Should I focus on Qantas or Virgin frequent flyer programs for future travel to Europe and the USA?

I currently have membership with both Qantas and Virgin. For both cards I only need about 100 credit status on each to reach the next tier. This is the first time I have got this close to moving levels and wanted to know which one should I aim for. I am heading to Europe and the states for work and holiday in May and have been quoted similar airfare prices with both Cathay Pacific and Singapore airlines/Virgin. I would like to know what's the best way to make the most of the points/status credits I'll be earning on these flights.

I have only just started reading pointhacks and trying to get my head around the various FF programs and the various airline affiliations.

Note, have both cards as I don't always get a choice on airline when flying for work.


This is a difficult question for, as you say, you often don't get a choice of which airline to fly. What tier are you 100 status credits away from? If it is Gold I would suggest Qantas as its oneworld network is much larger and consistent, you would become a oneworld sapphire and get lounge access and priority accross a range of good airlines. Virgin has some excellent partners but airline staff in Europe and the states often don't know much apparent the partnership and it can be harder to get benefits such as extra baggage and priority boarding.

If you are 100 points of silver I would recommend Virgin as fewer status credits than Qantas are required to requalify each year, and they throw in two free lounge visits.


I should have mentioned I will qualify for Silver. Thanks for your suggestion Brendan, this does help.

As you get little choice of airline , I would suggest Virgin. Since the reduction in Status Credit earn from Oneworld partners, you would likely get a very poor return for your Cathay flights. 

If you have a family who fly even occasionally, using the Family Pooling can move you up the Status ladder more quickly than you might expect. The Status threshholds to attain and retain for Virgin are also lower.

Internationally Qantas Gold generally considered is more useful than Virgin Gold (and arguably better than Virgin Platinum).