Almost Silver! Need some advice

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by cmdwedge, Oct 26, 2006.

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  1. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Intern

    May 27, 2006
    76
    37
    CBR
    Hello all,

    I've been poking my nose around the site for some time, but this is my first post. I've joined QANTAS Frequent Flyer and have (as you'd expect) Bronze membership. Now, I don't usually fly a lot in any given year, but I've wizzed around a little bit and have almost enough SCs for Silver membership.

    So I have two questions -

    After I return from London in mid January, I will be 90 SCs short of Silver membership. I need to obtain 90 SCs before 30th April 2007 for Silver.

    1. What is the cheapest way to earn 90 SCs? I live in Canberra, so we don't have international flights directly from here (Canberra International Airport - ha!).

    And

    2. Is it worth spending the money on those flights (and the 90 SCs therein) for Silver membership? I will be flying a bit next year too. I understand that it just allows me to check-in at a different desk or something, and the real fun starts at Gold. Given that I'm so tantalisingly close to Silver, this year, should I make the run for it or just let it elapse and worry about Silver another year?

    Thanks for your help!

    Phil
     

  2. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    Hey cmdwedge - check out this link to the various benefits of status on QF.

    The benefits are 25% status bonus on miles earned (mind you 25% of not a lot is still not a lot), business class check in (a god send on Int'l flights - but with OLCI is there a real benefit for domestic), 1 extra piece of baggage domestic (extra 10KG int'l - a key benefit for me) and 1 (that's right 1) free QP entry and finally preferred seating.

    Given you are quite a way qualification only you can assess if those benefits are worth the extra costs. Personally I wouldnt do it - if you were say 10/20SCs there would be some benefit and if it was Gold that's a different matter altogether...
     
  3. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    40,441
    8,809
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Hi cmdwedge and welcome to AFF.

    A CBR-SYD return trip in business for ~$600 would earn you 80 SC's and leave you 10 SC's short. Another CBR-SYD return trip in economy for ~$230 would earn an additional 20 SC's thereby attaining Silver.

    The best benefit as you mention is being able to check-in using the QC or business class queues. There are other benefits.

    If you know you are going to get Gold next year it is probably better to wait it out.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    The status bonus is effectively 0 on short flights, since minimum mileage is applied as the last step in the mileage earning calculation.

    If you think you have a good shot at Gold next membership year then by doing a run for Silver you only get the value of the Silver benefits for a short period (since you'd qualify silver some time next year on the way to Gold). So may not be worth spending $800 odd.

    OTOH, if you think next year you'd struggle to requalify but be close, then the lower target to requalify status may be of some help (plus get the benefits of Silver all year).
     
  5. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Personally I would not be paying anything much to attain Silver status. And 90 SCs is still quite a way short. If it was 10SCs then may be worth it. I don't see the benefits of Silver as being worthwhile spending money for. I would be considering spending the money on a Qantas Club membership instead.
     
  6. Shano

    Shano Established Member

    Aug 17, 2006
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    I would also consider paying for QP memebership rather than spending >$800 on flights to get Silver status. Even though there is a high up front memebership fee, the renewal costs aren't quite so bad if you fail to gain Gold status the following year and still want lounge access.
     
  7. JamesF

    JamesF Intern

    Apr 15, 2005
    62
    0
    SYD
    Gday Phil,

    Have you thought about doing the AA Plat Challenge? Your trip to London should get you over the line. Then you get free lounge access and 100% bonus miles. :)

    Check out the AA forum here at AFF for details. AA Plat is way better than QF silver, and you wont have to spend any extra money to get the status.

    cheers
    James
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4

    I didn't think Plat challenges could straddle a financial year? (Plus is the fare an eligible earning one on AAdvantage?)
     
  9. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Intern

    May 27, 2006
    76
    37
    CBR
    It's an 'S' class fare to London and back. And I've already linked our QFF numbers to the e-tickets. :(
     
  10. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,742
    DOnt worry about that - if you want to do a challenge (please research it first in this thread as its not just a simple earn/burn ratio question - there are lots of questions) just call QF and tell them to delete the QF number and insert the AA number.

    I have a BA flight booked for Friday where I am using my QF number to get good seat selection and will change the number at check in to my AA number (and will check the BP carefully). Its easy - just needs human interaction (as NM always reminds us)
     
  11. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Intern

    May 27, 2006
    76
    37
    CBR
    Alrighty, I've read the top of that thread, signed up for AA (it's free anyway), and now I have another quick question.

    It seems that my S class return ticket will cover 21,000 miles of flight (MEL-LHR-MEL). And for the AA challenge, I get 0.25 x qpoints. My question is - what's a qpoint? 1 mile = 1 qpoint? Does that mean I'd get circa 5,250 qpoints from that trip to London - which would qualify me for 'Gold' status with AA?

    Sorry for all the questions, guys. I appreciate all your help.

    Oh.. and what does Gold status give me (I'm about to download the booklet from the AA site, but a quick answer would be great).

    Thanks again,

    Phil
     
  12. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
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    A qpoint is AA's equivalent of SCs. It is a status earning level measure thats based on teh miles flown and fare class. As you can see from Dave's thread - different fare classes earn different rates. You need 50K miles to qualify (non challenge) for Gold and 100K for Platinum. As such you would only qualify as AA Gold as you point out.

    AA Gold = QFF Silver = Oneworld Ruby

    From a comparison point of view AA Gold gives you a 50% status bonus on qulaifying flights which is better than 25% on QFF as a silver. However AA have a lower minimu earning points of 500 compared to QFF being 1000. So if you do lots of short flights - you might earn more points on QFF irrespective of status.

    However - the burn rate (the number of points required for an award) are in favour of AA (i.e. less) and you minimise fuel fines on award flights (which may not be an issue when QF include fuel fines in the base fare).

    You wont get lounge access as AA gold and you wont get the 10kg extra baggage you would with QF silver on QF flights.

    Hope that helps. I think for you it will be a margin call as to which program you go with. Do you accrue QFF points on your credit card?
     
  13. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
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    you can remove the QF number quite easily

    An S class return from Australia to UK will complete the Platinum challenge and is def worth doing.

    Dave
     
  14. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Intern

    May 27, 2006
    76
    37
    CBR
    Interesting. It's a great pity that I didn't think of this when I did my SYD-AKL-SYD flight a few weeks ago!

    Whilst I might 'only' get Gold status, I can do another Challenge to try again for Platinum, can I not? Also, does it matter that my flights straddle the New Year (depart MEL Dec 01, depart LHR Jan 13)?

    My girlfriend just got the Citibank gold card, thanks to the information I got on this site. She has it linked to her QFF card.

    As a side note - good lord, how impossible is Citibank to deal with?!?! :)
     
  15. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Intern

    May 27, 2006
    76
    37
    CBR
    Hi Dave. Are you sure it will complete the Platinum challenge? My understanding (from your very good thread) is that I will only accrue 0.25 x qpoints. 0.25 x 21,000 = circa 5,250 qpoints. Only enough for Gold?

    Cheers mate, Phil
     
  16. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    308
    0
    Canberra ACT
    Almost perfect Dave has made a rare mistake.

    S class on QF earns 0.5 earned miles per flown mile, and 0.5 qualifying points per earned mile. For a MEL-LHR-MEL that would indeed only give AA Gold via the challenge.

    Here is the link to the Qantas earning chart for AAdvantage.

    Actually 25K Qualifying Miles or 25K Qualifying Points for Gold and 50K Qualifying Miles or 50K Qualifying Points for Platinum (100K Q-Miles or Q-Points for Executive Platinum). Assuming of course you aren't referring to the actual miles flown in a booking class which gives 0.5 Q-Miles per mile flown.

    Back to the original question - my opinion is the same as NM's. Not worth chasing Silver. Especially if your travel mainly originates in CBR - the check-in queues just aren't that bad here. And as a couple of people have mentioned, Qantas Club membership is available for less than it would cost you to get Silver, and that includes almost all of the benefits of Silver, plus the huge benefit of lounge access.
     
  17. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    I dont understand this. If it is 0.5 qpoints Then a 22K miles round trip is 11,000 points - being platinum challenge level?


    Yeah it was all about the booking class - not a stuff up at all ;)

    Re the earning rate - the platinum challenge tips thread is wrong then:

     
  18. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    #18 serfty, Oct 26, 2006
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2006
    No, in the the Platinum challenge tips thread, Dave has already done the extension for S class (& G/O); ½ x ½ = ¼

    i.e. Each S class mile travelled earns ½ an AAdvantage mile; Each AAdvantage mile earned when travelling S class will garner ½ a Q-Point. So Travel 2000 mile in S class you will earn 1000 AAdvantage miles. 1000 AAdvantage miles earned in S class on QF will earn 500 Q-pOints.
     
  19. JamesF

    JamesF Intern

    Apr 15, 2005
    62
    0
    SYD
    Ah, S class booking - sorry to get your hopes up Phil! :( But, as you've seen, you could definitely get AA Gold, without spending the extra $ you would need to get to QF silver.

    Not sure about spanning across the end of the year though - normal AA qualifying year is Jan-Dec. Does anybody else know if a Gold/Plat challenge can span across 2 qualifying years?

    Cheers
    James
     
  20. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    Whoops, my bad. I forgot that S is a 0.25 earning . It would be worth (imo) seeing if it is cheap to upgrade to M, V, L or R class, since a years Platinum ( given over a years Qantas Club membership ) would be worth considering if not too much

    A challenge can indeed span 2 calendar years , just you need to keep track of your qpoints since the annual qpoint tally in the account will reset to zero in january

    Looking on expertflyer for november, there seems to be approximately $90 in difference between the S fare and the L fare ( which will enable earning of Platinum ) and about $400 to the K fare ( which would be a full mileage earning fare and be able to earn over 40,000 miles from the 1 trip plus give platinum on arrival in London so would provide sapphire benefits such as premium check in and lounge access for the return trip )

    The QF S fare allows changes for $100 ( which may , I am not sure, be waived for upgrade to higher fare ), so it would seem to be a max $190 to get Platinum status minus any reductions in fuel fines that have occurred since ticket issuance . $190 for platinum would seem worthwhile to me

    Also, if the original ticket was issued before the recent reduction in fuel fines, there could be a $30 reduction due to the fuel fine change ,bringing the extra cost down to only $160

    Dave
     
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