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This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.
Several times a year, Qantas offers its frequent flyers the chance to earn double status credits on domestic and international flights.
There is usually one Qantas double status credits offer made in the first quarter of each year: over the past few years this has been held in February or March, and runs for one week for travel booked up to a year in advance.
For example, the 2018 Qantas double status credits promotion ran from 1 February to 5 February 2018 and applied to travel from 12 February 2018 to 20 January 2019.
The third quarter of the year usually sees a second Qantas double status credits offer which is often 'targeted': only some Qantas Frequent Flyer members receive the offer via email, instead of the promotion being open to all QFF members as is the case with the Q1 promotion.
This does not preclude additional double status credits promotions popping up at other sporadic times throughout the year, although those can often run just for a handful of days.
Qantas of course never tells anybody in advance that these deals are coming up, so in every case the trick is to be prepared and have a 'double status credit strategy' ready so you can move fast to make the bookings you need to take advantage of these offers.
In this guide I won't focus much on 'status runs' because I do not believe these are relevant to the business traveller. A status run is usually a series of flights made purely to earn status and often sees the passenger not even stopping at their destination but coming straight back on the same flight.
Professionals simply don't have the time for such indulgences but It doesn't mean they cannot benefit by employing the same techniques as a status run, especially if they can turn those flights into a short holiday.
1. Set your goal
Before you run off to click that Book Now button, identify your goal. Here are the most common drivers during a Qantas double status credits promotion.
Qantas Silver status: you need 300 status credits to earn Silver status for the first time, and 250 status credits to keep Silver status for next year if you already have it. Silver is not a very useful tier because the main benefits are two Qantas Club lounge invitations and use of 'premium' check-in counters, but everybody has to start somewhere, and a double status credits promotion will easily get you to Silver as a starting point.
Qantas Gold status: you need 700 status credits to earn Gold status and 600 status credits to keep Gold status. Gold is often thought of as the 'sweet spot' because it gives you lounge access across Qantas and Oneworld airlines along with Emirates, plus with the use of premium security lanes and priority boarding.
Qantas Platinum status: you need 1,400 status credits to earn Platinum status and 1,200 status credits to keep Platinum status. This gives you access to Qantas' domestic business class lounges and the international first class lounges of Qantas and Oneworld airlines along with Emirates.
Qantas Platinum bonus reward: at 2,400 status credits within your membership year you can choose between a bonus of 50,000 Qantas points or free Qantas Gold status for any family member or friend.
Qantas Platinum One status: you need 3,600 status credits to earn or keep Platinum One status, and at least 2,700 of those status credits must be on 'Qantas marketed flights'. Platinum One members can give free Platinum status to their partner, receive two invitations to the Qantas first class lounge to give to any family member or friend, get free 'fly ahead' access to earlier domestic flights, can have any available seat converted into a points-based 'award seat' and tend to get the best attention from Qantas when flights are delayed or cancelled.
Qantas Lifetime Silver status: you need to earn 7,000 status credits over the lifetime of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership (read Why Qantas Lifetime Silver status is worth having for more on this).
Qantas Lifetime Gold status: you need to earn 14,000 status credits over the lifetime of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership (read How to get Qantas Lifetime Gold status for more on this).
Ask yourself: how many status credits do I currently have, what status milestone do I want to reach, and is that level of status really going to be useful for me? Then map out the number of status credits needed, or the flights you need to do, to get from where you are to where you want to be, based on the double status credit offer.
This sounds very straightforward but I believe that it always helps to clearly define your goals before you set out.
For reaching or keeping Gold or Platinum status you can probably get there with just one international business class return flight, and that might already be on your plans for an upcoming business trip.
For example: Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Singapore or Hong Kong return in business class gets you at least 480 status credits during a double status credits offer, based on a discount fare.
Business class return to Los Angeles is worth between 720 and 760 status credits based on your fare type, and business class return to London is worth upwards of 1,120 status credits.
If you are chasing Lifetime Silver or Lifetime Gold status then you might want to take this opportunity to plan and book all your business trips for the coming year, especially those which are based around fixed events such as conferences, along with any holidays. The more flights you book the closer you will get to lifetime status!
2. Check for the loyalty bonus
In calculating the number of status credits you need to reach a goal such as Gold or Platinum don't forget about the loyalty bonus.
This is awarded at every 500 status credits earned on Qantas and Jetstar flights in your QFF membership year and lets you choose between a 'loyalty bonus' of 50 status credits or 8,000 Qantas points.
Choosing those 50 bonus status credits at the relevant 'trigger point' could be all it takes you get you across the line to Gold or Platinum
However, status credits earned during a Qantas double status credits promotion may or may not count towards the loyalty bonus. The Qantas 2018 Double Status Credits promotion excluded the loyalty bonus, which meant that if flight booked during the promotion took your tally to 1,000 status credits you would not be eligible for those extra 50 bonus status credits.
So when a Qantas double status credits offer lands in your inbox be careful to check the terms and conditions at the bottom of the email or in the 'fine print' on the promotions page.
3. 'Qantas marketed flights' or 'Qantas operated flights?
Checking the fine print also applies to looking for other conditions such as if the promotion applies to partner flights – for example, a QF8xxx flight number which is actually an Emirates codeshare.
This is called a 'Qantas marketed flight' and means that your ticket carries a QF flight number, even though the flight actually takes place on another airline.
If the double status credits deal is limited to a 'Qantas operated flight', then trips on codeshare partners will only earn the usual number of status credits instead of a double serve of status credits.
This can be a deciding factor in booking trips, or rather which airline to fly on, during a double status credit offer.
What are your tips for booking flights during a Qantas double status credits promotion so that you can maximise your status credit earn?