Four Ways to Earn Oneworld EMERALD Status

Cathay Pacific Entrance

No matter if your work includes boarding a plane once a week or if it’s just the yearly vacation you’re going on: frequent flyer benefits are something that most of us love having โ€” passing by the lanes, visiting a lounge before getting on the aircraft. It’s just great to feel like a VIP.

There are several ways how to obtain top tier with an airline loyalty program. If you’re entirely new to this topic, check out our beginner’s article on how to earn miles. We’ve also already covered the possibilities to obtain elite status with one of the big airline alliances: Star Alliance Gold, Oneworld Sapphire, and SkyTeam Elite Plus.

So this time, we want to take it a step further: we’re not interested in obtaining a top tier. We want to know if there’s an easy way to the top tier of an alliance: the Oneworld Emerald status.

Sure, most benefits that travelers are looking for are already included in the Sapphire tier. But Oneworld’s highest status provides access to first class lounges as well as the option to use a first class check-in counter. So, if you want to set yourself apart from the mass, this is the tier you might be aiming for.

To get things straight right from the start: there is no “easy” way to obtain Oneworld Emerald status. Such a top tier is not just given away by any airline. But some ways are easier than others. And that’s what we will focus on in this article.

Advantages

Before we go into details about the programs that could pave your way to Oneworld Emerald, let’s just have a brief look on some of the benefits you’ll receive once you reach the tier:

  • Access to business and first class lounges: visit not only the business but also the first class lounge with a Oneworld ticket in any cabin class. And bring one guest.
  • Access to first class priority check-in: most carriers that offer a first class cabin on board will also have a dedicated check-in counter for their most valued customers. And with Oneworld Emerald, you’re one of them.
  • Fast track at select security lanes: no need to get into further explanations, we’d think.

While there are more benefits, those are the ones that you will not share with Sapphire or Ruby members. Also, you will have an even higher priority in waiting lists or when on stand-by. Now, let’s have a look at the programs that make it easy to overcome all hurdles.

British Airways Executive Club Gold

British Airways named its highest tier Gold, which includes the Oneworld Emerald status with all its benefits. What makes the Executive Club so interesting is the fact that there are no tier miles like you’d know them from many other airlines. But instead, you can collect Tier Points. And those are earning according to a distance chart and your cabin class. The booking class has very little or now influence on the Tier Points you will be credited with. The points you can earn range from 5 (short-haul flight in Economy within Europe) to 360 (First Class flights from London to Australia).

For example, a long-haul flight somewhere between 2,000-6,000 miles will get you 140 Tier Points if you’re flying Business Class. You will need at least 1,500 tier points to reach Gold status. In other words: fly between London and New York 11 times (one-way), and you will obtain Oneworld Emerald. As already mentioned, the price of the ticket won’t make a difference.

British Airways Executive Club Gold
Executive Club Gold card

Facts

  • Qualification: 1,500 Tier points during your membership year are needed to obtain Gold membership. Also, you will need at least 4 segments flown on British Airways.
  • Validity: Current membership year + another full year.
    If you can’t manage the re-qualification, your status will stay valid 7-8 weeks after the end of your membership year.
    Example: Your membership year ends on November 8th, 2019 โ†’ next membership year will end November 8th, 2020, and therefore, your status will be valid until December 31st, 2020.
  • Additional benefits:
    • 100% bonus Avios on flights with British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines and Japan Airlines.
    • No booking or service fees for Priority Reward bookings.
    • Additional reward flight availability in economy.
    • Free seat selection at the time of booking.
    • Lifetime Gold status (Oneworld Emerald) if you manage to collect 35,000 Tier Points.
    • Household account for up to 7 people that don’t have to live with you or be relatives.
  • Re-qualification: Same rules as for the initial qualification.
  • Softlanding: Yes โ†’ 1 Year Silver (Oneworld Sapphire) โ†’ 1 Year Bronze (Oneworld Ruby)

Bottom Line

While no path will lead to Oneworld emerald status without flying a lot and spending some money, BA’s Executive Club is a great option if you’re flying in premium class a lot but don’t care for high priced fares. One Tier point can often be earned for around โ‚ฌ2 in ticket prices. So, in theory, you should be able to put together a mileage run for about โ‚ฌ3,000 and become a Oneworld Emerald member.

The fact that you will have to fly British Airlines might seem like a restriction. But you will find similar requirements with other airline loyality programs. And it shouldn’t be that hard to fly the UK carrier a couple of times if you’re living somehwere in Europe.

Finnair Plus Platinum

Another carrier that is offering a good frequent flyer program and a doable way to obtain Oneworld Emerald status is Finnair. Its program might not be as famous as the Executive Club. But two features really set Finnair Plus apart from its competitors when we’re talking about reaching top tier:

  • You will earn points according to the kilometers you’ve flown, not the miles.
  • Also, you can receive the status by flying segments (76 to name an exact number) with Oneworld partners. Without ever traveling on board a Finnair aircraft.

Finnair Plus is especially interesting if you fly long-haul business class. You can earn 125% of the kilometers that you actually traveled on almost all Oneworld flights. And that’s what you’ll get when you booked the cheapest booking class! It really is hard to beat what Finnair Plus has to offer.

All this becomes even more attractive if you actually travel with Finnair. Business class flights with Finnair will get you an earning rate of 200% (or 321% if we calculate with miles). This way, a return-flight to Asia can earn you around 35,000 points. Four of them will equal 160,000 tier points and should almost result in Finnair Plus Platinum.

Finnair Platinum
Finnair Plus Platinum card

Facts

  • Qualification: 150,000 tier points or 76 qualifying flight segments within your membership period.
  • Validity: Current membership year + another full year
  • Additional Benefits:
    • 25% more Finnair Plus
    • Complimentary WiFi access on Finnair flights (for the entire flight on international connections)
    • A free drink for you and a travel companion when flying in Finnair Economy Class.
    • Two one-way travel class upgrades (long-haul) and four one-way travel class upgrades (short-haul).
    • Give-Away Gold card (Finnair Plus Gold membership as a gift to any Finnair Plus member).
    • Exclusive Finnair Plus Platinum customer service.
  • Re-qualification: Same rules as for the initial qualification.
  • Softlanding: Not officially.

Bottom Line

Especially if you’re traveling in Finnair’s business class a lot, this program can make a great one when you’re trying to reach Oneworld Emerald as fast and easy a possible. The perks that come with the Platinum tier are nice, notably the give-away gold card (which already includes Oneworld Sapphire).

Also, the fact that you can obtain the tier by flying segments on all Oneworld members without the requirements to fly Finnair is unique. On the other hand: the redemption possibilities with the program are not the best. And since you will be collection many miles on your way to Oneworld Emerald, this could be a no-go for some of us.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

The Australian national carrier and its Frequent Flyer program are typically not the most popular ones in Europe. That’s because the airline doesn’t serve too many European airports, and if they do, they offer – big surprise – flights to Australia. So many of us probably have never sat on board of a Qantas aircraft and might never will. And if that’s so, then the loyalty program won’t be the right one for you either. Even though the program allows you to reach Oneworld status pretty fast, it can’t be done entirely without flying Qantas.

But if you manage to fly at least four segments on Qantas or Jetstar, you might want to stay with us here. Similar to the Executive Club, Qantas also differentiates between award miles (Qantas Points) and tier points. Qantas calls the latter Status Credit. The basic idea is: you will earn a certain amount of Status Credit according to the distance, booking class, and cabin class you’re traveling in. Unfortunately, Qantas is not as generous when it comes to booking classes, as is British Airways. In fact, you will only earn tier points for certain fare types. A chart of all eligible booking classes can be found here.

To obtain Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum – and with it Oneworld Emerald status – you will need to earn 1,400 Status Credits. To get an idea of what that means: a flight from London to Sydney in Qantas business class will get you 295 Credits. So, five of those trips per year would almost do the trick.

Qantas FF cards
Qantas Frequent Flyer cards

Facts

  • Qualification: 1,400 Status Credits are needed to obtain Gold membership. Also, you will need at least 4 segments flown on Qantas or Jetstar.
  • Validity: Current membership year + another full year.
    Example: Your membership year ends on November 8th, 2019 -> next membership year will end November 8th, 2020, and therefore, your status will be valid until December 31st, 2020.
  • Additional benefits:
    • 100% more Qantas Points: Earn a bonus of 100% on every eligible flight with Qantas, Jetstar, and American Airlines.
    • Priority International upgrades: Successful international upgrade requests will be confirmed from up to 48 hours before departure.
    • Preferred seating: Your seat will be allocated based on your seat preference.
    • Preferential access to Qantas award seats.
    • Status Hold: a parental leave benefit that lets you keep your status even if you’re not able to fly.
  • Re-qualification: 1,200 Status Credits within until the end of your membership year.
  • Softlanding: Yes

Bottom Line

Qantas Frequent Flyer is a great program to earn Emerald tier. But (and it’s a big one) only for those that really fly the carrier. Next to the four segments you will need to obtain status, the airline also favors those who travel with them. The same flight in the same cabin class can earn you way more Status Credits if it’s a Qantas flight. So be aware of your travel patterns!

Royal Jordanian’s Royal Club Platinum Hawk

Royal Jordanian’s loyalty program is – at first sight – the best option to choose from. Long tier validity and miles that never expire are just two of the perks that members of the Royal Club benefit from. And the fact that the carrier used to offer a status match even got the program its so-called 15 minutes of fame.

The requirements for your qualification seem rather easy as well. You will only need 65,000 tier miles or – and now take a good look at this number – 46 (!) flight segments to obtain the highest possible tier: the Royal Club Platinum Hawk.

While we haven’t been able to find a proper chart of earning rates with Oneworld partners, a test with Royal Jordanian’s mileage calculator showed that many economy class fares are credited with 50% of the distance traveled, business class fares mostly with around 150%. Obtaining status via segments, however, requires you to fly 20 of these non-stop one-way flights on Royal Jordanian, making it less interesting for many of us.

Royal Club Platinum
Royal Club Platinum Hawk card

Facts

  • Qualification: 65,000 miles or 46 segments (20 of which have to be on Royal Jordanian) within 12 months.
  • Validity: 24 months from the date you reached Platinum Hawk.
  • Additional Benefits:
    • Gold Partner Nomination that allows you to grant Gold Sparrow Tier (Oneworld Sapphire) to a spouse or partner.
    • Guaranteed economy seat on fully booked flights.
    • Two complimentary upgrades on Royal Jordanian flights per year.
    • Possibility to gift award tickets.
    • Dedicated call center hotline.
  • Re-qualification: 110,000 miles or 80 segments within 24 months.
  • Softlanding: Not officially.

Bottom Line

The Royal Club seems to be a great way to obtain Oneworld Emerald status. Even if we have to admit that it might become a little tricky to find out how many miles you can earn in which booking class, since the airline hides this chart behind a calculator. The qualification is pretty easy for a Oneworld program. And the fact that you can keep your status for up to 24 months is great as well.

Most likely, there are better ways to earn and redeem miles than the Royal Club. At least if you’re not really planning on flying with them. But it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at this program if you want to earn Emerald status.

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