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How Use QCredits To Upgrade A Qatar Airways Flight

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Immanuel Debeer | 06/01/2022

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If you were lucky enough to jump on the Qatar Airways status match last year, you might have noticed how your brand new Gold or Platinum status came with something called Qcredits. Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold get 40Qcredits, and Platinum members get 60 Credits each year they maintain status. Thankfully Qatar Airways Privilege Club has extended our status for another year and made it even easier to requalify for 2023!

Tip: check out our guide on how to maximise your Qatar Airways Priviledge Club status.

What Are Privilege Club QCredits?

Qcredits are earned by Gold and Platinum Privilege Club members. When you achieve Privilege Club Gold, you get 40 credits; when you hit Privilege Club Platinum, you get 60. Those credits can be used to pay for extra baggage and things like upgrades and award fees. 10 bonus credits are awarded for each 100 Qpoints Platinum members earn over 600. (Example: if you earn 700 Qpoints, you will get an additional 10 Qcredits).

Qcredits expire each year, so you lose them if you don’t use them; however, they will last for 2 years if you retain your status.

How To Use Privilege Club Qcredits To Upgrade Economy To Business

It only takes 55 Qcredits to upgrade from Economy to Business on a Qatar Airways flight from Sydney to Europe (one way). Considering you get this benefit each year, you maintain status with Qatar Airways; it’s a very valuable perk!

Step 1: Calculate Qcredits Needed To Upgrade

To calculate the Qcredits needed to upgrade your flight, you first need to visit the Qatar Airways calculator via this link.
You’ll be greeted with a page where you can input your flight details, and the calculator will tell you how many Qcredits are required and in which booking class you can use them.

Step 2: Booking The Right Flight

Qcredits can’t be used for just any flight; you will need to make sure the Economy flight you book falls under one of the following fare codes:

  • Economy to Business (Y,M,Q,V,S,O,N,K,H,B,T,L)
  • Economy to First (M,Y,H,O,Q,B,K,N,L,T,S,V)

To find out which booking class of the flight you want to purchase, visit qatarairways.com and search for a flight. Once you have found one, click through on the fare type you want until you get to the following screen.

Here you will see the booking class of your flight. In our case, the class is “S”, which matches the “S” class we see on the upgrade calculator. This means that once we book this flight, it will be possible to upgrade…. However, there’s another catch.

Step 3: Upgrade Availability

Because your flight is in the correct booking class doesn’t simply mean there will be availability to upgrade. This means it’s essential to research upgrade availability before booking your flight to avoid disappointment.

Search for availability is the same as searching for an award flight. You simply make a dummy booking as if you plan to book a flight using points in business or first. If the flight is available under a “saver award” (the cheapest one), it means you can use your Qcredits to upgrade and get a confirmed booking in business or first.

If you have some points in your Qatar Airways account, you will be able to research flights. If you don’t, you can use a One World partner airline such as American Airlines AAdvantage, Asia Miles, British Airways Executive Club or Qantas Frequent Flyer to research award space. In this example, I will show you how to search using Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

First, make sure you’re logged in, then hover over the Privilege Club Menu (ps. Life is much easier when you do these things on a computer, you’re mad trying this on mobile) and click redeem Qmiles/Qcredits.

Now you’re going to want to click the highlighted fields above and run the search for your dates. Remember, Qcredits can only be used on Qatar Airways operated flights. To ensure you’re on the right track, first, use the Qatar Airways calculator to see how much an outright redemption would cost you in Qmiles.

In our example, it’s 90,000 Qmiles (it’s actually 85,500, so I’m not sure if the calculator includes taxes) for a one way trip from Sydney to London. This means if you see any awards that cost more, it is NOT available in a saver award and therefore, you won’t be able to redeem your Qcredits either.

Here’s how that might look like:

People get often fooled by this and then complain when they try to use their Qcredits but can’t…

When you find a winner, it will look like this:

Notice how there’s no green label on the business class reward, and the date is highlighted with a gold label indicating the lowest price in Qmiles?

Once you see this, you know an upgrade using Qcredits will also be possible.

Step 4: Upgrading

Once you’ve found the availability, you can go ahead and buy your economy class ticket. Once you have that, copy the booking reference and head to the upgrade section (same as step 3). Click on Upgrade On Qatar Airways and enter your booking reference and last name.

When I when through this process, I couldn’t proceed from this step, so instead, I called the Qatar Airways Platinum Line. Their number is: +44 330 912 7417

If you’ve ever called Qatar Airways, their regular lines can have a long hold, but Platinum customers have their calls answered almost instantly; it’s pretty amazing. From there, the Qatar Airways employees can re-book your ticket and apply the upgrade on their end. In my case, the agent told me he would call back when he had completed the upgrade; sure enough, 30 minutes after my request, I received a call and email confirmation.

I ended up using my Qcredits to upgrade my mother in law on her Sydney – Doha – Manchester flight, so it’s safe to say I will be in the good books for a while.

Things you should know about Qcredits

  • Upgrades using Qcredits only work on Qatar operated flights. Note that if you bought a code-share and the flight is operated by QR but doesn’t have a Qatar Airways flight number, you wouldn’t be able to use your Qcredits
  • Tickets sold via a travel agent are also eligible as long as the flight is operated by Qatar Airways and has a QR flight number
  • You can upgrade anyone using your Qcredits – they don’t need to be related to you.
  • If no upgrade is available, use Expert Flyer to set a notification and monitor awards.
  • Qcredits are refundable if you cancel or change your flight
  • Qcredits are valid for 2 years as long as you retain your status tier.
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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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    • Hey Brad, the Qcredits have their own expiry date, you can see them when logged in to the website or app under benefits. Mine shows a date in June.

  1. Hi, love your channel and your guides.

    I am trying to plan a trip to Ukraine about March/April, subject to Russian invasion, and all the “other” little things going on but i am having trouble even finding carriers from Perth to Europe at the moment.
    Do you have any advice? Or do i just wait until things open up a bit more?

    Cheers Les

    • Hey, probably a case of wait and see! Currently we have 3 airlines operating passenger flights: Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Emirates (maybe Malaysia Airlines but I’m not 100% sure)

  2. If I have three people on a business class paid booking BNE-DOH-CDG, can I use my QCredits to just upgrade (a) one person, myself and (2) one leg of the trip, ie DOH-CDG only?

    • Hi Lewis, yes you can! I’m not sure if the system will let you do it online but you can call up the Platinum line and they should be able to sort it out. Keep in mind that you need to be booked on the correct fare type and there needs to be award availability.

  3. Just upgraded an econ to business, doh-bne. I’m 9 Qmiles short of another upgrade for my mate on same flight. Do you have any insight on checking upgrades using credits. Could they be less than online I.e point in time/demand led.

    • Hi Jenks, they are a fixed price. You could always ask what the cost of a cash upgrade is at check-in but usually those prices are fixed as well.

  4. I used to be a QR Staff member and this post just taught me more than my 4 years with QR. – Absolutely brilliant!

    If the flight I’m looking for has the same price everyday and every week haha, is there any other way to upgrade? Or do I need to book the most expensive Y Class? – Trying to get something soon as my Q credits will expire in 2 weeks.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Vanessa, thanks! You don’t need to book the most expensive Y class, it just needs to correspond with one of the following fare codes: Y,M,Q,V,S,O,N,K,H,B,T,L
      Of course, there also needs to be availability as well.

  5. Hi Immanuel, thanks for the awesome walk through of this. It made the process so much easier.
    Thanks again for putting together the best blog for Australian award travel.

  6. Hi I’ve only just learnt that you credits have a different expiry date and with the status extensions my status has extended but the q credits have not and are expiring in a few weeks.

    If I was to book an economy ticket weather travel date after the expiry of the q credits if I applied the q credits for an upgrade prior to the expiry date could I still use them and then if I were to change the flight to a different date with the q credit start a new 2-year expiry being re credited to the account or would they have simply expired

    • Good questions! I’m not sure. I believe that if you change the flight it would need to match all the conditions ie: upgrade available, same fare code etc. It seems highly unlikely that Qcredits will get a new expiry date if you were to cancel the flight; most likely you will forfeit them.

      • Immanuel, this is gold knowledge. I was wondering about how it exactly works through navigating the side but there is too little information. My QCredits expire in June and I booked my next flight only days after bringing me over the line for the gold status renual after my return to Australia in July. That means these QCredits will expire in June and cannot brought over to the next year, is that correct?
        If I renew my gold status after that do I get awarded 40 Credits every year or is that every two years?

        By the way, I found out that you can actually buy QCredits for ¢25 per point on the website. If you only need 55 QCredits for the flight to Europe this means you can fly to full route by only paying $375 in addition. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me …

        • Hi Josef, yes that’s right your Qcredits will expire in June if you don’t redeem them for a flight upgrade. However, you can redeem them for a flight if the departure is past June. You will just need to have it confirmed before the Qcredits expire. You will get the same allotment of Qcredits each year when you renew your status.

          I think what you’re referring to is Qpoints, you can buy these for $25 per point but Qpoints and Qcredits are 2 different things. Qpoints are what you need to maintain status or upgrade status to the next tier.

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