How to earn Qantas Status Credits on Jetstar flights

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 2 minutes
POSTED: August 17, 2018
UPDATED: August 17, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Qantas Frequent Flyer

Unlike Qantas, simply flying with Jetstar 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).

However don’t confuse Business Max with FlexiBiz – the latter is a bundle available to purchase on some routes, but will not earn you any status credits.

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 (domestic New Zealand flights)Discount EconomyNoYes
Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (most flights)NoneNoNo
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 aircraft type (in New Zealand), or the distance travelled (elsewhere).

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 New Zealand
Auckland-Palmerston North; Wellington-Nelson10$23 NZD^20$50 NZDN/AN/A
All Dash-8 Q300 routes, except those listed above10$25 NZD20$50 NZDN/AN/A
All Airbus A320-200 routes10$29 NZD20$60 NZDN/AN/A
Domestic Australia
0-750 miles10$50 AUD20$85 AUDN/AN/A
751-1,501 miles15$45 AUD30$85 AUDN/AN/A
1,501 miles+20$45 AUD40$85 AUDN/AN/A
International
Australia25$57 NZD40$120 NZDN/AN/A
Rarotonga25$65 NZD40$120 NZDN/AN/A

*Business Max bundles are not available on flights marked as N/A. ^These NZ Domestic routes do not offer any food/drink as part of the bundle, and are therefore cheaper than the others.

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 Auckland to Sydney on this select date in February costs $583.

Qantas-Scenario

The same route on Jetstar costs $279 including the Starter Max bundle.

Jetstar-Scenario

Each option nets you 40 SCs. If you do not mind flying Jetstar on this short route, you will pay only $6.80 per SC on Jetstar against $14.57 per SC on Qantas—over double Jetstar’s price! You’ll also still get lounge access (if you already have status), an up-front extra legroom seat, a hot meal and drink, and extra luggage allowance.

How many NZ Domestic flights would I have to fly to earn/retain status?

We’ve crunched the numbers below, using the following scenario:

  • Travel between Auckland and Wellington
  • You always book the cheapest sale fare + Starter Max bundle, which on this route will at best be $25 + $60 one-way ($85 total)
  • You use a fee-free payment method
 SilverGoldPlatinum
Earn (number of one-way segments)153570
Retain (number of one-way segments)133060
Earn (cost)$1,275$2,975$5,950
Retain (cost)$1,105$2,550$5,100

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.

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

It’s even possible to earn status just by flying Jetstar Domestic in New Zealand!

How to earn Qantas Status Credits on Jetstar flights was last modified: August 17th, 2018 by Matt Moffitt