Is Qantas Lifetime Gold status worth aiming for?

It takes a lot of flying, but the prize is a lifetime of lounge access and other practical travel perks.

By Staff Writers, September 18 2023
Is Qantas Lifetime Gold status worth aiming for?

Among the three status tiers of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Qantas Gold is generally regarded as the ‘sweet spot’.

It’s more attainable than Qantas Platinum, as you need to earn only half as many status credits each year – and unlike Qantas Silver you enjoy a raft of benefits which really make a difference on domestic and international flights for business or leisure, such as

  • access to hundreds of airport lounges across Australia and around the world
  • easier access to upgrades
  • complimentary seat selection
  • a higher checked baggage allowance
  • priority check-in and boarding, and
  • earning more Qantas Points on eligible flights

Now imagine being able to tap into all those perks for the rest of your life, even when you are no longer regularly jetting around and become instead an infrequent flyer.

That’s the lure of Qantas Lifetime Gold.

As you’d expect, it’s the middle rung on the lifetime status ladder, above Qantas Lifetime Silver (which is often a milestone on the path to Lifetime Gold) and below Qantas Lifetime Platinum.

And make no mistake: being able to slide the shiny Qantas Lifetime Gold card into your travel wallet takes a lot of flying.

If you take the annual status credit requirement for Qantas Gold as your benchmark, Lifetime Gold demands 24 years of flying, with those trips largely but not exclusively made on Qantas.

But when you consider the upsides, we rate Qantas Lifetime Gold status as 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 membership year, and then 600 status credits every 12 months year after that to keep your Gold status active.

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 continues to tick over and represents your tally for lifetime status.

To reach Qantas Lifetime Gold you’ll need to amass a whopping 14,000 status credits.

That represents 24 years of flying based on hitting just the minimum needed to retain Gold.

It’s the equivalent of 175 business class return trips between Sydney and Melbourne, or 56 return business class treks between Sydney and Singapore, or 24 return business class treks to London.

Of course, the more years you spend at the Platinum or even Platinum One tier the quicker you’ll pocket that Lifetime Gold card.

Can Lifetime Gold be reached in your lifetime?

As you can appreciate, a frequent international traveller who typically sits in business class will reach Lifetime Gold much faster than somebody primarily flying within Australia on the lowest-cost economy class fares, which earn far fewer status credits.

So if achieving Lifetime Gold is on your list, you’ll need to prioritise those high-earning flights and fares – and not just on Qantas but with partner airlines, by listing your QFF number against every booking. 

To get an idea of where you already are on the path to Lifetime Gold, checking your lifetime status progress via the Qantas website: log in using your frequent flyer details, head to the ‘Your Account’ page and scroll down and click on “See Activity” to check your overall membership activity for the life of your membership.

Let’s say you’re a high flyer in your mid-30s with a lifetime balance of around 4,000 status credits, and you intend 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 to hang onto Gold status year-on-year, 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.)

Tips to reach Qantas Lifetime Gold faster

With status credits being the key to unlocking Lifetime Gold, you’ll need to make those your focus and learn to maximise your status credit haul.

Obviously, when it comes to flying with Qantas, the more expensive fares in higher cabin classes are the way to go.

If your company or a client is paying for your flights, try to nudge the booking from a saver or discount fare to a standard fare, or ideally a flexible fare – although with the cost of airfares these days, that's probably going to be a big ask.

All the same, those Qantas ‘flexible’ fares in economy, premium economy and business class can earn up to twice as many status credits as lower-priced tickets (and they're often better suited to business travellers and their changeable schedules).

Watch for Qantas Double Status Credits (DSC) promotions – they typically land a few times each year, and while the booking period can last for a week or even less, bookings you make under a DSC offer can usually be as far as a year in advance.

For example, in March 2023 Qantas unleashed a DSC promotion which required flights be booked between March 23 and March 28, but the actual dates of travel could be anywhere from March 29 2023 through to February 28 2024.

That makes a Qantas Double Status Credits promotion your fast track to Lifetime Gold if you're in a position to move fast and book all your forward business trips and holidays.

Along the way, for every 500 status credits earned on Qantas and Jetstar flights in your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership year you’ll receive a loyalty bonus of either 8,000 Qantas Points or 50 status credits – always choose the status credits.

When you’re not flying on Qantas, make its partner airlines your preference – that roster includes all members of the Oneworld alliance along with Emirates – because you’ll still be able to earn Qantas status credits if your booking contains your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number.

The highest number of status credits will generally be earned on flights booked via Qantas and carrying a QF flight number.

That’s especially the case with Emirates, because booking on the normal EK flight number earns you no Qantas status credits at all – but booking it under the QF codeshare flight number (which will be something like QF8xxx) lands you the same number of status credits as if this was actually a Qantas flight.

Read more: Earning Qantas points and status credits on Emirates flights

Globetrotters should also do their homework when it comes to Oneworld airlines: some of the cheapest economy fares will earn you no status credits, and even some business class fares earn Qantas status credits at the modest flexible economy rate (Malaysia Airlines business class is one example).

The Qantas website includes tables showing how the booking class on partner airlines aligns to its own Qantas Frequent Flyer earning categories for points and status credits.

From that, you can work out how many status credits will land in your QFF account depending on the type of ticket you buy on the likes of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, Qatar Airways and others.

What you don’t get with Qantas Lifetime Gold status

We’d love to report that in addition to a lifetime of standard Gold-plated perks, Qantas Lifetime Gold status brings a few extra benefits to the table to reflect the long hard slog, the endless bum-numbing miles you’ve flown and your steadfast loyalty to Qantas.

Sadly, that’s not the case: despite what is likely to be at least a decade of dedication, Qantas offers nothing beyond the norm of annual Gold membership.

There’s no higher-than-Gold-but-less-than-Platinum priority for upgrades, no annual handful of invitations to the Qantas First Lounges, no option to redirect your annual status credits to a partner to help boost their own status.

That’s honestly disappointing, and something we hope Qantas rectifies in the near future.

 

 

From that, you can work out how many status credits will land in your QFF account depending on the type of ticket you buy on the likes of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, JAL, Qatar Airways and others.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2014

Total posts 24

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.

09 Feb 2021

Total posts 3

It's always worth remembering that "lifetime" status means whichever is shorter of either your life or the life of the airline (as some Ansett flyers would know).

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 78

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.

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 93

That expiry date is when you turn 99 or thereabouts. Seems it's the latest scare tactic. I got a date, too, and ignored it, but doubt I'll be interested in flying then.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 109

OZjames, I’m in my 50’s and got a similar ‘end date’. I really hope they don’t know something we don’t 🤔. Agree with everything else you’ve said, I think we’re in lockstep

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

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 7

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.

CLK
CLK

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 2

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

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CLK

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 3

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”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 109

Spread the love. Sadly VA has no lifetime anything but it’s nice to be able to choose. 

04 May 2023

Total posts 1

Hi

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.

QF

03 Jul 2015

Total posts 21

I was lucky enough to attain lifetime Platinum as I was about to retire, and now hardly travel, LOL.

But when I do, no difference from Platinum that I can see, except a heavy metal membership card, allegedly made from  a scrapped 747 fuselage.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

Very handy for retirement when the lounge and shorter queues really do have their advantages.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1023

I stepped up from yearly LONE4 trips to DONE3's around 2008. I had LTG by 2010. 

Then QF rolled out the "simpler and fairer" changes in 2014 which drastically reduced the earn rates. I went from earning 2200-2800 SCs in a DONE3 trip to earning around 1300-1800.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 9

I'm 134  SC's shy of Lifetime Silver, after 29 years,  LTG is beyond my reach. I have been Gold status for 7 of the past 8 yeras and I have enjoyed the lounge and seating perks, but I will stop at LTS.

I have more than 1M points accrued that I cannot use the way I wish so there is no point accruing any more points. LTS will give me seat allocation on any future QF flight that I will choose based on value and convenience. 

My loyalty to QF has been burned.

My mate has lifetime gold. In the process, his wife divorced him because he was never home. 

Worth it? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2013

Total posts 10

I was a QF Platinum F/J member for many years and qualified for Lifetime Gold but Pre-Covid (2019) had major health issues that prevented me from flying so I asked QFF to "hold" my membership pending surgeries (if I survived I'd be back to flying again) but was told this was only possible due to pregnancy which in my case (M) was impossible even with an immaculate conception !!!  The good news - I survived surgery and made a full recovery AND back to flying again on SQ QR EK BUT not QF !!! Goodbye Richard 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 50

I am lifetime silver, a couple of thousand status credits short of lifetime gold. What annoys the hell out of me is the extra 100 credits required over the annual rate to rejoin when you lose gold status. I have loyally flown QF, and occasionally its code share partners, for many years, but some years I travel a lot, some years I don't travel much at all. In the latter years I sometimes lose my gold status, even though I might have held it for some years. Fair enough, but why not allow me to reacquire gold for 600 points instead of 700, based on my many years of past gold status, even if those years were not always consecutive?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jun 2018

Total posts 7

It would be great if Qantas rewarded life time gold members with the same frequent flyer perks as platinum FF, given the amount of flying we have done and the commitment we have made to the airline it is the least they could do.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 232

I don't think Lifetime Golds should get Platinum perks, if they did then what do Lifetime Platinums get, especially considering their flying and commitment to Qantas is even greater than a Lifetime Gold member. But I do agree Lifetime Golds should get something more than a regular Gold. This article suggest a few good options, maybe that could also include annual gifting of Silver status or even Qantas Club membership to a QFF friend or relative.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 466

... same perks as Platinum FF, you get that by qualifying for life time platinum.  Well, good in theory but there must be 100 LTG for every LTP.  I got about half way!  

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 232

Speaking as a Lifetime Gold member, this is worth aiming for, and the sooner you start the sooner you'll get there. It takes a LOT of business class travel, especially overseas. And I agree that Lifetime Golds should get some perks beyond QFF members holding normal 'annual' Gold status.

29 Jul 2015

Total posts 2

Only 49,415 SC left to reach Lifetime Platinum….probably missed another 25,000 out of the tally by traveling other airlines the past 20 years due to better fares. 

I know this is about Qantas but perhaps Virgin should think about recognising those flyers that have flown a lot with them over the years. Would be nice to have Lifetime on both so I can pick and choose in the future. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2015

Total posts 13

Mmmmm think I’m heading elsewhere …. There was a scheme some time ago re retaining status credits from previous year if flights booked before December, 2023 (my QF year is October) and fly within a designated time 2024.  Unfortunately,  I am unable to find the email which you had to register for and now QF say this is incorrect, did not happen.  The person I spoke to on the FF telephone had absolutely no idea what I was talking about and out me on to someone else who was unable to help me either.  Customer Service no longer exists with Qantas.  Looks like I’ve lucked out so moving on …. Shame really.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 49

I am glad to read that I am not the only one thinking that LTG should get perks above 'normal annual' Gold.

Here are some ideas for those having achieved LTG, or even LTS:

- a 'one-up' benefit whereby you get to enjoy the benefit of one cabin class up from what your original ticket entitled, e.g.if you buy business class ticket, you get to enjoy first-class/Platinum perks. Obviously, this only applies if you fly Qantas. This will keep your customers who have attained LTG to keep on flying Qantas.

- a guaranteed one cabin-class upgrade, maybe twice a year or something like that, so that you get the upgrade as soon as you buy the ticket, instead of only knowing if your classic upgrade 'request' is successful 24-72 hours before your departure. I think most customers would really feel appreciated if they can have guaranteed business cabin for long haul flights which they may do a few times a year. Again, this only applies if you fly Qantas, and this will ensure customers loyalty to keep on flying Qantas, even after LTG.

Above all, please lower the threshold for LTP, it is ridiculous. Current threshold just doesn't make any business sense whatsoever. In fact, Qantas is actually actively discouraging their loyal customers who have attained LTG from flying Qantas, and actually pushing them into the arms other Oneworld airlines for a few obvious reasons: other airlines have more reasonable threshold for LTP, and equally important, many fare codes for partner airlines are not eligible for points or SCs.

I always wonder how the decision was made to put such a ridiculous level for LTP. I almost thought it was due to some "data scientists" doing simply straight-line extrapolation based on the current flying patterns of their Platinum customers, naively assuming that customers' flying patterns stay constant regardless of the stages of their life, leading to a rather faulty conclusion that 75K SC is needed to ensure the number of LTP is only a certain percentage of their customers.

12 Jul 2017

Total posts 7

Spasquarelli hit the nail on the head. Platinum gives you access to the Hobart call centre (sometimes) and you don't have to put up with the incompetence of Cape Town

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 197

With LTS and QPlife, and all long-distance travel in J anyway now that I’m mostly retired, there doesn’t seem any point in shooting for gold at any time. It would have been nice to perhaps occasionally improve my seating, but what the heck, any J seat is fine for those long hauls.

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 23

Im LTG. 

4 simple perks I see to elevate it above Gold to recognise sustained loyalty.

1) Status credits on QF classic reward tickets as per Points Club

2) Platinum level priority boarding group when this is rolled out

3) Onboard greeting on flights when it happens.

4) Adjustment to card image on app, something like changing the Kangaroo to the classic winged version so staff can quickly recognise you as long time flyer.

28 Mar 2018

Total posts 31

I wished LTP was more attainable.

Something to aim for once you've achieved LTG. At the current levels, it is so high, most LTGs won't even try.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 320

One also has to remember how many perks Qantas will dissolve over the many years to obtain lifetime gold status, the latest being priority boarding, I always thought lifetime gold was worth chasing but not anymore, Qantas can change the rules and devalue it whenever it wants. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2015

Total posts 10

I joined QFF when I was 16. My QF number begins with 02*****.  So I’ve been there all the way. I achieved LtG last year at 49yo. So yes it’s been a long journey!

 I’ve been platinum for the past six years and like others I did it on my own and received no benefit from the extensions at all.  I hardly fly qf these days. Just the four flight requires to keep platinum.  I also have sq pps with enough in reserve for about four years!  So that tells you about my choices!  In any case the Qatar lounges outclass any qf lounge including qf first!

Happy travels! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 92

Worth aiming for ?  The simple answer is yes, but only if a/you travel a lot and b/ the airline does not continue to slowly erode the care of its customers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 13

Just got my LTG earlier this year after 32 years of mainly QF/OW travel.

For those looking to boost their SC tally, don't forget that one benefit of Qantas Points Club is the ability to earn status credits on flight redemptions. In fact, my qualifying flight that took me over the 14000 SC was a flight redemption J class from NZ

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 2

I am lifetime silver and it’s of no value whatsoever so I won’t be flying Qantas to try and reach lifetime gold.


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