Explainer: the Qantas Tier Accelerator status match

How to put yourself on the fast track to Qantas Gold status and enjoy top perks with over a dozen other airlines.

By David Flynn, January 16 2024
Explainer: the Qantas Tier Accelerator status match

  • Little-known ‘Qantas Tier Accelerator’ program makes it easy to achieve Gold frequent flyer status
  • Get airport lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, extra luggage and more
  • The scheme is open to top-tier frequent flyers of any competing airline

Airline status matches are highly prized by frequent flyers, and for good reason: they’re the fast track to a suite of practical perks which make travelling easier and more enjoyable.

And while Qantas rarely offers a straight-forward status match through which you can parlay your loyalty tier with one airline for the same position on the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder, there is an ongoing status offer which makes it easy to tuck a Qantas Gold card into your wallet or purse.

It’s called the Qantas Tier Accelerator. There’s just one catch: Qantas doesn’t publicise the program – indeed, Qantas doesn’t even like to talk about.

So we’re going to talk about it instead, and tell you all you need to know about the secret Qantas Tier Accelerator program.

What is the Qantas Tier Accelerator?

The Qantas Tier Accelerator lets a top-tier frequent flyer from any competing airline easily qualify for Qantas Gold status.

Gold is pretty much the ‘sweet spot’ for Qantas, offering benefits such as

  • access to domestic and international airport lounges
  • priority lanes for check-in, security and boarding
  • a more generous checked baggage allowance
  • complimentary seat selection
  • greater access to points-based reward seats
  • being higher up the list for upgrades
  • pocket 75% more Qantas Points on eligible flights with Qantas and Jetstar

As an added bonus, Qantas Gold delivers a raft of similar conveniences across partner airlines such as Emirates and all 16 members of the Oneworld alliance (a roster including American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, among others).

There’s even the little-known bonus of access to many Emirates lounges around the world.

The Qantas Tier Accelerator fast track

However, unlike the more conventional style of a ‘direct’ status match, you don’t just send through a copy of that other airline’s frequent flyer card and voila, automatically receive a Qantas Gold card in return.

Instead, the Qantas Tier Accelerator program follows what’s called a status challenge model: you need to take some Qantas flights and clock up a quota of status credits to earn your Qantas Gold card (and you won't automatically be gifted Qantas Gold status during the qualification period).

The advantage of the Qantas Tier Accelerator is that it slashes the number of status credits needed to reach Qantas Gold to well below the usual threshold, and that’s what makes this such a valuable shortcut.

Which airlines qualify for the Qantas Tier Accelerator?

Qantas doesn’t publish a list of the airlines which are considered eligible for participants in the Tier Accelerator challenge – but then, Qantas barely says anything about the Tier Accelerator in the first place.

But as the Qantas Tier Accelerator is aimed at snaring frequent flyers from competing airlines, that list obviously begins with domestic challenger Virgin Australia.

It would also logically include international airlines which fly the same or similar routes as Qantas, such as Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines, and potentially the likes of Etihad Airways and Delta Air Lines.

Of course, as a rule, status matches and status challenges don’t extend to partner airlines such as Emirates and OneWorld members.

Earning Gold status under the Qantas Tier Accelerator

Executive Traveller understands that just 200 status credits are typically required to earn Qantas Gold status under the Tier Accelerator offer: a significant reduction compared to 700 status credits under the standard rules.

And that low target of 200 status credits can be reached with just a handful of domestic flights or even a single overseas trip (Qantas has a handy calculator to help you work out the number of status credits earned per flight, based on each fare type).

The only caveat is that those 200 status credits must be racked up within three months of signing up for the Qantas Tier Accelerator offer.

It’s also worth noting that Qantas double status credit promotions usually list the Tier Accelerator among the fine print of exclusions, although of course your normal-sized single serve of status credits is added to the Tier Accelerator tally.

How to apply for the Qantas Tier Accelerator

As Qantas doesn’t promote its Tier Accelerator program, it’s up to you to take the initiative: you need to contact Qantas and out forward the strongest argument as to why you should be offered a shot at the Tier Accelerator.

Again, this is different to the usual ‘open to everyone’ public status match – Qantas is understandably very strict when it comes to deciding which frequent flyers are ‘worthy’ of the offer, and invitations to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program are made on a case-by-case basis.

To stand the best chance of qualifying you’ll want to be able to show a prior track record of flights with that competing airline ( bonus points if a lot of that travel was in business class, and also if your activity shows a regular flying pattern rather than just a few sporadic trips).

This is a weed out freeloading status-seekers who have done relatively little flying.

You'll then need to contact the Qantas Frequent Flyer team on 13 1131 in Australia (or +61 29433 2329 from overseas) or via email at [email protected].

Express your interest in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program and make your case as to why you’d be a ‘good catch’ for Qantas; it 's then up to Qantas to decide if you’re a customer worth having, as invitations to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program are made at the airline's discretion.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 953

What I find interesting is Qantas doesn't status match status credit for status credit; if someone earns 3600 status credits at another airline, Qantas only offers them Gold which is why people say, "why would I bother" and most of those people have the gift that keeps on giving "Qatar Platinum" so why would you take up Qantas Gold anyway, I know so many people that have rejected the offer of Qantas Gold. 

But what will happen in the future, Virgin lounges are over full with people waiting in line to get in, the Virgin priority lines are the longest I've ever seen. Qantas lounges on the other hand are the least pack I can ever remember. Once new Qantas planes come or if they fix the Qantas issues will those who converted to Virgin go back to Qantas and would one of the reasons be Virgin has a maximum tie of Platinum and no P1 or LifeTime Gold?

Anyway if Qantas was serious about status matching they would aim level for level, if you earn 3600 status credits you get Qantas P1 for 3 months, followed by another 3 months etc as long as you hit the targets quarterly to maintain that tier and the same apply to Platinum etc.   

QF Plat

14 Jul 2014

Total posts 29

Very Good Points, I wonder if Virgin will retain all those QF travellers long term with no P1 / LifeTime Gold. 

People are already whinging about the full lounges, no food in business class.

27 Aug 2018

Total posts 12

Anyone know if status credits earned from classic flight rewards (thanks to points club) would count towards the 200 status credits?

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Sep 2018

Total posts 4

FWIW, SCs earned by PCPlus members via Classic Reward Flights booked during the recent DSC challenge will be doubled upon completion of the trip; logically it would therefore seem SCs earned would count towards the Tier challenge. That said it is probably best to call in and check. Good luck 😉 

Air Canada - Aeroplan

28 Feb 2015

Total posts 101

Anybody know if 50 status credits earned through qualifying for Green Tier count as part of the 200 SCs?

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 34

Asked them once for it and got declined, despite plenty of virgin travel and a good chunk in business.

Qatar Privilage Club

31 Mar 2023

Total posts 8

Happy to keep my Qatar Platinum which now covers One World and Virgin Australia giving me the best of both worlds.

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