Your guide to Qantas Lifetime Silver status

Lifetime Silver isn't just a half-way point to Lifetime Gold, it's your ticket to very useful perks for the rest of your life.

By Staff Writers, August 5 2022
Your guide to Qantas Lifetime Silver status

Lifetime Silver status in the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme is often seen as a mere stepping stone on the path to Lifetime Gold, but don't underestimate the power of this shiny card.

Qantas Lifetime Silver status has a lot going for it, and not just when you’re flying with Qantas. Its benefits can also be enjoyed on partner airlines such as Air France, Emirates and KLM, and because Qantas Silver equates to Ruby status in the Oneworld alliance, you have Oneworld Lifetime Ruby privileges across all Oneworld members such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways.

You’ll also receive a complimentary Qantas lounge pass every year for the rest of your life, plus a slew of practical benefits to save time, money and hassle whenever you fly with Qantas or its partners.

In short, no matter how far away it may seem, Qantas Lifetime Silver status is a goal worth having.

What is Qantas Lifetime Silver status?

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program has always been about rewarding travellers for their loyalty on a year-by-year basis – but lifetime status goes a step further, recognising long-term loyalty by offering lifelong benefits.

Qantas Silver is of course a step up from the entry-level of Qantas Bronze, and it’s the first tier where you get really practical perks.

To reach Qantas Silver status, you have to earn 300 status credits within your ‘membership year’; after that, you only have to earn 250 status credits every membership year to to retain that existing Silver membership.

If you fall short of those 250 status credits, your QFF membership drops back to Bronze and you’ll need to earn the full 300 status credits to regain Silver status.

Every Qantas flight brings you a few steps closer to Lifetime Silver status.
Every Qantas flight brings you a few steps closer to Lifetime Silver status.

But while you start each membership year with your status credits counter reset to zero, behind the scenes Qantas keeps a running tally of how many status credits you’ve accrued throughout your years of membership.

It’s this tally which unlocks Qantas Lifetime Silver status – and beyond it, Lifetime Gold and even Lifetime Platinum – and ensures you enjoy the benefits of Silver frequent flyer membership for the rest of your days, regardless of how often you fly.

The best perks of Qantas Lifetime Silver

While there’s plenty to like about being a frequent flyer for life, these three benefits stand out from the rest.

1. Priority check-in

Perhaps the best perk of Lifetime Silver status is that you’ll never again have to join the regular economy check-in queue, with access to Premium Service Desks prior to Qantas domestic flights and the business class check-in queues when travelling internationally.

That benefit isn’t limited to Qantas either, and can be used when travelling with American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and any other Oneworld member, even if you are flying economy.

Priority check-in is also offered when flying with Emirates: either using the dedicated Silver frequent flyer counters in Dubai or the business class counters in all other airports.

As a Lifetime Silver Qantas frequent flyer, you can say goodbye forever to the Economy check-in line.
As a Lifetime Silver Qantas frequent flyer, you can say goodbye forever to the Economy check-in line.

2. Extra checked baggage

When taking a Qantas domestic flight in economy, the normal allowance of a single 23kg bag is boosted to a 32kg bag.

On most Emirates and Qantas international flights, you can also bring an extra 12kg of checked baggage over and above the allowance shown on your ticket; on Qantas flights to North and South America, you can bring one extra bag (of up to 32kg) when booked in premium economy or business class, or two extra checked bags when flying in first class.

With Air France and KLM, Qantas Lifetime Silver members can also pack an extra 12kg of luggage on flights using the weight system, or one extra checked bag on flights using the piece system.

3. Complimentary seat selection

Planning to fly overseas with Qantas, even on the lowest-cost economy tickets?

As a Lifetime Silver frequent flyer, standard seat selection fees are waived for you and anybody else travelling on the same ticket: you’ll only be charged a fee if you want to stretch out in an extra legroom seat.

Pick a seat, any seat: Lifetime Silver members don't have to pay standard seat selection fees.
Pick a seat, any seat: Lifetime Silver members don't have to pay standard seat selection fees.

(Standard seat selection is free on domestic Qantas flights, with the same caveat about extra legroom seats.)

Across the Oneworld alliance you also have access to preferred or pre-reserved seating, depending on the rules of the individual airline.

For example, with British Airways, your Qantas Silver / Oneworld Ruby status entitles you and everybody in your booking to complimentary seat selection from seven days before your flight – handy even if flying business class, where BA still levies seat selection fess – with any remaining exit row seats available for selection within 24 hours of departure.

On Cathay Pacific flights, extra legroom seats are complimentary from the moment you book, and can be selected online once your Qantas Lifetime Silver number has been attached to your booking.

Even more benefits for Qantas Lifetime Silver

On every Qantas flight (as well as Jetstar flights, depending on your ticket), Silver and Lifetime Silver members earn 50% more Qantas Points, so you can more quickly build up that points balance for upgrades and free flights.

As mentioned earlier, as a Qantas Lifetime Silver member you’ll receive a complimentary Qantas lounge pass every year. This quite literally opens the doors to any domestic Qantas Club lounge in Australia, as well as international business class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, London and Auckland.

Your free Qantas lounge pass can be enjoyed at Qantas' London Heathrow Lounge, among many others.
Your free Qantas lounge pass can be enjoyed at Qantas' London Heathrow Lounge, among many others.

If you’re not flying, this pass can be shared with family and friends to get their Qantas or Jetstar flight off to a nice start.

You can also combine Lifetime Silver status with Qantas Club membership or the Qantas Points Club to enjoy even more Qantas lounge access.

When using your points to upgrade to premium economy, business class or even first class on a Qantas flight where upgrades are waitlisted, your request takes priority over entry-level Bronze frequent flyers, which could be the difference between flying up the front and sitting down the back.

Silver members of Qantas Frequent Flyer earn priority over Bronze members in the call centre queue.
Silver members of Qantas Frequent Flyer earn priority over Bronze members in the call centre queue.

Similarly, when calling Qantas, your call will take priority over Bronze members. Just don’t expect the phone to be answered on the first ring – or even in the first few minutes – because as you’d expect, Chairman’s Lounge, Platinum One, Platinum and Qantas Gold frequent flyers take higher priority.

Finally, Qantas sometimes reserves extra Classic Flight Reward seats for Qantas Silver frequent flyers and above, so if you’re trying to use your Qantas Points to book a flight and aren’t having much luck, try searching again when logged into your Lifetime Silver account and see if that changes.

How to qualify for Qantas Lifetime Silver

So how you do get a lifetime of those frequent flyer benefits?

Qantas Lifetime Silver membership is yours after earning 7,000 status credits across the lifetime of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, which is one reason we suggest joining the Qantas Frequent Flyer program as soon as you begin travelling with the Flying Kangaroo.

After all, 7,000 status credits is equivalent to retaining annual Silver status every year for 28 years. And that’s a lot of flying – but this is what lifetime membership is intended to reflect and reward.

Because the number of status credits earned on a flight depends on your travel class and even the type of fare you’ve bought (for example, discount economy earns fewer status credits than a standard economy ticket) as well as the length of your flight, the path to Lifetime Silver takes many forms.

As a quick reference, you could go zero status credits to the 7,000 status credit milestone of Lifetime Silver with

  • 88 return journeys between Sydney and Melbourne on most business class fares
  • 28 return Sydney-Singapore or Melbourne-Singapore business class trips
  • 20 return business class trips between Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and Los Angeles
  • 12 return business class journeys between Australia and London

Of course, your flying pattern over the years it’ll take to reach Lifetime Silver will be far more mixed than that.

You can keep an eye on your progress by logging into the Qantas website, browsing to the main My Account page, and clicking “See all status activity”.

Scroll down the page and you’ll spot your tally to date under “Lifetime membership.”

In this example, the traveller has earned about 72% of the status credits required to achieve Lifetime Silver, with only 1,961 status credits to go.

For seriously high flyers, Qantas Lifetime Gold can be yours after amassing 14,000 status credits – but for many people, Qantas Lifetime Silver paired with an airport lounge access via Qantas Club or Points Club Plus membership or the right credit card, can be just as useful and twice as easy to achieve.

Fast track your way to Qantas Lifetime Silver

As long and daunting as the road to 7,000 status credits may be, here are some shortcuts to help you close the gap.

Even if your travel defaults to the lowest-cost fares, consider higher-priced fares when it makes sense to do so. These earn more status credits, so on a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight, you could be earning 20 status credits instead of 10.

It won’t make sense to pay double your normal fare to increase your status credit haul, but if the price difference between the two happens to be small enough, paying the difference can get you to Lifetime Silver faster.)

Watch out for double status credits promotions which Qantas runs from time to time: these typically only give you one week in which to book your flights, although the flights themselves can be taken as far out as a year in advance. But be quick to lock in those holidays or business trips and on each flight you’ll earn twice as many status credits as usual.

Book an Emirates flight under its QF flight number to score the maximum number of Qantas status credits.
Book an Emirates flight under its QF flight number to score the maximum number of Qantas status credits.

Choose status credits instead of points as your Qantas Loyalty Bonus: this bonus is granted on every 500 status credits you earn in a membership year, and the bonus adds 50 extra status credits added to your annual (and therefore lifetime) tally.

Want to pocket another 50 status credits without even taking a flight? The Qantas Green Tier challenge sets up a series of eco-friendly activities: cross them off your to-do list and you can choose between 10,000 points or 50 status credits as your reward.

Finally, if you’re flying with a Qantas partner airline such as Emirates, Fiji Airways or a Oneworld member, book the Qantas ‘codeshare’ service, which uses a QF flight number instead of the other airlines’. For example, Emirates’ flight EK413 from Sydney to Dubai can also be booked through Qantas or a travel agent as flight QF8413.

While most Qantas partners offer status credits on eligible fares, you’ll usually earn the highest number of status credits under that Qantas codeshare flight number – especially so with Emirates, because you’ll earn no status credits at all on an EK flight number but enjoy a full serve of status credits when taking the same journey under a QF flight number.

JD1
JD1

03 Aug 2020

Total posts 7

This is a great article Chris. Whilst not at LT Silver yet hopefully I will be by the time the year is out. I am a little confused with the current airport offering though. For a long time there have been no priority counters open at the domestic airports with staff directing you to the self check in machines. I noted yesterday in Sydney that the counters were open. I wonder if Qantas has now changed this. Would be great if they have. And would continue to be a great perk for those entitled to use the priority check in.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Priority check-in is particularly valuable for international flights as they obviously want to see your passport and verify you can fly to check your bags in.

If international borders reopen later this year I too may reach LTS as soon as later this year.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 658

Aiming for LTS/LTG is worth it. Weather you fly a lot or not,  it can make a world of difference from the booking process to the airport and of course the in-air experience. I'm LTG/Plat and would be lost without the benefits of status.  LTG is an amazing pension plan to strive for! While LTE is ridiculously unrealistic for most and a little arrogant at 75K SC's, I'm forever thankful I reached LTG.

19 Apr 2013

Total posts 13

I don't know why Qantas doesn't recognise the LF status (even in part) year on year. For example, LTS still needs to earn 700 status credits to upgrade to Gold for that/subsequent year. There is no recognition of the Lifetime status level. Even if they made qualification at the renewal rate, this would be something (i.e. 600). 

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Lifetime Status with QANTAS is designed to cushion the blow when your travel drops off by not having a fall back to Bronze. It's not designed for making it easier to level up your status (though the benefits of lifetime status may encourage you to fly QANTAS more than you otherwise would).

19 Apr 2013

Total posts 13

I know a couple of LF Golds who have felt more comfortable flying other airlines once this milestone was reached - and not pursued Platinum. So your theory may be why, but it's not necessarily the smartest move. If you don't fly as much as you once may have Gold and Platinum may be too much of a stretch despite the benefits.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Make it too easy to get status and the lounges could get too crowded. There is a trade-off and rightly or wrongly QF has decided to do things the way they do them.

If QF changed the rules that you only needed 1200 SCs to get Platinum if Lifetime Gold, then Double Credits MEL-SYD-SIN-LHR return in business would be enough to level up to Platinum off just the one trip.

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 149

I'm platinum (have been for years) and I'll be lifetime gold in the next year or so.

But I changed jobs a few years ago and other than Covid-related extensions I'd have had very little chance of keeping platinum now.  

If lifetime gold gave me a boost towards platinum each year, I'd make a concerted effort to push for platinum.  But as it stands, I'm gold regardless so I've got very little incentive to favour Qantas for the sake of status.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 411

I have a suggestion for Qantas and it would bring huge goodwill to the airline, I think. The pandemic had an effect on those trying to attain lifetime platinum (or any lifetime status for that matter). I was probably 5 years from lifetime platinum (I've been Plat1 some years) in 2019 and now I've lost two years for attaining lifetime platinum not being able to travel. Why not credit people with what they had in 2019 also for 2020 and 2021? It would help achieving that lifetime goal.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

Glad to now have Lifetime Silver status, but I still see it as a stepping stone towards Lifetime Gold. The benefits are better than being Bronze, but nowhere near as good as having Gold or higher status.

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

QF do offer lifetime Platinum. I think it's set at 70'000 status credits - they don't advertise it though. I calculated a few years back you'll have spent roughly $1m on airfares to achieve LTP if you did it mostly on international first class fares.


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