Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold Status Match

Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold Status Match

Qantas Frequent Flyer has launched a limited-time Gold status match and fast-track offer for frequent flyers of 16 other airlines including Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. Once approved, eligible frequent flyers can receive 90 days of complimentary Qantas Gold status and an easy fast-track to retaining Gold status beyond the initial 90-day period.

This promotion is available to Australian residents. It’s running until 18 December 2020, although you can nominate a start date for your 90-day challenge any time between now and 31 March 2021.

Here’s what you need to know about this Qantas status match…

How to apply for a Qantas Status Fast Track

The Qantas Fast Track is available to current Qantas Bronze or Silver members who also have the equivalent of Gold (or higher) status with one of 16 competing frequent flyer programs. These include Virgin Australia Velocity and the programs of many international airlines that aren’t in the Oneworld alliance or a partnership with Qantas.

Here’s the full list of eligible airline status levels:

Frequent Flyer Program Eligible Status Tiers
Air Canada Aeroplan 50K, 75K or Super Elite
Air China Phoenix Miles Gold or Platinum
Air India Flying Returns Golden Edge Club or The Maharajah Club
Air New Zealand Airpoints Gold or Elite
ANA Mileage Club Platinum or Diamond
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club Diamond, Diamond Plus or Platinum
Delta Skymiles Gold, Platinum or Diamond
Eva Air Infinity MileageLands Gold or Diamond
Etihad Guest Gold or Platinum
Korean Air SKYPASS Morning Calm Premium Club or Million Miler Club
Shenzhen Airlines PhoenixMiles Gold or Platinum
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer KrisFlyer Elite Gold, PPS Club or Solitaire PPS Club
South African Airways SAA Voyager Gold or Platinum
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus Gold or Platinum
United Airlines MileagePlus Gold, Platinum or 1K
Virgin Australia Velocity Gold or Platinum

If you qualify, you can apply for a Qantas Status Fast Track by completing an Expression of Interest form on the Qantas website by 18 December 2020.

Qantas Frequent Flyer will then contact you by email within 10 business days to let you know if you’re eligible and request documentation that proves your existing status. You’ll need to provide:

  • An activity statement showing the last 18 months of activity in your current frequent flyer program which demonstrates you earned your current status by flying (i.e. you didn’t receive your status as a gift, through family pooling or from another status match). The statement dates, as well as your membership number, name and status tier must be shown.
  • A colour copy of your current frequent flyer program membership card, with a future expiry date clearly visible

These measures are designed to ensure Qantas only attracts genuine frequent flyers (or at least, people that were frequent flyers before the travel restrictions!) and to reduce fraud. Qantas says it reserves the right to cancel the Qantas Frequent Flyer membership of members who provide documents that are found not to be genuine.

You can read the full terms & conditions on the Qantas website.

If you’re requesting a Qantas status match, you may wish to start acquiring these documents now. If you’re a Velocity Gold or Platinum member, you may need to contact the Velocity Membership Contact Centre to request your activity statements as Virgin Australia does not necessarily provide these by default.

How to extend your Qantas status beyond 90 days

If you’re approved, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of Qantas Gold status (equivalent to Oneworld Sapphire status) for 90 days. Qantas is calling this a “tier taster”. Gold benefits include access to domestic Qantas Club lounges – most of which are now open or will shortly reopen, although 5 of Qantas’ 35 domestic lounges and all Qantas international lounges remain closed for now.

Qantas Regional Lounge at Karratha Airport
From next week, 30 of 35 Qantas domestic lounges will be reopened

You will have the option to nominate any start date for this 90-day period up to 31 March 2021. So, even though this offer expires on 18 December 2020, you can still take advantage if you’re not planning to travel in the next three months.

If you earn at least 100 status credits during your 90-day “tier taster” period, you’ll get to keep your Gold status. Your Qantas Frequent Flyer status will be upgraded to Gold automatically within two business days of earning the required 100 status credits.

Normally you would need to earn 700 Qantas status credits to earn Gold status, or 600 to renew in subsequent years. So this is a significant shortcut!

Qantas status credits earned for flights with Qantas, Jetstar or Oneworld partner airlines will all count as eligible status credits towards this offer. Status credits earned on the ground through third-party program partners and credit card offers also count. But status credits earned from Loyalty Bonuses, rollovers or any gifted status credits will not count.

No fast track to Platinum status

This is a fairly generous offer from Qantas, although a status match is only available to Qantas Gold status. You won’t be able to get a Platinum status fast-track from this offer, even if you currently hold an equivalent status tier with another airline.

If you’d prefer to go for Platinum status, you have two options:

  1. Take the Gold fast-track, then work your way up to Platinum status in the normal way
  2. Apply for a Platinum Qantas Tier Accelator status challenge

The Qantas Tier Accelerator challenge is an ongoing but unpublicised offer available on-request to eligible members of competing frequent flyer programs such as Velocity Frequent Flyer. If you’re invited to participate in a Tier Accelerator Gold challenge, you would need to earn 200 status credits from Qantas flights within 90 days. For the Platinum challenge, you would need 400 status credits from Qantas flights within 90 days. This challenge obviously requires more flying than the Fast Track offer, and you won’t get any of the usual benefits of Qantas status during the 90-day challenge period.

Members enrolled in a Qantas Tier Accelerator challenge are not eligible for the current Fast Track offer.

Why is Qantas offering a status match now?

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said the airline had recently seen an increase in status match requests.

“With so much uncertainty in the market, we’ve seen a spike in requests from people wanting us to match their status with other airlines. If they are willing to bring their travel across to Qantas, we will fast track them to Gold status,” Wirth said.

Although Qantas did not specifically name its rival, it is clear that the flying kangaroo is capitalising on the current weak position of Virgin Australia.

“People know exactly what to expect when they fly with Qantas, whether its complimentary food and drinks, baggage, Wi-Fi or access to dozens of lounges around Australia,” Wirth said in what appears to be a jibe at Virgin Australia as it closes half of its airport lounges and removes complimentary snacks and meals from its flights. At this point, Virgin isn’t even sure if it will retain its lounge in Canberra!

With many former Australian expats now returning home or stuck in Australia for an extended period, Qantas is also targeting frequent flyers of other major international airlines.

It makes perfect sense for Qantas to attract high-value customers from other airlines, particularly Virgin Australia, at this point in time. In fact, offering a status match is exactly what we said Qantas should do last month. With Virgin Australia losing its status as a full-service airline and alienating premium customers, Qantas doesn’t have to do much to attract disgrunted Velocity members!

The last time Qantas offered a public status match was in February 2015, when it offered a status match to New Zealand residents.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QFF Gold Fast track status match

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]