Frequent flyers have a rare chance to pocket free Gold status with both Qantas and Air New Zealand in the latest round of status match promotions.
Through the Qantas Status Fast Track and Air New Zealand Touch of Gold promotions, both airlines offer several months of Gold perks to get you started, along with the ability to convert this into a year or more of fully-fledged Gold with just one trip.
That year of Qantas Gold or Air New Zealand Gold will come in handy when international travel resumes, because the benefits will extend to all airlines in the Oneworld and Star Alliance families: Qantas Gold is equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire, while AirNZ Gold lines up as Star Alliance Gold.
Ready to make your grab for Gold? Here's what you need to know.
What's on offer
The Qantas Status Fast Track promotion provides "complimentary access to the airline’s network of Qantas Club lounges and extra checked baggage" through to July 31 – while it's not actual Gold status you receive those two specific perks, which are the most practical for travellers.
On the other hand, the Air New Zealand Touch of Gold promotion delivers a four-month trial of Airpoints Gold status with benefits such as lounge access, complimentary frequent flyer seating, extra baggage privileges and priority travel benefits.
Which airlines can be status matched?
The Qantas Status Fast Track covers 16 airlines: Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eva Air, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Thai Airways, United Airlines and Virgin Australia.
It doesn't extend to other Oneworld airlines, or Qantas partners such as Emirates and China Airlines.
While the Air New Zealand Touch of Gold program has been publicised by the airline as aiming at Qantas and Velocity Australia, a spokesperson for the Kiwi carrier confirmed to Executive Traveller that – as indicated on the Touch of Gold terms and conditions page – the status match is open the frequent flyers of any airline, barring its Star Alliance siblings and Hong Kong partner Cathay Pacific.
Which frequent flyers can be status matched?
To qualify for either the Qantas Status Fast Track and Air New Zealand Touch of Gold status match you'll need to hold the equivalent of Gold status or above (such as Platinum or Diamond) in your airline's loyalty program.
There's no requirement to prove you've earned that status through flying: just have current membership at that mid-level tier or higher.
Both the Qantas Status Fast Track and Air New Zealand Touch of Gold offers are currently restricted to residents of Australia and New Zealand, as indicated by the residential address listed against their Qantas Frequent Flyer or Airpoints account.
If you're not already a member of either program, use the links below to sign up for free:
How long are these status match offers open for?
Applications for the Qantas Status Fast Track close on Friday April 30, 2021.
Applications for the Air New Zealand Touch of Gold close on Friday May 7, 2021.
Locking in a year of Gold status
If approved for the Qantas Status Fast Track you'll enjoy those Gold perks until 31 July, 2021, by which time you'll need to earn 100 status credits to get full Qantas Gold (and Oneworld Sapphire) membership for at least 12 months.
The normal qualifying level for Qantas Gold is 700 status credits, so that's a very compelling 'discount', and your target tally can include status credits from flying Jetstar as well as earned on the ground via Qantas partners.
If approved for the Air New Zealand Touch of Gold your temporary Airpoints Gold status will remain fresh for four months "from the date of acceptance into the Touch of Gold promotion", the airline says.
Within those 16 weeks you have to pocket 100 status points "through eligible travel on Air New Zealand" (the usual requirement is 900 status points) to have your Airpoints Gold (and Star Alliance Gold) membership extended for the following eight months.
Those 100 Qantas status credits or 100 AirNZ status points can be earned with a single return trip – sometimes on a single flight – depending on the route you choose and the type of fare you buy.
Naturally, the price of the ticket – from discounted economy to fully-flexible business class – dictates the number of status credits or status points.
But in terms of flights between Australia and New Zealand, for example, one return business class ticket between Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Auckland on either airline will see you hit your target.
Click here to learn more about, and apply for, the Qantas Status Fast Track
Click here to learn more about, and apply for, the Air New Zealand Touch of Gold