Qantas status extension 2021: How it works

Posted: 11 August 2021 2:09 pm
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Keep your Silver, Gold or Platinum status without international flights.

Qantas has again offered an extension to frequent flyers to help them retain their status, recognising that ongoing lockdowns and the ban on international travel means that most of us would struggle to earn the Status Credits required to stay on their tier.

The offer is available to anyone whose status (Silver, Gold, Platinum or Platinum One) is due to expire between now and June 2022. I fall squarely into that category – my status is due for review at the end of October 2021.

Normally, to retain my current Platinum status I'd have to earn 1,200 Status Credits during my membership year. So far, I've clocked up 710 of those, which actually isn't bad going given the ongoing pandemic. But with Sydney in lockdown and frankly unlikely to emerge before October, I won't be taking any more flights or earning any more credits before my review date.

Example Qantas status screen

With the extension offer in place, to retain my status for another year, I just have to book a single Qantas flight before my status review date. The key requirement is that the flight is before June 2022. As well as maintaining my current tier, my existing Status Credits will roll over, rather than expiring as they normally would.

Of course, picking a flight date still requires a reasonable degree of confidence that the flight will actually operate. For certainty, I'm writing off 2021. Right now, Qantas is offering fee-free changes for any bookings for flights before 28 February 2022. To make sure I can take advantage of that if there is more pandemic chaos causing cancellations, I guess I'm looking at January or February flights.

What other fine print matters? Only Australian and New Zealand members get the extension. You must book either a Qantas flight or a Jetstar flight that can earn Qantas points (which means paying for an extra Jetstar bundle). You can use Classic Rewards or Points Plus Pay for the booking, so in theory you could keep your status without spending any money.

"We know how important tier status is to our members and many of them have built it up over many years of flying with us," said Qantas loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth. "The offer to retain their current status by booking just one eligible flight is a great way for them to secure the additional 12 months of the benefits that come with being Silver or Gold, Platinum or Platinum One members, which will come into its own when everyone is back flying."

Qantas launched a similar offer in November last year, meaning some people will potentially have scored 2 years of status extensions for the price of a pair of flights. Right now, I'm thankful for that kind of small mercy.

In a normal year, there's very little chance I'd earn 1,200 Status Credits without international flights. I'm not expecting those to happen until mid-2022, though Qantas has begun testing vaccination passports.

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more.

Picture: Angus Kidman

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