Check your email or the flybuys website or app to see if you are eligible for this promotion.
Current offer: get trial Velocity Gold membership when transferring 10,000 flybuys points
This targeted promotion is offering a three-month trial membership to Velocity Gold when you transfer 10,000 flybuys points to Velocity (equivalent to 4,350 Velocity Points).
To retain a full Gold membership at the completion of the Explore Gold three-month period, the member must complete the reduced requirements of earning 80 Status Credits and fly at least one eligible sector.
Given it is a targeted promotion, there is no public registration link.
There are reports that this promotion ends on 30 September.
If you have been targeted for this promotion, then 10,000 flybuys points is not a high ‘price’ to pay to enjoy the benefits of Gold status for three months. It is not really a cost to you as Velocity is flybuys’ only frequent flyer partner anyway, plus you will get Velocity Points out of the transfer.
However, you will want to make sure that you actually have travel on Virgin Australia and/or its partner airlines like Singapore Airlines and Etihad to take advantage of the benefits.
It is not difficult to earn the required Status Credits to extend your status, so you may consider directing your bookings for the rest of the year to Virgin Australia.
Once you have the trial status, you could also attempt to get it matched at another airline, with more information on that below.
In this guide
Skipping lines, relaxing in airline lounges and generally being treated better when flying is not out of your reach.
It just takes a year of careful trip planning and execution, and then a little bit of maintenance every so often to hold onto it—hopefully forever.
Why all the fuss about Gold status?
Gold status benefits usually include:
- Lounge access (this is most status-chasers’ end game)
- Extra baggage allowance (usually one extra checked bag)
- Use of Business Class check-in counters (saves time lining up at Economy check-in)
- Priority boarding
- Priority standby lists
- Expedited security and passport control lanes (at some airports)
Gold status can go by various names, but, essentially, once you reach this elite level with one airline, you will enjoy reciprocal benefits with their alliance members or partners.
An example is that if you reach Gold status with Qantas, you will enjoy reciprocal benefits with their oneworld alliance members, as well as their bilateral partners like Emirates and Alaska Airlines.
Sometimes Gold is called different names across an alliance, but it is, in essence, the same thing. In oneworld, it is called Sapphire, in SkyTeam it is Elite Plus and in Star Alliance simply Gold.
One of my favourite lounges: the Turkish Airlines flagship lounge in Istanbul has shower suites, fresh gozleme and barista bars, and even self-playing pianos
My top tips for getting Gold status quick
1. Choose an alliance and frequent flyer program which has a low miles requirement
The standard industry threshold you need to reach is generally 50,000 miles within one year credited to one airline’s frequent flyer program—you cannot pool your points between different programs. However, there are some airlines which offer a lower requirement:
- Star Alliance: 40,000 miles with Asiana or Turkish Airlines (Asiana has the advantage of giving you two years to earn the miles instead of just one)
- SkyTeam: 30,000 miles with Garuda Indonesia
- oneworld: 40,000 miles with Royal Jordanian
2. If sticking to an Australian airline, consider Virgin Australia and Velocity over Qantas Frequent Flyer
Virgin Australia is a bit easier to achieve Gold status with than Qantas, requiring 500 status credits, whilst Qantas’ threshold is 700—that is if you can make your travel patterns and Virgin’s airline partners work for this goal.
Virgin also lets you pool status credits between family members, which can accelerate your ascent to Gold or Platinum.
Whilst Qantas does have the advantage of belonging to the oneworld alliance, Virgin has reciprocal agreements with quite a few airlines typically used by Australia-based travellers, such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta.
3. Be aware of the difference between award miles and status credits/tier miles
As we have explained previously, wheretocredit.com is a great resource to work out how many miles you will earn for the distance and fare class you are flying, but that can differ from the status credits/tier miles you will earn from that flight. Figuring out what that number is requires a deeper search on the individual airline’s website.
4. Fly your butt off in a twelve-month period
You usually have one year to earn enough miles to qualify for Gold status. In the majority of programs, you are given any period of 12 consecutive months but sometimes it has to be in a calendar year (January to December), so time your quest carefully.
Also keep in mind that you are doing it for the elite benefits, not for the redemption opportunities but if you are interested in maximising your miles, then you will want to have a look at the award chart/s for the program/s you are interested in.
Leisure travellers are much more likely to earn a higher number of miles through credit card sign-up bonuses and spending rather than from actually flying, which is quite a contradiction.
5. Keep an eye out for status credit promotions
Airlines occasionally run bonus Status Credits promotions, like Qantas, to accelerate their members up to the next elite level. Point Hacks publishes these promotions when they are run.
6. Keep an eye out for great flight deals
We round up some of the best flight deals for Economy, Premium Economy, Business and First Class flights. Any noteworthy deals can be found over on the best current frequent flyer deals page.
7. Get the American Express Platinum Charge
How to keep and make the most of your Gold status
1. Apply for status matches
Airlines want to steal business from one another, so they periodically run status match promotions or challenges to entice customers to focus on their business. The usual requirement is that you have current Gold or Platinum status with an airline outside of the same airline alliance, as alliance members do not want to engage in infighting (but they sometimes do).
An example of a status match promotion is this one from United.
Checking out StatusMatcher.com will save you time, as forum members post about whether their status request was matched or denied.
My advice is to apply for any status match that you are likely to be approved for.
Status match offer history
- Ongoing?: United status match challenge for up to 18 months
- September 2018: three-month Velocity Gold membership when transferring 10,000 flybuys points (targeted)
- September 2018: Air New Zealand status match for six months (excluding other Star Alliance programs and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles)
- July 2018: Velocity status match for federal government employees with Qantas status for 12 months
- 2014: Velocity status match for federal government employees with Qantas status for 12 months
2. Buy or redeem Economy tickets for shorter flights; use points for long-haul Business Class
When flying, travellers actually spend quite a lot of time on the ground, but with Gold status, you can enjoy Business Class comfort in the actual lead-up to the flight having only paid for an Economy ticket.
If you don’t have points coming out of your ears, perhaps save your miles for longer flights in Business Class, and buy or redeem Economy tickets for shorter flights.
I am usually happy to fly Economy for flights of three hours or less if I have elite status with the airline, giving me check-in at the Business Class (or sometimes First Class) counter, lounge access and priority boarding.
For example, I found a paid Economy Class ticket on a flight last month from Frankfurt to Tehran on Lufthansa for only €100 back in mid-2016.
Rather than use my miles for the trip, I bought that Economy ticket and used my Star Alliance Gold status at that time with Turkish to enter the Senator Lounge.
On the other end, my bag was one of the first to come out as it had a Priority Baggage tag, even though I was one of the last passengers to deplane.
Enjoying a complimentary pretzel, raspberry custard dessert and glass of shiraz before my flight to Iran
3. Credit your miles to the program that makes the most sense to you
Having Gold status with Finnair (gained through a status match) means that when I make a booking with another oneworld airline, I am sometimes provided access to emergency exit row seat pre-selection, such as with American Airlines.
However, even though I use my Finnair card (or just the number if I don’t have the card on me) on the day of the flight to enter the lounge, I ask the lounge attendant to change the frequent flyer number on my booking and credit my points to my American Airlines AAdvantage or Qantas Frequent Flyer account, as my redemption opportunities are better with those airlines than with Finnair.
4. Place your Velocity or Qantas status on hold for parental leave
Both Virgin Australia and Qantas offer status holds or pauses of 6 and 18 months, respectively, when you have a baby but Qantas’ is more restrictive as you need to take a break from employment to qualify. After the hold or pause is over, you have 12 months to work towards maintaining that status.
In order to get that coveted Gold status, do your research and work out which airline and, therefore, alliance is the best one for you to focus on for a year.
Then keep your eye out for bonus Status Credit promotions as well as deals to earn you big status credits/tier miles in one or two trips.
Once you have your status, status match whenever you can.
If you don’t have a whole lot of points, save them for comfortable Business or First Class travel on longer flights, and buy or redeem Economy Class tickets for shorter trips, leveraging your status to enjoy comfort perks on the ground.
Finally, use the frequent flyer program that gives Gold status to access those perks but credit your miles to the program with the best redemption opportunities for you.
And don’t forget to apply for a status hold with Velocity or Qantas when you welcome a new addition into your family.