Get frequent flyer perks with the Qantas Tier Accelerator status match

How to put yourself on the fast track to Qantas Gold status and enjoy similar perks across 15 other airlines.

By David Flynn, May 22 2022
Get frequent flyer perks with 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 very rarely offers a straight-forward status match, by 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 it – doesn’t even like to talk about.

So we’re going to talk about it, 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, and being a little higher up the list for upgrades.

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 and many others).

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, you 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.

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 count 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.

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.

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.

As a rule, status matches and status challenges don’t extend to partner airlines, which includes Emirates and OneWorld members.

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 i nvitations 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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 15

In my view, this would be the ideal time for Qantas to mount a one-off direct status match for Velocity frequent flyers. Unfortunately for Velocity members and Virgin customers more generally, Bain is sending, what in my opinion are, very mixed messages as to the type of airline Virgin 2.0 (or however named) will be. I was for many years loyal to the Virgin Australia brand and was, for the most part, satisfied that it represented the best value for my and my organisation's money. However, and I may in time be proven wrong, that brand does not exist in the same form now and, as it looks increasingly likely, never will. Moreover, changes in my personal and family circumstances make the Velocity program less advantageous vis-a-vis Qantas Freqent Flyer than it once was. If, and it is a fairly large if, Qantas were prepared to offer a direct status match for my Velocity Gold card, I would seriously consider moving my personal and organisation's business back to the Flying Kangaroo. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Sep 2018

Total posts 156

I do agree that Bain is sending some ominous mixed messages and isn't especially building up trust with customers. They just 'fired' the CEO and replaced it with a Bain inside person and former Jetstar CEO, if that doesn't sound like a betrayal I don't know what does. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 95

Why would QF offer a status match?  They’re going to get a lot of these customers anyway because there simply isn’t a choice.  Those they don’t get are probably not worth anything to them anyway,  so no loss there.  REX would be the true winner of a status match offer to VA loyalists. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 15

Of course Qantas doesn't have to offer a status match and there may not be any short-term economic benefit to it, as you note in your comment @bsbtraveller. That said, to my mind there are a number of reasons why QF may choose to offer a status match. It may, for example, see long-term benefits in its shorter-term perception as the airline who is willing to look after those frequent flyers the 'other airline' has turned it back on. Equally, it may prefer to pre-empt any comparable frequent flyer program/tier system that REX seeks to establish.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 314

On a slight serious note, REX would need to negotiate some international interline partnerships alongside their jet services if they are serious about getting some small-medium business corporate accounts.  

Forget about the high end medium and large business corporates, QF has the bulk of the market sewn up, possibly even more so with VA/Bain's 'alleged' decision to go towards the lower end of the 'hybrid' market.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 894

I’m sure Qantas will pick off the top tier and also the Qatar status match would be plan C for a lot of people. I do see Qatar wanting the VA alliance specially considering the game plan of Bain was worked out at the time of the first bid and Qatar wanting more Brisbane flights.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 605

Agreed.  If Bain were to quickly ink deals with Qatar, Delta and Virgin Atlantic, even if they stay dormant for another 6-12 months, but knowing those deals were in place and readily 'activated', the haemorrhaging would reduce significantly.  Not sure how Singapore Airlines would react, but that's for Bain to resolve.  

Until then, VA Gold/Plats will keep fleeing the ship en masse (I actioned Plan-C months ago!!).  

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 30

I am Velocity Platinum & United 1K. Seeing how things are unfolding with Bain, I am certainly interested in switching to Qantas. However, I am not going to switch without a status match from Qantas. If they do 't want to attract me that way, I am sure I can find better international travel with Qatar or Finair. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 26

QF could give a status match for VA platinums to QF gold - in reality this is the equivalent. It was pretty easy to get VA Gold especially if on partner flights but also a good incentive to upgrade to QF Plat. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 481

Just throwing out some thoughts...

1. Why? If VA is going budget, let Jetstar fight them.

2. When Qantas lured across the millions of abandoned Ansett FF's it screwed up the lounge network and other QFF benefits for 15+ years - And yet, when VA decided to go more mid-to-upper market many of these same "loyal flyers" jumped ship

3. The VA program had some good benefits that weren't seen in the Qantas program - go and pinch those ideas and continue to improve the value of QFF (and seriously stop trying to sell me insurance)

Maybe it makes sense to try to bring these flyers across? Personally I'd prefer QFF start seeding some ideas to help those of us still stranded retain our status once flying resumes next year. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 789

It's amusing to see that a lot of people think things will suddenly go back to normal in twelve to eighteen months' time. QF won't have to do too much at all to get people who want some luxury, as they probably won't get it with Bainstar or Rex. QF will not be spending one cent more than they have to on frivolities. Interlines? The global airline market isn't suddenly going to pop back as it was in 2019. It's like the last act of the movie "Threads" - just as the survivors of the nuclear attack took many years to get some semblance of a new (bizarre) normality, so too will the travel industry and those around it. 


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 894

It amuses me to see people thinking "Qantas Luxury" a lot of people bag Borghetti but he was the only one keeping Qantas to a higher standard of service, if the competitors are low cost don't you think Qantas will cut cost to save money? and if as reported in a news paper, personal phone calls between CEO's we could all be flying low cost airlines.


09 May 2020

Total posts 539

Agreed. We will be so lucky if QF standard stay the same but I know it wouldn’t 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 314

A lot of the criticisms towards Borghetti was warranted, but at the same time it was because the shareholders and the board had let him.  

They could've at least intervened whenever he wanted to use the credit card, but at the same time it also didn't help when JB was besties with JH, the then Etihad CEO (which had the same spend everything view for his airline that JB had).


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 894

Qantas reporting they expect their marketshare to increase from 60% to 70%? To me that is like they are heckling the new management team at VA and don't consider them a threat. There is a fine line between volume, cost of goods and velocity of a business and I don't think 30% would cut it long term and if Qantas thinks they will have 70%, with Rex, VA, Alliance etc having the other 30%?


06 Apr 2020

Total posts 3

Hi ET community 👋🏻,

Recently accepting the Qantas Status Fast Track & commencing this month, I wanted to see if anyone could shed some light on a few things which I'm sure others would benefit from the answer too.

Basically since Qantas aren't offering a fast track or their previously offered ‘200 SCs to gold, 400 to platinum' I'm trying to figure out how many SCs are required after obtaining gold as part of the fast track programme.

In a nutshell:

  • If you ‘achieve' gold status by earning 100 status credits, does this equate to the regular ‘700', therefore only requiring an additional 700 SCs to reach the 1,400 required for platinum? Or...
  • If you ‘achieve' gold with 100 SCs, does this only equate to 100 SCs towards platinum, therefore requiring an additional 1,400 to reach platinum

Thanks in advance to anyone who may know the answer or has already asked! (It's unclear from the T&Cs)


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Aug 2013

Total posts 140

The Tier Accelerator definitely doesn't provide 700 "shadow" status credits toward further achievement of Platinum elite status, once Gold is achieved. The normal full amount of status credits are still required to attain it, as per normal.


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 894

Several people got the Pilot Gold buying Fuel etc.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Apr 2016

Total posts 18

UpUpAndAway, I got the invite from QF for the Accelerator plan then discovered that the fine print in the multiple SC offers such as BP fuel, COVID vaccination and wines all exclude validity for the status match.  It's QF flights only that count.

07 Jul 2022

Total posts 1

Requested Fast Track in June 22 to match VA Velocity Gold. I was pretty bluntly told no.

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