What's the simplest and cheapest way to get Silver? Points Finder breaks it down for you.
Silver represents the first step on the road to scoring extra points and privileges for Qantas Frequent Flyers. It doesn't offer the same benefits as Gold or Platinum, but it still gives perks you won't score as a regular passenger. Here's how to get Silver without breaking the bank.
What are the requirements for Silver?
To reach Silver status, you need to:
- Earn 300 status credits in a membership year. Your membership year dates from when you joined Qantas Frequent Flyer. You can check your date by logging into your Qantas account.
- Take at least four flights with Qantas, QantasLink or Jetstar during your membership year. It's likely that you'll have to do this to earn enough status credits, but it is worth bearing in mind if you're regularly flying in Business or First. For instance, a one-way flight in First class from Sydney to London will earn you 420 status credits, which is enough to immediately get to Silver, but you wouldn't hit that status if it's your first flight during your membership year.
Note that status credits are key here, not points. Earning a huge number of points from a credit card signup won't help you get to Silver.
How can I earn 300 status credits?
A short-haul domestic Qantas flight earns a minimum of 10 status credits (if you've purchased a Discount Economy fare). So 15 return flights from Sydney-Melbourne (Australia's busiest route) would get you there, and in some jobs that's quite a likely scenario.
If you were super-organised, you could potentially score those return flights for around $270 each. (Outside of sales, Sydney-Melbourne rarely drops below $135.) At that price, getting to Silver would cost you $4,050. Hopefully your employer is paying!
So that gives us a starting figure of around $4,000 in flights to get to Silver. Are there cheaper ways to do that? Let's work through some examples:
- The minimal model is four flights each earning 75 status credits. Sydney to Perth earns 80 points in Business. However, the cheapest that flight ever gets is $2,422, so getting to Silver that way will be much more expensive than our Sydney to Melbourne example.
- A Discount Economy return flight from Sydney to London scores 140 status credits, and if you book far enough in advance you can score that for around $1,400. During Qantas sales, those return fares can drop to $1,200. So two UK trips will potentially get you to 280 credits for $2,400. Throw in one return domestic trip for the other 20 and you can potentially hit Silver for $2,700. (You've also easily covered your four flight segments this way.)
- In the interests of completeness, I'll note that a one-way First Sydney to London fare is $10,365 even when on sale, so that's a very expensive way of racking up the status credits.
As a general rule of thumb, I'd suggest that if you carefully pursue sale fares, you'll be able to score Silver status with $3,000 worth of flights. To make that happen, follow these rules:
- Take advantage of Qantas sales to score status for less. While it's true that Discount Economy and Discount Business earn fewer status credits, the amount you have to spend on flexible fares is still massively higher. Finder.com.au runs a dedicated page listing Qantas sale fares, and you can keep informed of sales by signing up for our Points Finder email.
- Fly Qantas whenever possible. To earn and keep status, you need to stay loyal to a single airline (and airline alliance).
- Book your flights as far in advance as possible. With Qantas, it's rare to see cheap last-minute seats.
- Avoid flying during peak periods. Flights on Friday afternoons, Sunday evenings and Monday mornings are generally pricier, as are trips during school holidays.
What are the benefits of being Silver with Qantas?
The biggest ongoing benefit of Silver membership is that you earn 50% more points on all eligible Qantas flights. That means your points total will build more quickly.
For international travel, you'll also score two useful bonuses: selecting your seat as soon as you book, and the ability to use business class check-in counters for all international flights, even if you're flying economy.
You'll also receive one free complimentary invitation to the Qantas Club, priority telephone service and earlier access to Classic Flight Reward seats. (However, note that Gold and Platinum members will get earlier access than you.)
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