Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer Guide: all you need to know

Some very useful benefits are unlocked once that shiny golden card lands in your hands.

By Staff Writers, January 25 2024
Qantas Gold Frequent Flyer Guide: all you need to know

Gold status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is widely hailed as the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of the perks received versus the number of flights required to pocket that shiny card. 

Among its benefits: access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world and a higher checked baggage allowance, as well as boosted Qantas Points earning on eligible flights. And you’ll find plenty more where those came from.

But first, it’s important to know the basics of jumping from Silver to Gold, its equivalent Oneworld tier (hint: it’s Sapphire) as well as the reasons to take that next step on the loyalty ladder.


How to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status

To achieve Gold you’ll need to clock up 700 status credits – that’s 400 more than you need for Silver. But, once that’s done, you only need to accrue 600 per year to hang onto it.

You can roll in those status credits for all Qantas and select Jetstar flights (depending on the fare type), in addition to travels on Oneworld member airlines such as American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific. Codeshare flights on partner airlines are eligible too.

However, at least four of your yearly Gold-qualifying trips must be on flights carrying a Qantas QF code, or with Jetstar on fares earning both Qantas Points and status credits.

Flying to Europe is much less a chore in the comfortable Boeing 787 business class.
Flying to Europe is much less a chore in the comfortable Boeing 787 business class.

Flying purely domestically can make earning 700 status credits quite a chore. It’s equivalent to nine return business class trips from Sydney to Melbourne (a route which collects 40 status credits per hop), or a whopping 35 for that same route in economy.

It's much easier to achieve on international flights if you’re more of a globetrotter. For example, just three round trips in business class from Sydney to Singapore would have you across the threshold, with each leg of the journey earning 125 status credits.

If over the years of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, you travel often enough to have earned 14,000 status credits, you’ll be granted Lifetime Gold status, locking in Gold-level perks for the rest of your life.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold: Lounge access

Arguably the biggest benefit of Gold-grade status is lounge access. For domestic travellers flying economy, Qantas operates lounges in over two dozen airports, with Gold members able to relax before their flight in Qantas Club lounges around the country.

And one guest can accompany you on every visit – very useful on business trips when flying with a colleague, or even your boss, who may not have status or lounge access on their own.

Qantas Clubs are found in most major Australian cities.
Qantas Clubs are found in most major Australian cities.

If travelling with little ones, Gold members can bring up to two children aged 4-17 into the lounge, along with kids aged 0-3 with no set limit – and that’s in addition to one adult guest, potentially getting your whole family through the door by way of your Gold membership.

Headed overseas? You can start your journey from Australia at Qantas International Lounges such as Sydney or Brisbane, and also drop into the newly-reopened Qantas Hong Kong Lounge (if you’re passing through the city, that is).

You can also visit these international Qantas lounges when you’re flying on a Oneworld partner airline or other subsidiaries and partners such as Jetstar, Emirates or Fiji Airways.

There's plenty to smile about in the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.
There's plenty to smile about in the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge.

Your Qantas Gold card works the other way, too – it’ll get you into the business lounges of British Airways, Cathay Pacific and other Oneworld airlines, along with most Emirates lounges whether travelling on Qantas or Emirates, and the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport.

To see which lounges you can access on your next trip, use Oneworld’s handy lounge finder – just remember that Gold frequent flyers and other Oneworld Sapphire members can’t access Oneworld first class lounges unless travelling in first class.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold: Checked baggage allowance

Gold frequent flyers travelling within Australia can pass the standard single 23kg piece economy baggage allowance and go directly to two bags up to 32kg each, at no extra charge. It’s worth noting no bag can exceed 32kg, regardless of status.

In addition, Gold travellers also receive a free electronic Q Bag Tag to attach to their luggage, which can be used in lieu of a paper baggage tag on many Aussie domestic hops.

Qantas Gold members enjoy a big increase on their baggage allowance.
Qantas Gold members enjoy a big increase on their baggage allowance.

On Qantas and Emirates international flights, where the ‘weight’ system applies, the allowance is a total of 46kg in economy, 56kg in premium economy and business class, and 66kg in first class including the bonus, again with a priority tag in any class of travel.

On international flights to North and South America, all Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers are entitled to three bags of up to 32kg each, regardless of booking class.

Further abroad across the Oneworld alliance, Gold frequent flyers can pack an additional 15kg over and above the regular economy allowance, or can bring an additional checked bag - of up to 23kg - where the ‘piece’ system is used, up to two bags in total.

(If the standard allowance includes one free checked bag, Gold members can bring two – and if no free checked baggage is usually offered, Gold members can bring one free bag, with the exception of British Airways' 'hand luggage only' fares.)

Holding Gold status can save you money on excess baggage charges.
Holding Gold status can save you money on excess baggage charges.

Some Oneworld airlines also provide generous allowances to Oneworld Sapphire and Qantas Gold frequent flyers over and above what’s required...

British Airways gives Gold-grade flyers – plus travellers on the same reservation – an extra free checked bag when booked in economy on World Traveller, Euro Traveller and U.K. domestic fares (again, excludes ‘hand luggage only’), and raises the weight limit per bag from 23kg to 32kg for the Gold member only whether stuck down the back or relaxing up the front.

Stateside, American Airlines waives the usual fees on Qantas Gold members’ first two checked bags (up to 23kg per piece) and also extend that allowance to other travellers on the same booking, while Finnair allows one extra bag (up to 23kg) to be checked at no charge.

More perks for Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold

Earn more points

Gold-level frequent flyers earn 75% more points than Bronze members on flights with Qantas, Jetstar and American Airlines – excluding short routes like Sydney-Melbourne where Qantas’ Minimum Points Guarantee gives everybody the same bounty.

(Note that this status bonus is applied to the actual points earned on the economy fare - or flexible economy when travelling in premium cabins).

For example, a return Qantas business class flight from Sydney to London would fetch a Bronze frequent flyer 40,300 Qantas Points (and 590 status credits) on a mid-range fare: but with Gold status, that haul is boosted to 58,900 Qantas Points.

Those extra points and status credits could see you join the Platinum ranks.
Those extra points and status credits could see you join the Platinum ranks.

Priority check-in and boarding

With a Oneworld Sapphire gemstone on your Gold membership card, you’re free to use the business class priority check-in facilities across the Oneworld alliance and with Emirates, along with priority boarding on most services.

Joining business class passengers and Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum members, Gold cardholders can also use domestic priority boarding lanes wherever available, helping to get on the aircraft sooner and store any cabin baggage when there’s still plenty of space in the overhead bins.

Complimentary seat selection

With a Gold status card, you’re able to book standard seats on Qantas domestic and international journeys departing from Australia without paying the usual ‘advance seat selection’ fee. The same applies to travel companions booked on the same reservation. 

This excludes Extra Legroom Seats, which incur an additional fee to reserve. Choosing these seats is only complimentary for Platinum One members. 

Lesser-known Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold perks

While all Qantas Frequent Flyer members can request domestic flight upgrades to business class using their Qantas Points – as a Gold member, you have one more option: an ‘on departure upgrade’.

Available after check-in and within three hours of departure via the Qantas App (compared to 24 hours prior for ‘normal’ upgrades), it’s a handy function if your travel plans regularly change as staff in the lounge or at the service desk may be able to help.

The number of points required is the same as any other upgrade on the same flight, and although you may not be ‘guaranteed’ catering if granted an upgrade at the airport.

These jetsetters also have a greater chance of using frequent flyer points to book a flight, with additional award seats available exclusively to Gold and Platinum members on selected services.

They appear online in the same way as any other award seat, although you may notice more availability between what’s shown by default and what’s presented when you search again after logging into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

More Classic Reward seats are available to Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer members.
More Classic Reward seats are available to Gold Qantas Frequent Flyer members.

If you’re flying with Emirates – whether on an award seat or a regular ticket – you’ll also receive invitations wherever available to skip the queues at customs and immigration, which is normally reserved for Qantas Platinum members on the Flying Kangaroo.

Phone calls made to the Qantas Contact Centre are also handled with priority, as are any premium economy, business class and first class upgrades requests: processed after those from Platinum One and Platinum members on the same flight yet ahead of Silver, Qantas Club and Bronze travellers.

It’s also occasionally possible to switch flights at the airport without fronting up for the change fee or the fare difference, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2013

Total posts 18

Hi, I’m not sure how accurate the complimentary seat selection is. My partner and I are both gold members and have been for 6 years. We purchased 2 economy fare to Bangkok and chose the exit row. We had to pay $109 each for these seats. The Qantas site already login has us as Gold members. If this was the case wouldn’t it pick our status and allow us free non-paid seats?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2019

Total posts 3

Selection of standard seats is complimentary. Exit row seats are charged to everyone regardless of status.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jan 2017

Total posts 23

I've been lifetime gold for more than a decade and platinum for 6 years with QF.

While I enjoy the service and the extras that come with the status, I am impressed by Emirates (I'm only gold) who have a dedicated line that would answer gold members instantly (Qantas can take up to an hour). What impressed the most with Emirates as a gold member is the fact that you are guaranteed an economy class seat even if the booking says the aircraft is full.  And I have used that service twice already.

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