Qatar Airways, with its hub in Doha, forms part of what’s known as the “Middle East 3”. Along with Emirates and Etihad, the three Gulf carriers are renowned for their stellar premium cabin products.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the airline’s frequent flyer program, which, to much excitement of the Miles & Points community, switched over to Avios as its currency in 2022. Avios is also the points currency for British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and low-cost carrier Vueling.
Flexible Avios can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio between programs, unlocking a wide range of redemption possibilities among airlines that use Avios, as well as their respective airline partners.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about Qatar Airways Privilege Club, including how to optimize your earning and redeeming within the program.
Earning Qatar Airways Avios
There are many ways to accumulate Qatar Airways Avios, but the easiest ways to do so are by transferring from other programs, and by flying with Qatar Airways and its partners.
Transferring from Other Programs
Currently, there are no Qatar Airways co-branded credit cards available in Canada or the US. However, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is transfer partners with a couple of US-based credit card programs.
You can transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards to Qatar Airways Privilege Club at a rate of 1 point = 1 Avios.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is also a transfer partner of American Express US Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. The transfer time is instant.
Alternatively, you can convert points from different hotel loyalty programs to Qatar Airways Avios.
Marriott Bonvoy points could be transferred to Qatar Airways Privilege Club at a rate of 3 Bonvoy points = 1 Avios, with a bonus of 5,000 Avios for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred.
Even with the bonus, it’s an unfavourable exchange altogether, so you should only convert your Marriott Bonvoy points to Qatar Airways Avios when you need a top-up on a planned redemption. Otherwise, you should save your Bonvoy points for aspirational hotel and resort stays.
Other than Marriott Bonvoy, you could also transfer points from the following hotel programs at suboptimal rates:
- Accor Live Limitless: 2 points = 1 Avios
- Hilton Honors: 10 points = 1 Avios
- Shangri-La Circle: 1 point = 1 Avios
- World of Hyatt: 2.5 points = 1 Avios
Transferring from Other Avios Programs
Avios can be transferred 1:1 among programs that use them as currency. Aside from Qatar Airways, the following programs also accrue Avios:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Iberia Plus
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Vueling Club
The airlines above belong to International Airlines Group (IAG), which has adopted Qatar Airways into its Avios program in 2022. Qatar Airways holds a 25% stake in IAG.
In Canada and the US, British Airways Avios are much easier to accumulate than Qatar Airways Avios, as more credit card programs are transfer partners with British Airways Executive Club.
Meanwhile, in the US, British Airways Executive Club is transfer partners with Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Bilt Rewards. Chase also issues three Avios-earning cards with British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus branding.
Once your Avios are in your British Airways account, you can easily convert them to Qatar Airways Avios through the Qatar Airways website.
Flying with Qatar Airways
When you fly with Qatar Airways, the number of Avios you’ll earn is based on the distance you’re flying, as well as the booking class of your ticket. You’ll also earn more Avios as an elite member of Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
To easily calculate the Avios you’ll earn through flights, you can use the “My Calculator” feature on the Qatar Airways website.
For example, as a base Burgundy member, a one-way flight from Montreal to Doha will earn you the following Avios:
Flying with Partner Airlines
When you fly on a paid ticket with one of Qatar Airways’s partners, you can credit your flight to your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. In order to do so, you must add your Qatar Airways number during booking or check-in.
Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance; thus, you can earn Avios with its alliance partners. The airline is also partners with several non-alliance airlines as noted below.
The following are Qatar Airways’s airline partners:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
- SriLankan Airlines
- Bangkok Airways
- LATAM Airlines
- Middle East Airlines (MEA)
- Oman Air
- S7 Airlines
- Virgin Australia
When flying with partner airlines, the number of Avios you’ll earn depends on the airline you’re flying with, as each airline has its own accrual policies.
Buying Qatar Airways Avios
The quickest way to accumulate Qatar Airways Avios is by buying them from Qatar Airways itself.
The price of Avios gets progressively lower as you buy more. A block of 1,000 Avios costs $37 (USD) or 3.7 cents per point, while a block of 100,000 Avios costs $2,800 (USD) or 2.8 cents per point. You can buy up to a maximum of 250,000 Avios per calendar year.
Often, Qatar Airways holds promotions on buying Avios, and usually, promotions entail up to a 60% bonus.
If you were to take advantage of a 60% bonus promotion, you’re reducing your acquisition cost from 3.7 to 2.3 cents per point (USD) on the high end, and from 2.8 to 1.75 cents per point (USD) on the low end.
Other Ways to Earn Qatar Airways Avios
You can also earn Qatar Airways Avios through other means, including hotel stays, car rentals, and shopping. Be sure to quote your Qatar Airways Privilege Club number during your transaction, so you’ll be credited the Avios you’re entitled to.
When you book your accommodations with the following hotel chains and booking websites, you’ll earn Avios at the following rates:
- Accor Hotels: up to 10 Avios per Euro spent
- Booking.com: 1 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
- Hyatt Hotels: 500 points per stay
- Kaligo: up to 10,000 Avios per night
- Marriott International: up to 2 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
- Rocketmiles: up to 10,000 Avios per night
- Rotana: up to 500 Avios per stay
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts: 500 points per stay
- Trip.com: 1.5 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
For car rentals, you can earn Avios with the following companies:
- Avis: Up to 5 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
- Budget: Up to 5 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
- Europcar: Up to 1,000 Avios per rental
- Hertz: Up to 500 Avios per rental
- Rentalcars.com: 3 Avios per dollar (USD) spent
- SIXT: Up to 500 Avios per rental
Qatar Airways also has its own travel booking portal, which allows you to earn Avios on hotels, cars, and holiday packages. These are especially useful when you have a stopover in Doha, as the airline has partnerships with local companies.
Lastly, Qatar Airways Privilege Club has partnered with a number of stores that are mostly located in the Middle East. You can, for instance, earn 1 Avios per 5 QAR spent at Qatar Duty Free.
Redeeming Qatar Airways Avios
You can use your Qatar Airways Avios in a number of ways; however, you’ll get the most value out of your Avios by redeeming them for flights.
Qatar Airways Flights
There’s no published redemption chart for Qatar Airways flights; however, you may use the “My Calculator” feature to check how many Avios are required for redemption across different cabins.
While there’s no published redemption chart, you’ll notice that Qatar Airways prices its award flights by geographic zone.
Moreover, you’ll notice that all cities in the US and Canada belong to one zone, regardless if they’re in the East Coast or the West Coast.
This means that an award flight from Montreal to Doha costs the same number of Avios as Los Angeles to Doha, despite the latter route being 2,000 miles longer.
By default, a one-way “Saver” flight between North America and Doha costs 37,500 Avios in economy, 70,000 Avios in business class, and 105,000 Avios in First Class.
Peak & Off-Peak Pricing
It’s important to note that Qatar Airways Privilege Club distinguishes between peak and off-peak pricing for award flights, with peak dates coming at a premium.
Generally speaking, peak dates occur during popular travel periods, and off-peak dates are during less popular dates.
When conducting a search, you’ll see the label “Off-Peak” clearly displayed at the top, which indicates that it’s an off-peak date. If you don’t see “Off-Peak”, then it’s considered a peak date.
For off-peak dates, the pricing is the lowest you’ll find for a flight with Qatar Airways.
For example, a flight from North America to Doha prices out at 35,000 Avios in economy class for off-peak dates; however, the same route booked on a peak date costs 47,500 Avios, representing a 36% increase in price.
It’s a similar story with business class redemptions. For example, a “Saver”-level flight from Doha to Adelaide costs 70,000 Avios on an off-peak date.
However, on a peak date, the same route costs 94,500 Avios, representing a 35% increase from the off-peak price.
It’s worth noting that peak pricing doesn’t seem to affect Qatar Airways First Class routes. For example, a one-way flight from Doha to Perth costs 142,000 Avios on an off-peak date.
Likewise, the same flight booked on a peak date comes at the same price.
In addition, Qatar Airways also offers “Flexi” awards that cost twice as many Avios as the off-peak “Saver” award price for access to a greater number of award seats. Flexi awards are available on peak dates and are common with high-demand routes.
Flexi awards are available exclusively through Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
Note that peak pricing doesn’t seem to impact Flexi awards either. On a peak-date, we’d expect to see Flexi tickets price out at 189,000 Avios, which isn’t the case.
With “Flexi” awards, a one-way flight between North America and Doha costs 75,000 Avios in economy, 140,000 Avios in business class, and 210,000 Avios in First Class.
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Flights on Partner Airlines
Unlike with its own flights, Qatar Airways publishes a distance-based award chart for partner airline redemptions. You can redeem your Qatar Airways Avios across all partners based on the following chart (per one-way bound):
There are a few rules to be mindful of when redeeming partner airline award flights:
- A partner award ticket may only be booked with a single airline. Thus, if you wish to book connecting flights on different carriers, you must book them separately.
- Stopovers aren’t permitted on a partner award ticket.
- Open-jaw trips are permitted should you want the inbound and outbound flights to be on one ticket. Otherwise, you can also book them as one-way bounds.
For your convenience, you may also use the “My Calculator” feature to check the exact number of Avios you need for a partner award redemption.
You can use Avios to upgrade your flights operated by Qatar Airways. To check how many Avios are required for your desired upgrade, you may use the “My Calculator” feature.
For example, upgrading a one-way economy seat from Montreal to Doha costs the following:
As illustrated above, the number of miles required to upgrade mainly depends on your initial booking class. This means that an upgrade will cost a lot if you book a deeply-discounted ticket.
However, paying for a seat then upgrading with Avios opens up more redemption possibilities, since seats redeemed with Avios outright aren’t always available.
Other Ways to Redeem Qatar Airways Avios
In addition to booking award flights and upgrades, you can redeem your Qatar Airways Avios in a few other ways. Generally speaking, however, you won’t get as much value as redeeming your Avios for flights.
Through Qatar Airways’s travel portal, you can redeem Avios for hotels, transfers, and activities, but redeeming this way will yield a value of around 0.5 cents (USD) per Avios only.
You can also redeem your Avios for merchandise at Qatar Duty Free at a rate of 0.65 cents (USD) per Avios, and you’ll get a further 10–20% discount with Qatar Airways elite status.
Lastly, you can use your Avios for baggage and seats on Qatar Airways flights. However, as with the redemption options above, you won’t derive much value with your Avios.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Tips & Tricks
The #1 tip you should keep in mind is that you can transfer Avios at a 1:1 ratio among the airline programs that use them. To recall, they are:
- Aer Lingus Aer Club
- British Airways Executive Club
- Iberia Plus
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Vueling Club
If you can’t find a good redemption for your Avios through Qatar Airways, you can transfer them to other programs at no cost. Remember that each program has its own strengths and unique redemption possibilities.
For instance, British Airways Executive Club is great for short-haul flights within parts of Asia and Australia. You’ll also have access to its multi-carrier award chart.
On the other hand, Iberia Plus offers great redemptions for business class flights from North America to Western Europe.
Lastly, Aer Lingus AerClub offers low-priced redemptions to Ireland, as well as other destinations in Europe.
Another tip to take note of is Qatar Airways Privilege Club’s “Family Programme”, which basically is a household pooling feature that allows up to ten members. This is especially useful if you find yourself short of Avios for a redemption.
While terms state that family members must be immediate family, Qatar Airways doesn’t ask for proof of relationship.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Sweet Spots
The good thing about Qatar Airways’s pricing on redemptions is that connecting or married segments cost significantly less than booking them separately.
Let’s take Montreal to Bangkok via Doha as an example. A one-way, off-peak ticket for the two segments costs 95,000 Avios in business class.
Booking them separately, you’ll pay 70,000 Avios for Montreal to Doha, and 50,000 Avios for Doha to Bangkok. This means that, effectively, adding the eight-hour, 3,200-mile segment from Doha to Bangkok costs only 25,000 Avios.
If you wish to go further afield, you can book a one-way Montreal-Doha-Melbourne ticket in business class for only 120,000 Avios. Booking them separately will cost you 140,000 Avios.
Montreal-Doha and Doha-Melbourne flights are usually assigned Boeing 777 aircraft with Qsuites, so for only 120,000 Avios, you can enjoy the luxury of Qsuites for the entire 25-hour, 13,900-mile journey.
There also are ways for you to enjoy Qatar Airways First Class without splurging Avios by the hundreds of thousands.
For one, you can fly from Doha to London, Paris, or Zürich for only 64,500 Avios. While these flights last only 7–8 hours, you’re getting the full First Class experience – from access to the Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Doha to a gourmet meal with a caviar course.
Another way to partially experience “First Class” is by booking short connecting flights within the Arabian Gulf, such as Dubai and Muscat.
Despite being a business class product, premium cabins on these competitive regional routes are marketed as “First Class”.
However, when you redeem Qatar Airways Avios for these flights on a connecting itinerary that involves a long-haul business class segment, the regional flights are still priced as business class.
Therefore, you’ll get access to the excellent Al Safwa First Class Lounge in Doha – which is a big part of the First Class experience in itself – without having to pay First Class prices.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Status
Qatar Airways Privilege Club has four membership tiers: Burgundy, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. In order to progress to the next tier, you must accumulate enough Qpoints.
Qpoints are distinct from Avios, and they’re earned by flying with Qatar Airways or a partner airline on paid flights. You’ll earn Qpoints based on your flight route, fare class, and the airline you’re flying with.
You can use the “My Calculator” feature to determine how many Qpoints you’ll earn for an upcoming flight. As an example, a one-way flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Doha will earn you the following Qpoints:
You’ll need to earn the following Qpoints to advance to the next tier:
- Silver: 150 Qpoints within any 12-month period
- Gold: 300 Qpoints within any 12-month period
- Platinum: 600 Qpoints within any 12-month period
Meanwhile, to retain your current status, you’ll need the following Qpoints:
- Silver: 135 Qpoints within the last 12 months or 270 Qpoints within the last 24 months
- Gold: 270 Qpoints within the last 12 months or 540 Qpoints within the last 24 months
- Platinum: 540 Qpoints within the last 12 months or 1,080 Qponts within the last 24 months
In addition to the Qpoints requirement, you must satisfy one of the following three conditions to level up:
- At least 20% of your Qpoints must come from a flight marketed or operated by Qatar Airways.
- You must have flown at least four Qatar Airways marketed or operated flights within the last 12 months.
- You must have flown at least eight Qatar Airways marketed or operated flights within the last 24 months.
As a Qatar Airways Privilege Club elite member, you’ll receive a wide range of benefits, including:
- Oneworld status (Oneworld Ruby for SIlver, Oneworld Sapphire for Gold, and Oneworld Emerald for Platinum)
- Qcredits that can be used for upgrades and services
- Tier bonus on Avios earned
- Complimentary preferred seat selection
- Extra baggage allowance
- Priority check-in, boarding, and baggage delivery
- Priority contact centre assistance
- Lounge access
- Al Maha meet-and-greet services
- Personalized membership card and bag tag
As the frequent flyer program of an airline based in the Middle East, Qatar Airways Privilege Club doesn’t have many agreements in place with financial institutions in North America.
Thankfully, however, Qatar Airways Privilege Club switched over to Avios as its currency in 2022, making it more accessible than ever before.
You can easily move Avios at a 1:1 ratio among programs that use them, including British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling.
This means Avios earned from British Airways Executive Club, which has significantly more bank partners in North America, can be transferred to Qatar Airways.
As you move your Avios to Qatar Airways, you’ll get to explore redemption possibilities that may not be available with other Avios programs.
For one, you’ll find better availability on Qatar Airways’s premium cabins, including its coveted Qsuites and First Class. You’ll also get access to award seats on Qatar Airways’s unique partners, such as Rwandair and Middle East Airlines (MEA).