If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, at some point you’ve probably wondered how you could get Gold status by spending the least, and not having to travel a ridiculous amount. Maybe a friend has extended their companion pass to the lounge and you’ve thought “it’s a shame I don’t travel enough, cause this is the way to do it”? Maybe you’ve been pipped for an upgrade one too many times and would quite enjoy wagging your finger in the faces of your run-of-the-mill bronze and silvers?
You know the perks of Gold, but how do you get it?
Any sector with a Qantas Flight Number will earn you status credits, as well as flights marketed by most OneWorld partners like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific or Finnair. To reach Gold you need to earn 700 Status credits within your membership year, and to retain it you need to earn another 600 if you already hold gold. To most of us who wouldn’t regularly travel in premium cabins, this would take about 8 return trips from the Australian East coast to San Francisco or Los Angeles in economy, or 12 return trips between the east coast and Singapore. Realistically that means you’re looking at a bucket-load of travel, as well as at least $10,000 out of pocket for the privilege of earning Gold and the accompanying perks.
Anyway you probably didn’t click here to hear me rattle off the ways you’ve already thought about to get gold status; you’re hear cause you’d like to see how you could get it as cheap and easily as possible.
And here it is….
1 Return Business Class ticket, Sydney to Europe with Finnair – Less than $6000AU
Yep you heard me. You can start with literally zero status credits and having flown none of the four QF marketed flights required, and this flight will get you all the way to Gold Status with Qantas.
Basically Finnair have insanely cheap business class fares to Europe that allow you to do some ridiculous routing, maximizing the distance flown in order to maximize the status credits you earn. Finnair are a OneWorld Partner and you will earn Status credits on all Finnair marketed flights with a Finnair flight number. However Finnair don’t operate their own flights any nearer to Australia than Singapore, meaning they will allow you to use Qantas to get to anywhere on the Finnair network within Asia (or indeed the America’s, although that’s more expensive). Keeping the QF flight number on as many flights as possible will maximize your earn and fast track you to Gold.
For once the regional cities beat the east coast, as this won’t quite get you all the way there if you’re leaving and returning to an east coast city. Finnairs routing map allows you to have 1 free of charge, Qantas marketed flight to either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane in order to begin your journey from cities like Cairns, Adelaide, Launceston, Hobart, Perth, Darwin and more. Those extra Status Credits are vitally important to get you all the way to the golden 700 status credits, so as a case study somewhere like Adelaide or Hobart is best.
Adelaide to Sydney, Business Class with Qantas – 40 status credits
Sydney to Singapore, Business Class with Qantas – 120 status credits
Singapore to Rome/Madrid/Athens and more, via Helsinki Business with Finnair – 180 status credits
Rome/Madrid/Athens and more to Tokyo/Hong Kong via Helsinki Business with Finnair – 180 Status Credits
Hong Kong/Tokyo to Sydney Business with Qantas – 120 status credits
Sydney to Adelaide Business with Qantas – 40 status credits
Total Status Credits – 700
Qantas marketed flights – Four
Total Cost – $5878.14 (as of 18/6/2016).
So instead of shelling out three times as much for a first class somewhere, or taking a business class flight to New York or Europe with would be considerably more, you’ve just got yourself a years worth of Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold Status without really having to do all that much for it.
It’s worth pointing out though….
- Fares like these are virtually impossible to do yourself online; if your travel agent is any good, they should be able to do these for you.
- Keep the Qantas Flight Number on any flights within Australia, or between Australia and Asia/the America’s. You earn considerably more when flying on a QF flight number versus a Finnair one.
- This is all based on the availability of the cheapest booking classes on your selected dates, so may cost more depending on how full the flights look on your chosen dates.
- Status Credits are earned based on mileage to some extent within Europe. This won’t quite get you to gold status if you’re going in and out of say Stockholm, Oslo or some other cities quite near to Helsinki. London and Paris are fine.
- Try and plan your trip to coincide with your membership year turning over. E.g. if your membership anniversary is in June, travel in July if you can. This way your Gold Status will last the remainder of your current membership year, as well as the following one.
This trip does involve what some might view as an un-favorable amount of flying to get to Europe. I hear those from Adelaide saying “Qatar fly direct though, why would I do this when I can go in one stop?”.
It’s not for everyone, but this is certainly one of if not the cheapest ways to get yourself all the way to Gold. There’s also some really cool free stop-overs to choose from, so you can visit the family in Melbourne, have a spot of sun in Thailand on your way to a European winter, or treat the family to Disneyland in Hong Kong, Shanghai or Los Angeles on the way.
(40+120+180) x 2 = 680 Not 700 unless there a mistypo some where . I reckon on the way back via Hong Kong will earn more SC credit . By the way great tips
Absolutely correct, I have made a typo there. The status credits break down as:
40 for Adelaide to Sydney
120 for Sydney to Singapore
160 for Singapore to Helsinki
80 for Helsinki to Madrid etc.
80 for Madrid etc. to Helsinki
120 for Helsinki Tokyo
120 Tokyo to Sydney
40 Sydney to Adelaide
So the correct amount is actually a little more than you need, as it works out to be 760 total. And a handy 40,000
Jimmy, this looks great. I’ve only flown Finnair economy and they were good. their return to Europe fares are much cheaper than other Oneworld airlines. Helsinki is an efficient transfer hub
Mark, Finnair are amazing in business and with the value for money it’s hard to go past it. If you can try and get the new Airbus A350, currently flying between Helsinki and Beijing, Hong Kong and Bangkok. The A350 is the newest aircraft in the sky and built to rival Boeing’s dreamliner, it operates the 1-2-1 angled seating popular in the Cathay Pacific and American Airlines boeing 777. The service and meals are unlikely to give Singapore or Emirates a run for their money, but still typically polite, luxurious, very comfortable and a good selection of food and beverage available.
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