If you’re looking for a frequent flyer program within the One World Alliance, the Qatar Airways Privilege Club is a competitive option. The system is easy to navigate and offers straightforward redemption possibilities. On this basis, here is a complete guide to the Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
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What is the Qatar Airways Privilege Club?
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s best airlines, with connections to all over the planet and top-notch products – both in business and economy class.
Their frequent flyer program – Privilege Club – is also among the best loyalty schemes for globetrotters. New to Privilege Club? Here’s everything you need to know.
One World is home to a varied collection of airlines, including Spanish flag carrier Iberia, British Airways, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, Qantas, Malaysia, and of course, Qatar.
As such, you can use Qatar Airways miles (“Avios”) all around the world on different airlines and routes.
As a rule of thumb, the One World Alliance is especially useful for flights from Europe to South America (Iberia serves almost every Latin American capital from their hub in Madrid), Europe to the Middle East and Asia via Qatar, and domestically in the US (Alaska and American Airlines).
Here are some of the best-valued One World routes:
- Japan Airlines LAX – Tokyo Narita;
- American/Alaska Airlines West Coast to Hawaii;
- Iberia Madrid – Mexico City;
- Finnair Helsinki – US destinations;
- Qatar Airways Frankfurt – Bangkok via Doha;
- Qatar Airways Doha to Southeast Asia.
By flying to these One World hubs, you can save a lot of money on flights – and also redeem your Avios easily.
Things to Know About the Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Program: Earning Avios
To get started with the Qatar Airways loyalty program, here are the basics.
What Are Avios?
Avios are points used by no fewer than four different airline loyalty programs:
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club;
- British Airways Executive Club;
- Iberia Plus;
- Aer Lingus AerClub;
The great thing about Avios points is that you can transfer them between the programs.
If you are a member of both British Airways and Qatar Airways, you can interchange Avios depending on how many you need. As such, it’s a great idea to link Qatar and British Airways accounts if you use both.
How Long Are Avios Points Valid?
Avios points are valid for 36 months for any form of redemption in the Qatar Airways Privilege Club. That is a highly competitive validity period as miles from programs such as Air France/KLM Flying Blue are only valid for 24 months (if you don’t extend).
Earning Avios Through Flights
Simply put, every time you fly with a One World member, you enter your Privilege Club number and earn miles. And that’s it.
Earning enough miles to actually make a difference through flights, however, is challenging.
Unless you are an ultra-frequent-flyer or fly business class regularly, earning solely with flights won’t procure enough miles for a worthwhile redemption.
The Qatar Miles Calculator is a handy way of finding out how many Avios you’ll earn with each flight. See the example down below.
Earning Avios Through Hotel Bookings and Car Rentals
Qatar Privilege Club has its own hotel and car rental platform. The platform allows you to earn or redeem Avios on hotels and car rentals anywhere in the world.
Having used the platform several times, I would say that its best usage is to earn miles via hotel bookings. Redeeming the Avios here is not the best mile-value option neither for cars nor hotels.
As an example, I once booked two nights for a total of $100 in Oaxaca, Mexico through the Qatar Airways booking platform and got 2,600 Avios – a fantastic deal.
Earning Avios Through Partner Programs
The Qatar Airways frequent flyer program has the benefit of offering lots of partnerships with hotel chains and other travel-related products.
In this context, you can link Qatar and Accor loyalty programs or Mariott Bonvoy. You will then earn Avios (in addition to the hotel-specific points) every time you stay at one of their properties.
Accor properties are present all over Europe, Africa, and Asia while Mariott Bonvoy properties have a more global reach.
Earning Avios Through Credit Cards
If you’re based in the US, the easiest way to get Avios is by transferring Citi ThankYou rewards to Privilege Club. The ratio is one-to-one.
You can collect those rewards with several credit cards, including Citi Premier Card and Citi Prestige Card. Depending on how many cards you have, it is possible to combine all the Citi ThankYou rewards into one single account.
Other cards that you can use to earn Avios (or earn other loyalty program points and then covert them to Avios) are the following:
- American Express Gold;
- American Express Platinum;
- Capital One Venture Rewards;
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card;
- Chase Sapphire Reserve.
How to Buy Qatar Miles
You can buy Avios on the Qatar Privilege Club website. Prices are as indicated below.
Watch out for promotions and flash sales. Sometimes, you can buy Qatar miles for much lower prices during a limited period.
To make a bit more sense of these figures, check out the One World Alliance award flights chart below.
This chart explains how much an award flight costs in Avios. Be aware that you’ll have to pay taxes in addition to the Avios price.
As an example, if you need 5k-15k extra Avios for a short or mid-haul flight, buying the missing miles can be a worthwhile option as it will cost you between €150-300. Depending on the cash price of the ticket, you’ll save some money.
Qatar Airways Status Levels
There are three Privilege Club membership tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
For Silver, you’ll need 150 QPoints (status points, different from Avios), for Gold, 270 in 12 months or 540 in 24 months, and for Platinum, 540 in 12 months or 1080 in 24 months.
What are the benefits? In short, all tiers will multiply the miles you earn on each flight and all three give you lounge access.
Find all the benefits of each tier here.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club: Spending Avios
Having discussed several ways to earn Qatar miles, let’s get to the good stuff: how to spend your hard-earned Avios.
Spending Avios on Flights
You can spend your Avios on Qatar Airways flights or One World partner airlines.
As such, you can book British Airways or Iberia flights with your Qatar Avios and vice versa. As indicated in the chart above, the price in Avios depends on the distance of the flight and booking class. Overall, buying award flights is one of the best ways to redeem Avios.
Using Avios for a Qatar Airways Upgrade
One of the best ways to redeem your Avios is to get a Qatar Airways upgrade to business or even first class.
Using the miles calculator, here’s an example of how many miles you’ll need to upgrade Qatar with Avios. The example lists a six-hour flight from Frankfurt to Doha.
Considering that the airline has one of the best business class products in the sky, getting a Qatar Airways upgrade for 20-40k Avios is exceptional value for money.
Some credit cards mentioned above will give you 50-60k miles as a signing-on bonus, meaning you’ll get a free upgrade just for acquiring a frequent flyer credit card.
Other Qatar Airways Frequent Flyer Rewards
You can use your Avios for duty-free items and on the aforementioned hotel and car rental platform.
Generally, duty-free online shopping and hotel rewards will give you less value per mile than award flights or upgrades, so I recommend staying away from those.
Conclusion on the Qatar Airways Privilege Club Loyalty Program
- The easiest ways to earn Avios are credit cards or flying a lot in business class. A secondary option is to book hotels through the Qatar Airways hotel booking platform.
- The best way to redeem Avios is to get a Qatar Airways upgrade with miles or buy an award ticket from Qatar or One World members.
The bottom line is that the Privilege Club program is one of the best frequent flyer schemes on the market, especially if you fly a lot of One World Airlines.
It’s relatively easy to obtain status with Qatar Airways, and their lower tiers offer a lot more than competing frequent flyer programs.
Better still, their award flights and upgrades are competitively priced and their website is much better than other airline loyalty programs such as Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles.
The main downside is that apart from credit cards, flights, and some partner companies, there aren’t as many ways to earn Avios as with other programs.
As an example, you cannot connect Qatar Privilege Club to Booking.com, which is my go-to hotel booking platform.