How to get Qantas Lifetime Silver status

By Chris Chamberlin, August 9 2017

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Qantas Lifetime Silver status offers some respectable perks like priority check-in, bonus points when booking Qantas flights and a boosted baggage allowance when flying with Qantas, plus priority boarding with selected partner airlines.

Lifetime Silver is also the halfway point en route to Lifetime Gold – but for many less-frequent travellers, it may well be their final frequent flyer destination: so whether you’re taking the whole journey or are disembarking at the Silver stop, here’s how you can get there within your lifetime.

Earning Qantas Lifetime Silver status

Normally, you’d fetch regular Qantas Silver status by earning 300 status credits within a single frequent flyer membership year – or by earning 250 status credits in a year to retain an existing Silver membership – with your status credit balance wiped clean every 12 months.

But when it comes to lifetime status, all the status credits you’ve earned throughout your many years of membership continue to be tallied up, and it’s that tally that helps you reach Lifetime Silver, and beyond that, Lifetime Gold.

To qualify as Lifetime Silver you’ll need to have earned 7,000 status credits.

That’s a lot easier than the 14,000 status credits needed for Lifetime Gold, but it’s still on-par with earning and then retaining regular Silver status every year for almost 28 years.

It’s also the equivalent of taking 88 return trips between Sydney and Melbourne on most business class fares, 30 return business class trips between either city and Singapore or 13 return business class journeys between Australia and London.

Top up your points.. Supplied
Top up your points.
Supplied

Down the back of the bus on the lowest-cost fares, those figures are considerably higher: boosted to a staggering 350 return Sydney-Melbourne flights, 117 round-trips to The Lion City or 50 return hops on the Kangaroo Route.

Naturally, Lifetime Silver is within easier reach of frequent business travellers than your average holiday trekker – particularly if the company pays for flexible economy, premium economy, business class or even first class fares.

You can check how your lifetime tally is faring by logging into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, clicking ‘show additional status information’ in the middle of the Your Account page…

… and then spying the number next to ‘lifetime status credits’:

In our example, the traveller has earned 4,490 of the 7,000 status credits required for Lifetime Silver, being almost two thirds of the way there.

Enjoying the benefits of Lifetime Silver

Perhaps the best perk of Lifetime Silver status is that you’ll never have to join the regular economy check-in queue again, with access to Premium Service Desks prior to Qantas domestic flights and the business class check-in queues when travelling internationally.

That benefit isn’t limited to Qantas either, and can be used when travelling with any Oneworld airline, including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and more – as Qantas Silver is also ‘Oneworld Ruby’, which guarantees this perk across the alliance.

Priority check-in is also offered when flying with Emirates: either using the dedicated Silver frequent flyer counters in Dubai or the business class counters in all other airports.

Also on the table: a boosted baggage allowance with Qantas, Emirates and American Airlines in some travel classes, as follows:

  • Qantas domestic: 1x32kg in economy (normally 1x23kg)
  • Qantas international: One extra bag where the ‘piece system’ is used when flying economy or premium economy, or 12kg extra where the ‘weight system’ applies in all travel classes
  • Emirates: 12kg extra in all travel classes
  • American Airlines: First checked bag is complimentary, even on fares which include no checked baggage.

There’s no extra baggage allowance for Qantas domestic business class (already 2x32kg), or Qantas international business class or first class on flights using the ‘piece system’, such as to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Joining that, 50% more points on Qantas and Jetstar flights and 25% more points on American Airlines flights when that flight earns more points than given via Qantas’ minimum points guarantee, free standard seat selection on all Qantas flights and access to ‘preferred’ – but not extra legroom – seats.

Silver flyers also have access to more Qantas Classic Flight Rewards seats than entry-level Bronze members, receive priority over Bronze flyers when requesting an international upgrade and receive similar priority when waitlisted or standing by for a flight.

Rounding out the offer, one complimentary visit each year to a Qantas Club or Qantas international business class lounge, priority Qantas telephone assistance and priority boarding on American Airlines (when ‘Group 4’ is called) – although this benefit isn’t offered with Qantas unless also flying in premium economy, business class or first class.

Fast-track your way to Qantas Lifetime Silver

There are five relatively straightforward things you can do to earn extra status credits without taking extra flights.

Firstly, if your booking always defaults to the lowest-cost fares, do consider higher-priced fares when it makes sense to do so. These earn more status credits, so on a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight, you could be earning 20 or even 40 status credits instead of 10:

(It probably won’t make sense to pay double your normal fare to earn twice as many status credits, but if the cost between the two happens to be small – say, even $20 or $40 – paying the difference can get you to Lifetime Silver faster.)

Another is to keep a sharp eye on your email inbox for any bonus status credit offers which Qantas runs from time to time, promising 50% more status or sometimes even double status credits when booking and travelling during certain periods.

When making your bookings, also consider flying with Qantas or booking a Qantas QF flight number on a partner airline (such as Emirates), rather than booking with a partner airline directly.

Although Qantas’ Oneworld partners do offer status credits on eligible fares, you’ll usually earn the highest number of status credits when booked on a Qantas flight number – especially so with Emirates, on which you’ll earn no status credits at all on an EK flight number, but will fetch status credits at full rates when taking the same journey under a QF flight number.

Read: How to maximise Qantas status credits on Emirates flights

Another step you can take: choose Qantas status credits as your ‘loyalty bonus’, rather than Qantas Points – that’s 50 bonus status credits for every 500 status credits you earn in a membership year (up to 200 bonus status credits a year), rather than 8,000 bonus Qantas Points every time you reach the same milestone.

Read: The Qantas loyalty bonus – how to choose points or status credits

Finally, you can also pocket a one-off bonus of 75 status credits with a new ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa credit card

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!

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

The journey of a thousand miles and lifetime Gold does indeed begin with the single step to lifetime Silver!
That's a good tip on using the 50 SC loyalty bonus to build up to Lifetime Silver.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Realistically most people won't get to Lifetime Silver (LTS) without spending some time with Gold or above status or flying a lot more than needed for silver but just missing out on Gold.

Almost 28 years of just scraping into silver is a lot of years of silver.

I'm hoping to reach LTS in the next few years or so to give me a good platform to build towards Lifetime Gold (LTG) even though my flying is likely to slow down a lot and to hopefully never fall back down to Bronze again.


Double Status Credit offers help a lot if you are flexible enough to take advantage of them.

Indirect flights can help too as you get extra status credits flying indirect often for just a little bit more than flying direct and sometimes less. Just five return business class trips to London on a QF flight code with a domestic connection in Australia on Double Status Credits would be almost enough to get to Lifetime Silver e.g. MEL-SYD-DXB-LHR return. MEL-SYD gives 40 SC in Business, then it's 280 SC for SYD-DXB-LHR. Add the return trip and you get 40+280+280+40=640. Double it using Double Status Credits and you get to 1280. Add 100SC for taking two loyalty bonuses in status credits and you get to 1380SC just 20 SC short of obtaining platinum (20SC is easily obtained with a discount economy return trip on standard status credits e.g. between Melbourne and Sydney)

30 Mar 2012

Total posts 3

Chris - They have lifetime silver and gold .... Can you see Qantas having a lifetime platinum??

That's a decision for Qantas to make, which means it's not something for us to comment on. :)

30 Mar 2012

Total posts 3

Thanks Chris - just wanted to get your take

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

FWIW, this is a question often put to Qantas and their response is always along the lines of 'no plans at this stage' or similar.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

If QANTAS introduced a Lifetime Platinum at a reasonable level I would likely increase my flying to make it achievable for me. Until/unless they introduce it I'll be setting my sights on first reaching Lifetime Silver and then Lifetime Gold.

If I do reach Lifetime Gold and there's still no Lifetime Platinum to aim for then I'll have every incentive to book award seats where possible and get good value out of using partner airline lounges. I'd also be more open to considering flying Business on Singapore, Virgin etc. with no lifetime benefits on QANTAS left to aim for and no access to the First Class lounge as a Gold member.

BA does have a Lifetime Gold (OneWorld Emerald) that would be kind of equivalent to Platinum, but it's a heap of flying to get that and they don't have any lifetime status to pickup on the way (or if you don't make it). Also if BA or QANTAS leaves Oneworld then BA benefits wouldn't help flying QANTAS. Also to upgrade on QANTAS do you have to be flying on a QANTAS aircraft with a QF flight number, and using your QF membership and points. So whilst it would suit some it's a far from ideal alternative.

PK
PK

03 May 2012

Total posts 113

Ok, I am going to venture what I think will be an unpopular opinion on Lifetime Platinum.  While each of us would like to possess it, it would be overall detrimental for Qantas and its high value and other business customers.  Over time, as the number of people holding it increases and as those people access the benefits on low value leisure travel either in retirement or on when they are not travelling enough to earn Platinum, the premium benefits such as First lounges and First benefits in lounges, upgrades, and award bookings will be placed under intolerable pressure.  

People who pay for First, or Business and have earned Platinum, and those and others that are on work trips that involve an element of stress, do not want to be confronted with lounge and other resources that are stretched to capacity or beyond.  Frankly, if I was retired or on a leisure trip and had Lifetime Platinum, I would fly a couple of times a year on cheap tickets, get to the First Lounge really early with my wife, use it to the max, and buy economy tickets and always bid for an upgrade.  Multiply me by many and you begin to see why high paying, travelling customers on deadlines will be turned off by travelling on Qantas.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 210

That would depend on where the bar was set.  I'm not sure if there would be huge numbers of extra people if you had to get  in the region of 30-35000 status credits. 

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 258

Agreed - if it took 25 years of baseline Platinum or 5-10 years of P1 to get there then I doubt t would be oversubscribed any time soon.

09 Aug 2017

Total posts 8

Well put PK. 

09 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

Thanks for the article. 395 points to go for me so very interesting art ice on how to make the final sprint. Currently bronze as I have been focusing on Star Alliance so looking forward to getting there. This or early next year I suspect. 

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Well done. No rush to get it this year unless you want to get to Gold (or above) this year. LTS only benefits if you'd otherwise be Bronze. 300 Status Credits to get Silver if you don't have it then in the next year get the remaining credits you need to get to the Lifetime Goal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2016

Total posts 40

Is there any difference in rewards when comparing Lifetime Silver, to Yearly Silver?

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

No, except Lifetime Status doesn't require any flying to retain.
I fly MH business class regularly 240 status credits for around 550 USD BKK MNL return via KUL so around 28 return trips for about 15K USD spend

26 May 2011

Total posts 58

Does VA have a lifetime status programme btw?

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

No. Which is one of the reasons I try to avoid flying Virgin.

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 271

Just checked it out. Only 800 SCs to go for me. Ha ha.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

Nice. No rush though unless you'd otherwise fall to Bronze.

28 Aug 2016

Total posts 16

I just clocked over the 7000 lifetime status credits and the final sprint of 1000ish credits was made easier by the aforementioned Qantas offer to double your credits. I saw that offer running for all of 5 days and booked 6 return trips in advance before the offer expired. Invaluable.

Also, if you time it just right, those bonus credits take a few months to come through so you can often find them starting your new frequent flyer year off with a bang. They're supposed to be applied retrospectively to the previous membership year and only count towards lifetime total, but I've found that isn't the case and they go onto the next year with a bonus 250 odd credits to get you started to renewing platinum. 

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

The double credits for me typically come through within about four days or so.

As for the 50SC loyalty bonus option I believe only two of those can count towards obtaining/retaining Platinum.

Lifetime Silver may seem like a long way off for me but if the Double Status Credits offers keep coming it'll come quickly I suspect.

28 Aug 2016

Total posts 16

Interestingly, I was told the exact same thing by Qantas when I noticed I wasn't credited after the flight, but then after a week or so, the next conversation had Qantas saying that they can take up to six weeks to apply. I asked the agent on the phone if that meant they'd go to the next membership year (rollover was a week away and I'd already re-qualified for Platinum) and she said no, they go to the previous year and get added only to the lifetime total. When they were added to the next year's status climb a few weeks later, I just kept quiet. Might be a problem they've ironed out now.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

You can have more than two 50 SC loyalty bonuses in your current year's tally but only two of those will count towards the SC needed to retain/attain Platinum.

It can take just about three or four days for the DSC to post or it could take up to 6 weeks. In my experience this year and last year they've always posted quickly but others have had more difficulty.

The loyalty bonuses post when you take them.

29 Jul 2017

Total posts 1

Do lifetime silver start their journey to annual gold & platinum each year from 300 points (so you would only need 400SC for G and 1100SC for P)) and lifetime gold start from 700 points to platinum (so you only need 700Sc in a year).  Guess less, if the lifetimer is already on Gold or Platinum.    

Seems a no brainer for Qantas to reward their high volume flyers this way so do they do it ?

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

No. Lifetime just means that's your status floor for life (can't fall below that status). The number of status credits needed to earn/retain higher status remains unchanged.


So a Lifetime Silver member needs 700 SC to go from Silver to Gold or 600SC to retain Gold. They also need 1400SC to get Platinum and 1200 SC to retain as normal.

28 Aug 2016

Total posts 16

Alas no. I'm LTS and my Platinum went away two months ago as per the normal expiry system and I'm starting from a princely sum of 0 status credits on my way back to Platinum and I will require the usual 1,200 status credits to get there.

This is the first year I've not been taking two economy, domestic flights a week and it's certainly no longer the no-brainer it normally is to retain platinum status. Travelling every week sees you getting a good 1,500 SC per year, but anything much less than that and you run into trouble. Status bonuses and double credit offers can make the difference between platinum and gold.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Aug 2017

Total posts 14

This a bit off the LTS topic but hopefully someone can answer my question.

 Once you have reached Silver when does the 12 month period to retain Silver begin? Is it from the date Silver is reached or is it from your joining anniversary date?

Eg: My joining anniversary date is June but will reach Silver by March.

05 May 2016

Total posts 526

It's from the 1st of the month following the month you joined. So if you reach Silver in March 2018 and your year ends 30th June 2018, you'll need to earn 250 Status Credits from 1st July 2018 to 30 June 2019 to retain Silver. If you're not going to level up to Gold then it makes sense to postpone discretionary travel till your new year.

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