How to earn Qantas Status Credits on Jetstar flights

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: July 27, 2018
UPDATED: July 30, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Unlike Qantas, simply flying with Jetstar within Australia or internationally will not earn you any Status Credits (SCs).

Instead, you will need to purchase a Jetstar Starter Plus, Starter Max or Business Max bundle when you book with Jetstar. Fortunately, these are able to be purchased at set rates, meaning that combining these bundles with a discounted Jetstar fare can be an excellent way to boost your SCs balance.

Jetstar bundles also give travellers additional extras such as checked baggage, seat selection, and food and drink. For business travellers, these extras also remove change fees and can—depending on the bundle selected—be refunded (in the form of a Jetstar voucher).

The basics: which earn rate applies?

Each bundle earns points and SCs at different rates. The table below sets out which earn rates apply:

Jetstar fareQantas earn categoryQantas SCs earnQantas Points earn
Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (most flights)NoneNoNo
Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (domestic New Zealand flights)Discount EconomyNoYes
Starter PlusEconomyYesYes
Starter MaxFlexible EconomyYesYes
Business ClassNoneNoNo
Business MaxBusinessYesYes

How much does it cost?

The cost of each bundle does not appear to change in line with the underlying fares; instead, the cost of each bundle increases based on the distance travelled.

Although Jetstar does not seem to publish any tables, some basic research seems to indicate that the following charges apply:

RouteStarter PlusStarter MaxBusiness Max*
SCs earnedCostSCs earned CostSCs earnedCost
Domestic
0-750 miles10$5020$8540N/A
751-1,501 miles15$4530$8560N/A
1,501 miles+20$4540$8580N/A
International
New Zealand25$5740$12085N/A
Asia40$70-9060$160125$200
Hawaii45$9970$160150$200

*Business Max bundles are not available on domestic flights.

The benefits of status with Qantas

Holding Qantas Frequent Flyer status gives travellers access to lounges, an increased baggage allowance, and preferential access to award seat inventory and upgrades.

Qantas International Lounge Hong Kong

So why choose Jetstar?

Even after adding on a bundle, the total cost of a Jetstar fare can still be substantially less than the equivalent fare on Qantas.

For example, a flexible fare on Qantas from Sydney to Melbourne on this select date in September costs $474.

The same route on Jetstar costs about $168 including the Starter Max bundle.

Each option nets you 20 SCs. If you do not mind flying Jetstar on this short route, you will pay only $8.40 per SC on Jetstar against $23.70 per SC on Qantas—almost triple Jetstar’s price!

Leisure routes

The differences in earning rates between Qantas and Jetstar are less significant on leisure routes dominated by Jetstar. However, these routes can also offer the lowest cost per SC.

A flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Jetstar will set you back about $172 with the Starter Max bundle, whilst the same route on Qantas is $316 with a flexible fare.

Passengers on Jetstar pocket SCs at around $5.73 per SC, with those on Qantas forking out almost double at $10.53.

International

Jetstar is also ahead of Qantas on longer overseas segments.

For example, a Flexible Economy fare on Qantas from Sydney to Denpasar in November costs $1,233 return, whilst the same route on Jetstar (which features a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with more legroom in Economy as opposed to Qantas’ 737) costs $800.

Jetstar

Both options see you pocket 120 SCs—almost halfway to retaining Silver—at a cost of $10.27 per SC on Qantas or $6.66 on Jetstar.

Summing up

Adding a bundle to your Jetstar fare can be a cost-effective way to generate SCs—if that is what you are after. It also represents a good way to pack inclusions into your fare.

Especially on shorter flights where comfort is less of a factor, status-conscious flyers should consider Qantas’ budget alternative, Jetstar.

How to earn Qantas Status Credits on Jetstar flights was last modified: July 30th, 2018 by Matt Moffitt