You’ve investigated your flight options. You’ve concluded that Jetstar may provide a good, well-priced option to get to where you need to be. Now, what about your Qantas Frequent Flyer earning?
Jetstar is the low-cost subsidiary of Qantas. So, you may think that you’ll earn Qantas Points – but that may not be the case.
At the end of the day, it is a low-cost airline. And if there is one thing low-cost airlines do, it is to strip out inclusions that not everyone wants or needs.
One of those stripped out inclusions is earning Qantas Points, and Qantas Status Credits. Fortunately, there are options. Even better, they can be quite cost-effective.
Earning Qantas Points and Status Credits on Jetstar
When you first search for fares on Jetstar, the headline rates that display are for Starter or Business fares. Basically, they are the stripped-down fares, with few inclusions.
If you want to earn Qantas Points or Status Credits, you’ll need to purchase a Starter Plus, Starter Max or Business Max bundle. Even better – the bundles aren’t just about the points. They also have other inclusions such as luggage, seat selection and so on. In this article, though, the focus is on the points and status credits.
How many points / status credits do you earn?
To work out the number of Points and Status Credits you will earn, you need to map the fares to the Qantas earn category. The current mapping is shown in the following table
|Jetstar fare||Qantas Earn|
|Earn category||Status Credits||Points|
|Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (except domestic New Zealand)||None||No||No|
|Starter & Starter FlexiBiz (domestic New Zealand)||Discount Economy||No||Yes|
|Starter Max||Flexible Economy||Yes||Yes|
How much do the bundles cost?
Unfortunately, Jetstar does publish prices for the bundles. They are simply presented as you work through your booking. For the most part, they do seem more or less constant.
It is worth noting that in sale periods, while Starter fares are discounted, the bundle price often increases. In many cases, the bundled fare is the same regardless of whether there is a sale or not.
With that in mind, for domestic economy fares, I usually find that the Plus bundle is around the $50 mark, while the Max bundle comes in at $85 or so.
If you haven’t looked at the bundles for a while, the Max bundle at $85 may seem cheap. If so, you may be remembering the way things used to be. Prior to late 2017, they used to be closer to $300
Business fares only really exist on international fares where the flight is operated by a 787. The Business Max bundle can often be had for $200 or so. Again, this can vary.
As an example, on a recent Perth-Melbourne search, the following fare bundles were offered. In the case of Perth-Melbourne, the Plus bundle offers 20 Status Credits, while the Max bundle offers double that at 40 Status Credits.
It may be surprising to learn that Jetstar can provide a way of generating Status Credits and Points in a cost effective manner. But that is what adding a bundle allows you to do.
This may be worthwhile on shorter flights where you can forego some comfort, in the quest for status.