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Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios - Ultimate Guide

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Immanuel Debeer | 05/12/2023

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Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the frequent flyer program from Qatar Airways while Avios is the points currency members can earn and redeem for flights. Since Qatar Airways is a One World Airlines, members of Privilege Club can technically redeem their Avios points on flights with any of the airline’s partners of the alliance. Qatar Airways Privilege Club uses Avios as its rewards currency. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Avios is also the currency used by British Airways, Iberia, and Aerlingus.

How To Join Qatar Airways Privilege Club

To earn and redeem Qatar Airways Avios points, you will need to be a member of the Privilege Club program. It’s free to join, and you can do so by visiting the Qatar Airways website. Once you are a member, you can then transfer points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club or credit your One World flights to the program if that’s what you wish to do.

This guide won’t go into details about the benefits of having Qatar Airways Privilege Club Status, but if you want to learn more, you can check out our guide on the subject here.

Earning Avios

Earning Avios is pretty straightforward; naturally, you can earn Avios by flying Qatar Airways or one of its partners and credit your flights to your Privilege Club account. There are also opportunities to earn Avios by shopping, car rentals, hotel stays, and with specific partnerships such as Accor All Live Limitless, which allows you to earn extra points when staying at Accor Hotels.

The easiest way members will earn Qatar Airways Avios is by transferring their flexible credit card points to Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

In Australia, we now have 3 options for doing so!

  • American Express Australia is now a transfer partner for Qatar Airways Avios. For every 2 Membership Reward Points you transfer, you will receive 1 Avios in your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account.
  • Commbank Awards also lets you transfer points to Qatar Airways Avios. In this case, 1 Commbank Award will earn you 0.29 Qatar Airways Avios.
  • Citi Bank lets those with a Citi Prestige card transfer to Qatar Airways Avios at a 3:1 ratio. This means that per $1 spent on your Citi Prestige card, you’ll earn 0.33 Qatar Avios points unless you’re spending on special categories in which your earn rate could go up to 1 point per dollar (airline, hotel and restaurant spending).

Best Credit Cards For Earning Qatar Avios

  • American Express Centurion: earns 1.25 Avios per $1 spent
  • American Express Platinum: earns 1.125 Avios per $1 spent – click here to check the latest sign-up bonus
  • American Express Platinum Business: earns 1.125 Avios per $1 spent – click here to check the latest sign-up bonus
  • American Express Explorer: earns 1 Avios per $1 spent – click here to check the current sign-up bonus
  • American Express Business Explorer: earns 1 Avios per $1 spent – click here to check the current sign-up bonus
  • American Express Platinum Edge: earns 1.5 Avios per $1 at supermarkets & fuel, 1 Avios per $1 on overseas spending, 0.5 Avios per $1 on everyday expenses. – click here to check the sign-up bonus
  • Commbank Diamond Awards earns 0.87 Avios per $1 on overseas spending, 0.58 Avios per $1 on supermarkets, department stores, dining, fuel & utilities, and 0.29 Avios per $1 on everything else up to $10,000 a month. Over $10k, you will earn 0.145 Avios per $1 spent.

Transferring British Airways Avios to Qatar Airways Avios

Due to the close tie-up between both airlines and their shared award currency (Avios), it’s possible to transfer/pool your British Airways Executive Club Avios with your Qatar Airways Privilege Club Avios at a 1:1 ratio. To do so, you will need to link both accounts. Once you’ve completed this step, you can automatically pool your points balance between both programs, which is very handy! This opens opportunities to purchase Avios at discounted rates via British Airways and then use them via Qatar Airways to redeem. Vice versa, you can also opt to redeem British Airways Avios for certain redemptions using your Qatar Airways Avios. It pays to compare both to see which one offers the best value redemption for your route.

How to Link British Airways Avios to Qatar Airways Avios

Linking both accounts is pretty easy, to start you’ll need to have an account with both loyalty programs. Note that points aren’t actually transferred but rather pooled so once your account is linked, you can draw from either balance to book your flights. In order to link your accounts, visit this link and follow the prompts. The same page can be used to unlink accounts if that’s what you wish to do. From this page you also have the option to combine your Avios account balances but personally, I don’t see the benefit of doing so.

Buying Qatar Airways Avios

Qatar Airways sells its Avios points, but this can be rather expensive. When buying points, it’s always a good idea to look out for discounts. Qatar Airways Privilege Club Members can buy, gift, or transfer up to 250,000 Avios each year in blocks of 1,000 Avios.

250,000 Avios would cost you AU$10,492.50. The same price is applicable if you were to buy the points as a gift. For transfers from one account to another, you’d still have to pay, and the rate for this is AU$22.49 per 1,000 Avios. Instead, it would be smarter to book a flight for someone else using your own account, which is allowed.

An alternative method to buying Avios is to buy them from British Airways and transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to Qatar Airways. This way, you can get miles at much better rates. For example, you could sign up for the British Airways Avios Subscription, which would net you 200,000 Avios for just 1,789 GBP per year. How To Save Big With A British Airways Avios Subscription Plan

How To Redeem Qatar Airways Avios

Redeeming Avios for Qatar Airways flights is a fairly straightforward process. You will first need to log in to your Qatar Airways Privilege Club Account. To see flight availability, you need to have at least 1 Avios in your account.

On the Qatar Airways website, follow these steps:

  • Click Privilege Club
  • Click Redeem my Avios/Qcredits
  • Click Spend on award flights
  • Enter your departure/destination/dates, and class of travel.

From there, you will get to the search results, which will show you the available flights for your chosen dates. You can then click through the results day by day to uncover more flights.

Qatar Airways offers two types of award seats. One is a standard award (these offer the lowest price but have limited availability), and the second one is a flexi award, also known as “double Avios awards”.

How do Qatar Airways ‘double Avios’ Flexi Awards work?

Qatar Airways Flexi Awards are available on most flights and on most dates. The downside is that they cost double the amount of a standard award ticket, but unlike most airlines who sell these seats as a points+pay option, Qatar Airways simply doubles the cost, which can be handy if it’s a last resort. You can easily tell if a flight is a Flexi reward by the small icon in the search results.

Earning Points & Status With Flexi Awards

One of the cool features of Flexi Awards is the fact that these tickets are the equivalent of a cash fare. This means you will earn full status and points on these redemptions; something that isn’t the case for standard award seats. We can tell this by looking at the booking class, if you book a first class seat as a flexi award, you will be booked in “A” class which accumulates Avios at 300% and earns status points too. An award seat in first class, however, will book in “Z” class which won’t earn you any points or status.

If we book a Flexi Award in business class from Perth to Doha, the ticket will be booked in “I” class. We can then refer to the Qatar Airways Calculator to learn that this flight will also earn 88 Qcredits (you need these to reach status tiers), as well as 10,148 Avios if you’re a Burgundy member.

So if you’re looking to earn status credits and points on an award ticket, this could be the way to go, but it’s going to cost you double.

Best Ways To Use Avios

The best way to use your Qatar Airways Avios will be relative to where you want to go and how you want to get there. Generally speaking, at Flight Hacks we prefer to use our Avios on premium fares such as Business and First Class onboard Qatar Airways.

  • Qatar Airways Australia to Doha: 35,000 in economy, 70,000 in business, or 105,000 in First
  • Qatar Airways Australia to Europe: 45,000 in economy, 90,000 in business, or 135,000 in First
  • Qatar Airways Australia to the USA: 60,000 in economy, 120,000 in business. Note that Qatar Airways does not currently offer first class to the US.

Note that Qatar Airways doesn’t use distance-based award charts and instead uses a peak and off-peak system to price tickets. This means that during peak times, a flight from Australia to Doha in business can go up from 70,000 to 94,400 Avios, a whopping increase of more than 34%.

How To Tell You’re Getting Off Peak Pricing?

It’s unfortunate that Qatar Airways is rather opaque at giving a clear reason when peak vs off-peak pricing applies. Right now, the only way to tell if you’re getting off-peak award pricing is by looking at the award search. If no “off peak” label is applied, you’re getting peak prices. Peak pricing is seemingly random and appears to be a way for Qatar Airways to bump pricing when flights/routes become popular.

Which Class Does Peak/Off Peak Pricing Apply To?

From what we can tell, peak/off-peak pricing only applies to economy and business class reward tickets. First class and flexi awards in any class remain unchanged.

How To Get 5% Discount On Awards

Qatar Airways has a nice benefit for both Privilege Club Gold and Platinum members. Those with this status can get a 5% discount on all award redemptions online. A pretty neat benefit if you ask me! On top of that, Platinum members get enhanced availability of economy awards. For discount on cash fares, check out our Qatar Airways discount code page.

Using Qatar Airways Avios For Upgrades

Using Avios for upgrades can only be done if you’re booking on a Qatar Airways-operated flight, and your booking fare matches one of those listed on the Qatar Airways Calculator. Generally speaking, only the more expensive economy fares are available for an upgrade, and upgrade space very much matches that of award space. However, it is possible to upgrade last minute at the airport using points, provided that seats are available.

For example, on a cheaper Economy ticket in either O, T, N, or Q, you would still need to pay 73,500 points to upgrade from Perth to Doha in Business class. Considering an outright redemption is only 70,000 in business, it doesn’t make much sense to use your points in this situation.

Using Qatar Airways Avios For Partner Award Flights

Luckily, Qatar Airways Privilege Club members can rely on a distance-based award chart for partner redemptions. These include redemptions on One World Airlines such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, British Airways, etc., as well as their other partners, which include JetBlue, LATAM, and Virgin Australia, to name a few.

However, it’s important to note that Qatar Airways does not allow partner redemption online, with the exception of British Airways and American Airlines. For all other redemptions, you will need to call up to book or submit a booking request form.

To calculate the cost of a partner award, use a tool like GCMAP to figure out the air mile distance and then compare it to this handy chart to get the cost of your flight (not including airline surcharges).

Qatar Airways partner award chart

For the most part, the Qatar Airways partner award chart matches that of British Airways Avios, so if the price works out the same, it’s much easier to book via British Airways Avios as they allow online booking for most, if not all, partners. (note that Qatar Airways has removed this chart from their website – of course, we took a screenshot before they did!)

How to Get in Touch with Qatar Airways Privilege Club

To book flights or make changes, you can call Qatar Airways Privilege Club. I find the best contact centre is based in Doha, which is also where you would call to get through to the Platinum line.

  • Burgundy & Silver: +974 4144 5555
  • Gold: +974 16077 5155
  • Platinum: +974 4144 5155
  • Australia number: +61 721038655

You can also contact Qatar Airways via the live online chat in the help section when you’re logged in at Qatar Airways Help.

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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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  1. Hi Immanuel,

    A great review of Qatar Avios program and I’ll certainly link my BA Avios to Qatar.

    One question what’s the expiry timeframe?

    Thanks Phil

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