Why Qantas Lifetime Gold is the ‘status sweet spot’

Lifetime Gold status delivers lounge access and a raft of really useful perks to enjoy for the rest of your days.

By Staff Writers, April 21 2023
Why Qantas Lifetime Gold is the ‘status sweet spot’

Lifetime Gold status with the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is the goal of many business travellers and high flyers, and with good reason.

Holding that shiny card, with no risk of ever again being relegated, means you get all the prized Gold-grade perks – such as priority check-in, a more generous checked baggage allowance, airport lounge access, bonus points and a higher spot in the pecking order for upgrades – for the rest of your life.

Forget about trying to re-qualify each and every year: once you have enough status credits for Lifetime Gold, that card and its many benefits are yours to enjoy forever, regardless of how often you fly. You’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to enjoy the spoils.

Of course, you'll also enjoy similar benefits on all other airlines in the Oneworld alliance for all of your remaining days, such as access to the business class lounges of British Airways, Cathay Pacific, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and more, even when you're flying economy.

Qantas Lifetime Gold status is clearly a goal worth pursuing, so here's how to map out your strategy to get there.


How to earn Qantas Lifetime Gold status

Earning Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status for the first time requires 700 status credits just for one year, and then 600 status credits each year after that to keep it.

But while your annual status credit count is wiped clean at the start of each membership year, the total number of status credits accumulated across the life of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership is your tally for lifetime status.

To reach Lifetime Gold you'll need 14,000 status credits, which if you only aim to hit the minimum needed to retain Gold, will take you 24 years to achieve. Make no mistake, that's a lot of flying.

Smile: you're on your way to earning Qantas Lifetime Gold...
Smile: you're on your way to earning Qantas Lifetime Gold...

It’s the equivalent of 175 business class return trips between Sydney and Melbourne; 56 return business class treks between Sydney and Singapore; or 24 return business class jaunts to London (travelling with Qantas on a QF flight number).

Naturally, a frequent international traveller who typically flies in business class or first class will find it easier – and faster – to reach Lifetime Gold than somebody primarily flying within Australia on the lowest-cost economy class fares, which earn far fewer status credits.

Lifetime Gold: can it be reached in your lifetime?

Begin by checking your lifetime status progress via the Qantas website: log in using your frequent flyer details, head to the ‘Your Account’ page, scroll down and click on “See Activity” to check your overall membership activity for the life of your membership.

A harsh reality is that only the most frequent travellers will ever ascend to the ranks of Lifetime Gold, so before you embark on the journey, doing a few quick sums now can save much disappointment later.

Qantas' International Transit Lounge in Perth.
Qantas' International Transit Lounge in Perth.

Let’s say you’re a high flyer in your mid-30s with a lifetime balance of around 4,000 status credits. You plan to do most of your business travel over the next five years before winding things back to spend more time at home.

To reach Lifetime Gold by the end of that five-year period you’d need to earn an average of 2,000 status credits every year. If that's do-able, then go for it.

However, if you’re the type who only just manages to scrape together 600 status credits each year to retain year-on-year Gold status, you’d need to keep that up for just over 15 years (assuming you started with 4,000 lifetime status credits already under your belt) to reach your target. That's a much tougher task, so be realistic about your expectations.

As a fall back, Lifetime Silver membership is yours after racking up a total of 7,000 status credits, but the relatively meagre benefits such as priority check-in and a single Qantas lounge pass each year make this more of a 'mile marker' on the road to Lifetime Gold than a goal in its own right.

Can you fast-track to Lifetime Gold?

Status credits, not frequent flyer points, are the key to Lifetime Gold - so every time you book a flight, consider all of your options and how those options will affect your haul of status credits.

For example, Qantas 'flexible' fares in economy, premium economy and business class can earn up to twice as many status credits as lower-priced tickets although they don’t necessarily cost twice as much (and they're often better suited to business travellers and their changeable schedules).

Malaysia Airlines business class earns status credits only at economy rates...
Malaysia Airlines business class earns status credits only at economy rates...

You'll end up with a higher number of status credits per dollar spent (and per flight), which makes flexi fares particularly useful if a client is picking up the bill.

Your choice of airline and flight number is also important: you’ll generally earn the highest number of status credits on flights booked via Qantas (with a QF flight number) and a reduced number of status credits on flights booked via partner airlines.

Book a journey directly with Emirates under an EK flight number, for instance, and you’ll actually earn no status credits at all (along with a much smaller serve of frequent flyer points).

Another notable example: a Malaysia Airlines business class and business suites (first class) ticket from Australia earns Qantas status credits at the much lower flexible economy rate.

The gap becomes more noticeable on longer trips such as between Sydney and London: a business class return trip flying with Emirates but on a QF flight number nets a solid 590 status credits, but choosing to fly the same route with British Airways returns a lower 280 status credits.

Also keep your eyes peeled for any bonus status credit deals which may land in your inbox from time to time: there's typically an extra 50% or even 100%  of status credits if you book within the promotion period, even if the flights are up to a year in advance.

Benefits available on all Oneworld member airlines

Achieving Lifetime Gold status with Qantas Frequent Flyer carries with it a variety of benefits which apply to all Oneworld member airlines, of which Qantas is one. Get used to them too as they'll now apply every time you fly with one of them for the rest of your life.

Your Lifetime Gold status means you can travel with more luggage than your ticket states.
Your Lifetime Gold status means you can travel with more luggage than your ticket states.

For example, on international flights anywhere except North or South America, the weight-based system applies and you can take 20 kilograms more than what your ticket otherwise states. So if flying Economy and your ticket says 46kgs, make that 66kgs.

If you're heading to North or South America, the piece system takes effect, meaning you can take one extra bag of up to 32kgs. Some exceptions do apply, such as Basic fares with British Airways.

Domestically, grab an extra suitcase from the cupboard as Qantas doubles your allowance from one to two pieces up to 32kgs irrespective of whether you're flying economy or business class.

Of course, bear in mind that if you have any regional flights operated by Dash-8 aircraft, weight restrictions take priority and your excess luggage may be sent on other flights or as freight.

What's next for Qantas frequent flyers with Lifetime Gold status?

Assuming you've still got plenty of travel ahead of you, it's worth pausing to consider where you go from here in the frequent flyer stakes.

Hit 14,000 status credits and your Qantas Gold card is yours for life.
Hit 14,000 status credits and your Qantas Gold card is yours for life.

For even more serious high flyers, Qantas offers a Lifetime Platinum status, but with a staggering qualifying requirement of 75,000 status credits, many travellers shift their frequent flyer affiliation to another Oneworld program once they've got that Gold card in their pocket or purse.

A popular choice is American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, which offers competitive flight redemption rates compared to Qantas Frequent Flyer – although AAdvantage miles are harder to earn than Qantas points on Australian soil.

Whether you ultimately decide to utilise a second Oneworld program will largely depend on where and how far you travel, along with how you’d like to use your points or miles.

Earning Qantas Lifetime Gold Status - FAQs

Do bonus Status Credits awarded from Qantas Premier credit cards count towards Qantas Lifetime Membership tiers?

While certain credit cards like the Qantas Premier Titanium offer Bonus Status Credits on eligible Qantas flights, these do not count towards lifetime membership tiers.

Can I buy Qantas Status credits?

No, while you can buy Qantas frequent flyer points directly from Qantas itself, you can’t purchase status credits.

Is it worth going the extra mile from Lifetime Gold to Lifetime Platinum status?

In Qantas Frequent Flyer programs, the Gold status is widely regarded as the ‘sweet spot’ for benefits, and while lifetime access to Qantas International First lounges and oneworld’s Emerald status might be tempting, the reality is that at 75,000 status credits, you’ll probably need more than a lifetime to achieve Qantas Lifetime Platinum.

Travellers wishing to earn Lifetime Qantas Platinum status are better off aiming for Lifetime Gold status with British Airways’ Executive Club program (British Airways equivalent of Qantas Platinum), which would only require 35,000 tier points (Avios) to achieve.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 22

I achieved life time Gold in 2017. I have been Platinum for the past 12 Yrs, likely to lose it in Sept 24, due to change in work requirements. Main perk of Platinum is to be able to speak with the wonderful and helpful staff in Hobart, I really wish that the extension reached to Gold members. When things go wrong the only people who understand the true intricacies of the system are the Hobart staff, they fix it the first time, every time. 

I was given Lifetime Gold when they first released the product and as the article states it is a "goldmine" for a flyer.  20 years ago I was always on an international flight but now it is all leisure and very few flights per annum so it is lovely to be able to use the lounge, get preference on seating etc as well the overseas lounges of partners. 

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 93

I reached the "status sweet spot" early in the plague period by travelling to open places in Australia when prices were well down on current levels. Sadly my platinum status will disappear some time soon. Oh well, one can't have everything.


I'm currently sitting at about 10K lifetime credits with decades still to go in my career, but all the issues Qantas have had in the last 12 months has me wondering. I'm tempted to start flying other airlines, but the lure of lifetime Gold makes me want to stick until I hit it, then experience what the other side has to offer. I guess the marketing works, haha!

Also, it's worth noting that if you choose the Status Credits for the loyalty bonus at 1500 status credit mark each year, they go towards your lifetime total.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 68

I hit LTG a long time ago and have been P for the last 15-years.  I noted the other day that Qantas say my LTG expires in 2056, so they must know something I don't.  :)  Now I'll have to force myself to still be traveling in 2056, just to point out to Customer Service that my LTG didn't have an expiry when I earnt it other than the obvious one.  I'll expect them to honor it and let me into the lounge on my walker! 

For all that I've flown over 6M airmiles, I'm only sitting on 25K lifetime Qantas status credits because not my flights were with Qantas.  I'm also lifetime gold with UA, Air NZ and BA.  I'm in my 70s and retired, so no chance of Qantas LTP.  Even if I earnt 2,000 SC a year, it would take me another 25-years to achieve LTP.  Can't imagine I'll be worrying about this when I'm 100. 

Now I'm retired, I fly where and when I want and have just requalified for P again this year and will requalify again next year based on the bookings I have in the system for my next qualifying period (from Aug 31 on).  My wife and I are working through our bucket lists and doing what the government has told us to do: spending our money.  I have bookings for 1,950SC without the big ones having been booked under the DSC offer.  I also have flights booked with other OW partners, but many earn no SC, but they suit me better and at my age, it is about me and my travelling comfort, not chasing points.

I'm picky about the aircraft I fly, the airports I pass through, the class of travel I'll fly and the times of day I'll fly.  On occasions, I've even paid more for better connections, even though they don't earn points.  

I didn't get the free year extension because I had the audacity to requalify by flying.  Those who didn't requalify got an extension, some to 2025 but those of us who requalified by flying (doing it the hard way) got nothing.   Maybe if I'm still flying at 100, Qantas will send me some bonus SC, but I doubt it.  Happy flying all and yes, the LTG with Qantas is good, but having it with multiple airlines and multiple programs is a super sweet spot.  Happy travels to you all.

05 May 2016

Total posts 634

Last year during the Double Status Credits promo you could fly indirect to NZ in Business Class for about $1,000 return. Depending where you were based you could earn a similar serving of Status Credits to flying return business class to London on standard status credits. If you have some spare cash and time on your hands, if there's a good deal during a Double Status Credits promo you can fast track your progress towards Lifetime Gold.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jun 2018

Total posts 6

You would think that Qantas would regard LTG members better than just GFF, possibly the same as Platinum FF, given the long term commitment we have! Just a thought Mr Joyce.


02 Sep 2018

Total posts 6

Totally agree 

I always think LTG is only treated equally as Gold on the days I fly with no true recognition to differentiate the long term loyalty between the LTG vs Gold 

Btw how many LTG members are there currently?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2020

Total posts 1

Just got my LTG last month, two months before I retire. Happy days ahead.

23 Dec 2021

Total posts 1

I decided to to a check based on this article. Sitting on 10k lifetime credits accumulated over 17 years of business/personal travel. 

I reckon 20 is probably the average. With a bit of luck i'll hit platinum for the first time this year!

The one world lounge access is by far the best perk. I'll always pop into JAL for a pre flight curry rice


02 Sep 2018

Total posts 6

Totally agree with Hobart flyer. There’s no differentiation between LTG & Gold benefits on the day I travel even tho it took a great difference to achieve ( other than not having to re qualify).

Does LTG on both domestic & International get access to Business Lounge or only to Qantas Club?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2012

Total posts 179

Just hit LTG a few weeks ago. I have a few years of travel ahead which will keep me at Platinum but I’m sure in time when I stop LTG will be nice. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Apr 2023

Total posts 1

I barely noticed the LTG when I reached it as I was focused on Platinum One which I finally reached due to the DSC promotions and a travel agent who understood and supported me. So now having read this article I am conflicted as to whether I should focus on other programs. My last trip with Qantas/ American was a nightmare and each airline said it was the others fault. It was definitely the Platinum hotline that helped me most. So I am hoping to maintain Platinum for a while but Lifetime Platinum seems unrealistic as I am now 67.

I do enjoy the LTG concept so when I retire in a few years and my trips are not tax deductible I will still have some status. I agree with the comments that longevity should be rewarded but as with most companies it is “ What have you done for me lately”

04 May 2023

Total posts 1


Did Qantas recognise status retention offered during covid for Lifetime status. I've not seen a change in my lifetime membership over the last 2 years, where I couldn't travel much, but I retained Planinum.

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