Revealed: the secret Qantas status match for Virgin frequent flyers

This little-known program puts Velocity Frequent Flyers on the fast track to Qantas Gold status.

By David Flynn, June 29 2020
Revealed: the secret Qantas status match for Virgin frequent flyers

With Virgin Australia moving to a mid-market 'hybrid' model and the future perks and appeal of its Velocity Frequent Flyer program uncertain, Velocity Gold and Platinum members might be interested in hedging their bets and investigating a little-known shortcut to Qantas status called the Qantas Tier Accelerator program.

What is Qantas Tier Accelerator?

The Qantas Tier Accelerator provides a fast track to Qantas Frequent Flyer status for members of competing airline loyalty programs, which puts Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme right in the cross-hairs.

It's not a direct status match – you don't just send through a copy of your Velocity Gold or Platinum card and voila, get a Qantas Gold or Platinum card in return.

Instead, the Qantas Tier Accelerator program works along the lines of what US airlines call a 'status challenge': you still need to take some Qantas flights and clock up a quota of Qantas status credits in order to earn your newly-minted card.

However, the Qantas Tier Accelerator slashes the number of status credits needed to ascend the Qantas Frequent Flyer ladder to well below the usual threshold, and that's what makes this such a valuable shortcut.

Turning Velocity Gold, Platinum into Qantas Gold

Qantas considers that the core perks of both Velocity Gold and Velocity Platinum – such as lounge access, priority checkin and boarding, and a higher checked luggage allowance – are on par with Qantas Gold.

This makes Gold is the default Qantas Tier Accelerator target for Virgin Australia frequent flyers – and it's arguably the sweet spot, because it puts a solid set of practical benefits within easy reach.

For domestic flights, Qantas Gold is a fairly straight match against Velocity Gold; and when it comes to international travel, your Qantas Gold card gets you into the overseas business class lounges of not only Qantas but Oneworld partner airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL and Malaysia Airlines.

Applying for the Qantas Tier Accelerator

Qantas doesn't promote its Tier Accelerator program, so it's up to you to take the initiative: you need to contact Qantas and make the strongest case 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.

Invitations to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program are made on a case-by-case basis and entirely at the airline's discretion.

To stand the best chance of qualifying you'll want to be armed with a copy of your Velocity statement for the past 12 months, showing plenty of travel with Virgin Australia (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 294332329 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 noted earlier, an invitation to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program is at the airline's discretion.

Earning Gold status under the Qantas Tier Accelerator

Executive Traveller understands that 200 status credits is typically required to earn Qantas Gold status under the Tier Accelerator offer.

That's a significant reduction compared to 700 status credits under the usual QFF rules, and can be clocked up with just two return transcontinental flights in business class, or three on a flexible economy ticket.

Status credits earned through non-flying channels – such as buying petrol from BP service stations and shopping at Woolworths – may also count to your tally, so this is worth double-checking if you're approved for the Qantas Tier Accelerator.

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

Once again, be aware that you won't automatically be gifted Qantas Gold status during this three month qualification period – so if you're invited to take part in the Qantas Tier Accelerator program, make the most of it so you can lock away that Qantas Gold status for the next year.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Aug 2016

Total posts 58

Hmmm, as an uncertain Virgin Plat member (but already have Lifetime Silver and only 690 away from LTG), I wonder if it's worth the effort...


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