Your guide to Qantas Lifetime Silver status

More than 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, March 22 2024
Your guide to Qantas Lifetime Silver status

Among Qantas Frequent Flyer’s lifetime status tiers, Silver is often overlooked as a stepping stone on the path to Lifetime Gold. But don’t underestimate the power of this shiny card – it has a lot going for it, and not just when flying with Qantas.

With Silver status the equivalent of Oneworld Ruby, it locks in lifetime perks including priority check-in and priority over non-frequent flyers on standby across 12 additional airlines (soon to be 13).

You also enjoy benefits across partner airlines such as Air France, Emirates and KLM, as well as one complimentary Qantas lounge pass every year, plus a slew of practical benefits to save time and hassle whenever flying Qantas or its partners.

In short, no matter how far away it may seem, it’s a status goal worth having.

What is Qantas Lifetime Silver status?

Qantas Frequent Flyer is all 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 retain that existing Silver membership.

Status credits can be earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar and Oneworld member flights.
Status credits can be earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar and Oneworld member flights.

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.

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.

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.

For 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.

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

Seat selection rules do vary slightly across Oneworld partners.
Seat selection rules do vary slightly across Oneworld partners.

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 Oneworld Ruby status entitles you and everybody in your booking to complimentary seat selection from seven days before your flight, with any remaining exit row seats up for grabs within 24 hours of departure.

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.

Step inside the Qantas Sydney International Business Lounge.
Step inside the Qantas Sydney International Business Lounge.

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.

Access to Qantas Clubs isn't part of Lifetime Silver, meaning you'll need to purchase it separately.
Access to Qantas Clubs isn't part of Lifetime Silver, meaning you'll need to purchase it separately.

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

Lifetime Silver is yours after earning 7,000 status credits over the lifetime of your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, making it worthwhile joining the 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 promos 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. 

Qantas Double Status promos typically occur twice a year.
Qantas Double Status promos typically occur twice a year.

You could also 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.

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