Earning Status Credit with Credit Cards: Overhyped?


A recent move by Qantas to award status credits on credit card spend has been met with skepticism by our members. The trial is only available to a small group of members, already chosen by Qantas. It is also only available on two premium credit cards.

The main criticism is over the number of status credits that can be earned through the cards. Set at a low 150 status credits per year, many would prefer more were offered.

Maximum 150 SCs / yr, 1 SC per 400 pts. At 1 pt / $ that would take $60K of spend for 150 SCs.

It does compare favourably with the recently announced Virgin Australia Velocity & Flybuys partnership though. That partnership allows members to earn up to 120 Velocity status credits through their shopping.

My own take on this is it’s a bit of a gimmick at 150 SC (as is VA at 120) but if it gets more bums on seats then good for them.

There are also exclusions attached to the new status credits. Not only can you not use them towards Platinum One, but they do not count towards your lifetime total.

The SCs not counting towards lifetime SC makes them less attractive than they would be otherwise. I would’ve liked to be able to build up my lifetime SC tally faster.

Qantas intends for the extra status credits to be a boost to a member who is short of their next tier. In such a scenario, the extra status credits would be most useful to a Silver tier member who could see their requirements halved.

Unfortunately, someone who is only at the Silver tier may not qualify for one of the premium cards. Meanwhile, those that can afford the premium cards may already be spending enough on travel to not need the extra status credits.

if someone has to spend $60k on a high end CC to get 150 SC you can bet your backside a fair % of that spend is going to be on travel stuff and no doubt on QF to probably easily make WP if not higher. I don’t see this as any more than a nice little tidbit that *might* push a couple of silvers to Gold, but really they’d have to fly to use it so it’s not a big deal. More fodder for the “we have even more ways for you to earn” type marketing.

Importantly, the cards are not designed as a cheap way to status for anyone. The Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card offers the maximum 150 status credits for $40,000, while the Macquarie Black Card would cost $72,000.

If they removed the trial cap of 150SC, it would be $480k for WP retain and $560k for WP earn. Certainly would not be giving status away at that spend.

If you are on the trial, we would love to hear your views on how it will affect your status. Join the discussion HERE.


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