where you can go via various different places and get a lot of status credits cheaply if you have the inclination and don't mind that much where you go.

As Confucius said, the journey of 14,000 status credits begins with a single status credit, so start collecting them young if you can and keep collecting them at every opportunity.
Flying indirect is a great way to add SCs but it usually doesn't make sense for a business traveller who is pressed for time. But if you are your own boss and have the time, or have the time and control over your own travel budget and bookings, it is worth doing.
I wouldn't fly SYD-BNE-HKG though because you miss out on the great SYD first class lounge, I would do SYD-MEL-HKG.
A much better rerouting is instead of SYD-LHR you fly SYD-MEL-LHR, because you have a much better chance of an upgrade Y to J or J to F due to lighjter lods out of MEL, you can maximise lounge time at MEL due to late departure of QF9, you get a longer stopover at DXB and you arrive into LHR in the early afternoon when there is less congestion at the airport and on the roads.

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

You can choose to fly indirect in one direction not both or you could go via a different city in each direction to still get a first lounge visit in e.g.

If you are in MEL you could fly MEL-SYD-HKG-BNE-MEL

Going via SYD on the way over to get extra SCs and still be able to access a FLounge if you have access, but fly via BNE to maximise the status credits on the way home (no arrivals access to FLounge so this is irrelevant for deciding which city in Australia to fly back via) and access the new BNE Dom J lounge which is the newest QF Domestic J lounge.

Flying indirect doesn't always make sense even if you have the time e.g. if you need to go between MEL and SYD it doesn't make sense to try and go via another city.

Where it can add value is if you're getting close to say SG or WP if you just fly direct, but if on just a few trips you fly indirect that'd make all the difference. Flying indirect occasionally you could minimise your spend to achieve your desired status level for now and keep your progress to LTG on track.

Create a spreadsheet, put in your planned travel and SC you get from each trip and if you're coming up just a little short see what tweaks you can make to get the desired results.


04 Apr 2014

Total posts 152

Well, I'm life time gold and frankly I got there not by playing any games but simply using Qantas for my regular business travel over several years.

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

Some travel more than others so if you have no trouble maintaining Gold or Platinum using your regular business travel over many years then getting LTG will just require a straightforward decision to fly QF as much as possible for your regular business travel.


This is not a realistic way to get LTG for everyone. Some of us have to do careful planning.

British Airways - Executive Club

27 Feb 2016

Total posts 7

Apart from Business Lounge access, extra baggage allowance, do not expect any special recognition from QF from 'normal' Gold members or Platinum whether it is seat allocation or priority boarding or upgrades. So much for loyalty.
William: Lifetime Gold attracts exactly the same benefits as 'regular' Gold (including priority boarding, better seat allocations etc.), the only difference being it's for a lifetime rather than a year. :)
Fly on Emirates with LTG and you will be surprised how well they recognise your status. Been upgraded to business flying DXB to HKT. Both economy and main cabin managers came by and said hello on the other legs in economy. BA on the other hand never had the sense to treat QF ffs as well as there own. Even with Platinum I have never had a cabin manager on BA recognise the QF status or been upgraded.

Congrats to QF and EK for building a great relationship.

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 8

I am lifetime gold earned by many trips to  Africa on business on QF63 and return.  I live in Tasmania and QF 63 has just passed over  me on its way, skirting the Antarctic .

What was frustrating I had to fly to SYD the night before only to see the flight on many times , flying over my home.

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

LTG provides some benefits for those who have shown a lifetime of loyalty whereas e.g. current WP status shows current loyalty. The carrot of LTG can encourage current loyalty for those seeking to reach it. Current loyalty is more important to QF than lifetime loyalty. It's important to have some benefits for recent big spend on QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Dec 2016

Total posts 2

Fastest way is to do your domestic US flights on first.  AA first class attracts the much higher SC rates than Australian business QF flights.  So business to LAX, then first within the US and the SCs add up very quickly.
That's no longer the case, unfortunately. Almost all American Airlines domestic 'first class' flights now credit to QFF as 'business class', and at lower rates than Qantas business class because the 'partner' earning rates are applied when flying on AA rather than the 'Qantas' earn rates. It used to be a very easy shortcut, however!

03 May 2013

Total posts 404

would be interesting to know how approx how many actual lifetime Golds are out there?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

I've wondered this too. I qualified for Lifetime Gold about 3-4 years ago, but have been able to maintain Platinum for the past 8 years (Platinum One for one of those years) and often wonder how many other Platinums or Platinum Ones already have Lifetime Gold.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 59

As an LTG (sounds like an orientation...) I look back and say 'idiot'... I could have spent the time travelling in lounges and flying, at home, and not doing the regional, capital city, regional, regional  commute for the last 20 years... However being platinum for 8 years + (?) there are some upsides when travelling OS. To manage expenses properly and max credits, book cheap fares on the way to work and flexi on the way home, no accountant will ever whinge about that, especially with saved accom and meals...

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

You may be surprised. Some firms believe that if you need to change flights that's poor planning on your part and only allow the cheapest fares on the day or marginally more than that. So unless Flex Y is all that's left they won't allow that in either direction.

British Airways - Executive Club

27 Feb 2016

Total posts 7

I fully agree with you mviy and more so with Clancy for I have been a Platinum for the past 9 years. It is important to play on a level playing field- my overseas travel is now on another carrier which acknowledges and respects my standing. I think QF would appreciate this-it's the game they are playing.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 584

Didn't QF sell LTG membership once upon a time many years ago (15+)?  i.e. for some rediculous nominal value you could buy it?

Also I like this way better:

05 May 2016

Total posts 528

No. QANTAS used to sell Lifetime QANTAS Club. Lifetime QANTAS Club gives you lounge access if flying on a QF or JQ flight number. LTG gives you lounge access if flying OneWorld or due to a current special agreement if flying Emirates.

So a LTG could fly on a QANTAS operated flight but on an EK flight number to Dubai and get lounge access whilst flying economy/premium economy whereas a Lifetime QANTAS Club member flying economy/premium economy on an EK flight number would be denied lounge entry as it's not a QF flight number.

A LTG could fly Cathay Pacific to HKG in economy/premium economy and get lounge access whereas a Lifetime QANTAS Club member flying economy/premium economy on the same flight would be denied lounge entry

Gold status gives you better upgrade priority on QF than QANTAS Club would and access to award seats, better seat selection and a status bonus (extra points from long flights or flights in a premium cabin).

Admittedly if you don't care about points/upgrades/award seats/seat selection and always fly on a QF flight number then there's not much difference, but if you do a lot of international flying you may well find there's a number of times that there's no QF codeshare or its a lot more expensive to go on the QF flight number and your employer won't pay for it.

Lifetime Gold (similar to Platinum on QANTAS) on BA is of course much better again but that requires a much higher level of flying than what's needed to get to LTG on QF and if QF or BA leaves OneWorld or the rules change then the benefits of having BA Gold when flying QF may change considerably.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 12

Very happy that I purchased life time Qantas Club membership in 1997 its defiantly been worth every penny that it cost and still another 20 years or so to go!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 144

Chris - Any talk on LTP from the lips of QF?
As we always say to these types of questions, when there's news for us to report, we'll report it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Feb 2015

Total posts 2

I'm in the rather odd position of flying so much there's nothing left to encourage me to fly QF. I get Platinum One each year in the first 3 or 4 months and my lifetime status points are at 93,000. Not complaining - as Platinum One gives excellent and stand out support when you need anything. But it's interesting that "super loyalty" doesn't bring anything extra. So I tend to fly Eithad/Virgin as well to get top status on both.
I was in the same position a few years back. Wrote to Qantas to up the challenge to get lifetime Platinum status but they didn't take the bait. Like you I decided that having higher status with other airlines whilst I working was more useful so Qantas lost out.

In retirement I find the lifetime Gold worth all the effort. I now deliberately chose Qantas, Emirates or One World over the other alliances simply because I can use the lounges, check in etc. I have watched my Singapore PPS Solitaire dwindle back to I think Silver now.  No intensive to fly with Singapore or any of the Star Alliance airlines any more even if it is at the back of the plane. 

One of the best perks as Platinum was to use the domestic lounge when meeting friends and family at the airport. Since they stupidly(in my mind) took that away then the long term benefit of being Platinum went away. I hope they see reason and put it back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2016

Total posts 10

Having been a LTG for a number of years and Platinum for 11+ years I find my loyalty to QF is not what it used to be. CX have a far better business class product, equally as good FF program & combined with my VA Platinum I seem to have the best of both worlds. Etihad is hard to beat in the first class section of the A380 when i get the occasional upgrade. I would be curious to know what @paultas prefers in terms of the 2 programs.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Mar 2013

Total posts 7

Agree with Howie50 - making LTG is no real incentive to remain with QF/OW in retirement, knowing those years of F lounges and usually good service (excluding BA..) are gone. So for me moving to VA and making Plat with them (not difficult - J to Europe annually) has opened up another stream of experiences such as Etihad.      
Would love to know when \ if lifetime platinum will become available

17 years as platinum I have a few status credits 

Suspect it won't happen as there would be very little incentive to keep accumulating 1200 SC each year

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2017

Total posts 3

Wow - there's just so much sense of entitlement here! I'm QFF Platinum and LTG and I'm thankful for both. Just how much recognition people seem to think they deserve is rather astounding. Some seem to forget that these perks are all side benefits - all you really pay for are the flights, not the perks. It always amuses me how many frequent travellers, who often work in industries that don't reward their customers in any way and constantly charge more for less service, demand so much of airlines and hotels. I fly QF internationally whenever I can because I like them and I've had decades of good experiences (joined QFF in 1987). 

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