This morning, Qatar Airways has officially adopted Avios as its frequent flyer currency. Qmiles are no more.
You can now link your British Airways Executive Club account with your Qatar Privilege Club account and move Avios back and forth at a 1:1 ratio. Our ‘how to’ guide to account linking is here.
If you think ‘so what?’ because you could already book Qatar Airways flights via British Airways Executive Club, then you need to think again.
This is such a big topic that it’s going to take us a number of articles over a number of days to explore its nuances. In this introductory piece, I want to highlight a few things that should get you excited, or at least intrigued.
There are two additional articles today:
- We have a step-by-step guide to linking your British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club acounts
- You can get a generous bonus with a Qatar Airways ‘cash and Avios’ promotion – read more here and book here
Qatar Airways reward flight pricing has changed, irrespective of where you book
Historically, if you booked a Qatar Airways flight on ba.com using Avios, it priced off the ‘partner reward chart’ which you can see in this HfP article.
This is no longer the case.
From today, Qatar Airways and British Airways flights will cost the same number of Avios irrespective of whether you book them on qatarairways.com via Privilege Club or ba.com via Executive Club.
I do NOT mean that you will use the same number of Avios to fly to the same city on British Airways or Qatar Airways. I mean that there is no Avios arbitrage between the two websites:
- a British Airways off-peak flight to New York in Business will cost 100,000 Avios via Executive Club on ba.com or Privilege Club on qatarairways.com
- a Qatar Airways flight to Dubai in Business will cost 100,000 Avios via Executive Club on ba.com or Privilege Club on qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways has lower taxes than British Airways
When comparing British Airways and Qatar Airways redemptions to the same city, you should find that taxes and charges are lower on the Qatar Airways flight.
You can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher or a Barclays upgrade voucher on Qatar Airways redemptions, of course. Your flight will also involve a connection in Doha.
It doesn’t matter which website you book on. For most destinations, you will pay a similar level of taxes irrespective of whether you book Qatar Airways redemption flights on the BA or Qatar Airways websites.
There is a difference when you book Business Class and your connecting flight from Doha is on a short-haul aircraft. This is what you would get if you booked London – Doha – Dubai for example.
This is down to how the BA website handles the connection, which is on a two-class aircraft featuring just Economy and First Class. It means that you pay £50 more to book the routing above on ba.com.
Qatar Airways redemption flights starting outside the UK are great value
Qatar Airways has a broad network of departure points across Europe, allowing you to save a substantial amount on Air Passenger Duty and UK airport charges.
Again, we’ll look at this more closely in a few days but here is an example (remember that you ONLY see this pricing if you book on qatarairways.com):
- London to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £526 of taxes and charges
- Dublin to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £295 (€355) of taxes and charges
- Amsterdam to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £318 (€383) of taxes and charges
- London to Bangkok, Business Class, on British Airways – £759 of taxes and charges
The real difference is availability, however. In practice there are ZERO dates you can get Club World seats to Bangkok over the next year. Qatar Airways is wide open.
Qatar Airways also has a superior Business Class product to British Airways, especially if you can secure flights with Qsuite:
and, especially good for families:
Our most recent Qsuite flight review is here and we plan to run a fresh one in the next few weeks.
Avios requirements on Qatar Airways are often cheaper too
In our Bangkok example above, Qatar Airways wants 150,000 Avios return. British Airways wants either 150,000 or 180,000 Avios depending on date.
Look at Sydney. British Airways, in the unlikely opportunity that you can find a seat, wants 250,000 or 300,000 Avios return in Business Class.
Qatar Airways has decent availability for 180,000 Avios and under £600 of taxes and it flies to multiple cities across Australia.
Remember that Avios transfer to and from British Airways Executive Club to Qatar Privilege Club in a 1:1 ratio.
Qatar Airways will guarantee Avios seats in all cabins on all flights
Like British Airways, Qatar Airways will be guaranteeing Avios seats in all cabins on all flights. The exact amount will vary by cabin and by aircraft type, but there will be at least two Business Class seats available.
This is not a ‘big bang’ change. For practical reasons Qatar Airways hasn’t been able to open up every flight in the schedule from today, but it will happen.
You can use ‘cash and Avios’ to get cheaper cash tickets on Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways has adopted ‘cash and Avios’. This allows you to use your Avios to save money on a cash ticket, which means you get around issues of award availability.
We have a separate article today on a special launch offer which you can read here. You can book ‘cash and Avios’ on the Qatar Airways website here.
You can now earn and spend Avios on new airlines
Qatar Airways has partnerships with a number of airlines outside of the oneworld alliance. You can now earn and spend Avios with new airlines – see here.
We will look at this in more detail on another day, but I am most excited by the opportunity to redeem Avios on Oman Air, especially as British Airways no longer flies to Muscat.
Unfortunately, you cannot redeem with partner airlines online, but I believe it is in hand to launch later this year.
You can now earn and spend Avios with new hotel and car partners
This is also an article for another day, but a lot of new Avios earning options with partners are now available (as long as you open a Privilege Club account).
Europcar, Hertz and Sixt car rentals can now you earn Avios, for example – see here.
None of this applies to Iberia Plus members, unfortunately
It appears that you can only link British Airways Executive Club accounts to Qatar Privilege Club.
You can’t link Iberia Plus, Vueling Club or AerClub accounts.
This isn’t a huge problem but it is a bit annoying. You can use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios from Iberia, Vueling or Aer Lingus into a British Airways account, and then on to Qatar Airways.
We will have a lot more on the benefits of this new partnership over the next few days.
The bottom line is that if you don’t think there is anything in it for you, you’re wrong.
Even if you never fly with Qatar Airways, you’ll be grateful for this partnership next time you use an airline, hotel or car rental company which works with Privilege Club but doesn’t work with British Airways.
- The HfP guide to linking your British Airways and Qatar Airways accounts
- How to get up to 10,000 bonus Avios with a Qatar Airways ‘cash and Avios’ booking this week
Qatar Airways and Privilege Club
You can link your BA and Qatar accounts and transfer Avios between the two accounts at a 1:1 rate in either direction. This means if you want to transfer your Avios from, say, Qatar to Iberia or Aer Lingus to Qatar, you can do either by transferring them via British Airways.How to transfer household Avios to Qatar Airways? ›
Under “Manage My Account” link – at the top of left hand side blue column – click on “Combine My Avios”. Under the Qatar Airways section, click on “Combine My Avios” blue link box. This will prompt you to a new page where you'll be asked to log into your Qatar Airways Privilege Club.How many Avios do I need to upgrade to business Qatar Airways? ›
With 70,000 Avios, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Doha. Economy award redemptions typically do not offer value since you can usually find affordable economy flights.Can I transfer my Avios points to another airline? ›
Avios is the rewards points currency of several airlines, including Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Qatar Airways. While each airline has its own loyalty program, one of the great things is that you can transfer Avios between accounts at no cost.Does Avios points expire Qatar Airways? ›
Your Avios expire soon
Every time you spend or earn, your Avios balance will be valid for a further 36 months. You can redeem your Avios for a wide range of rewards, such as award flights, cabin upgrades and extra baggage allowances.
Yes, the voucher can be used on any routes sold by British Airways with the exception of bookings on Sun-Air. Can you use a voucher to book codeshare or partner airline flights? Yes.Can you transfer Avios to anything? ›
You can transfer Avios between any of these programs at a rate of 1:1 in any direction, so 1 British Airways Avios is worth 1 Qatar Airways Avios and vice versa. The reason you may wish to transfer your Avios between the different programs is that Avios have slightly different values and uses in each program.What can I transfer Avios to? ›
You can use your Avios to fly with British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.Can I use British Airways Avios on other airlines? ›
Flights booked using Avios are called Reward Flights. Reward Flights can be taken with British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines and our oneworld partners. The only cash amount required for Reward Flights is to cover the taxes, fees and carrier charges.How to get a free upgrade on Qatar Airways? ›
- Passenger has a confirmed ticket on a Qatar Airways operated flight and the fare paid is eligible for upgrade.
- The booking reference has a valid e-mail address. OR.
- If upgrade offers available for your journey will be displayed online:
Spend or earn to extend Avios validity
Whether you book a flight, stay in a hotel or shop at Qatar Duty Free, there are many ways you can earn and redeem Avios in the air, and on the ground. Every time you spend or earn your Avios balance will be valid for a further 36 months.
We generally say that you should expect at least 1p when used for premium cabin flights. However, even in the worst possible scenario – that you convert to Nectar points and spend them in Sainsburys, at Argos or at eBay.co.uk – your 70,000 Avios are worth £467 of Nectar credit. Not bad for a sign-up bonus …..How many Avios points do you need to upgrade from economy? ›
|Zone # (distance in miles)||Economy||Premium Economy|
|Zone 1** (1-650)||4,000||5,750|
|Zone 2 (651-1,151)||6,500||9,500|
|Zone 3 (1,152-2,000)||8,500||12,750|
|Zone 4 (2,001-3,000)||10,000||20,000|
Once logged in, simply enter their Avios membership details and select the amount to share. For a small fee, you can share with as many as six members, up to 27,000 Avios per person, per calendar year. Sharing is free for Gold Members.Can I transfer BA Avios to American Airlines? ›
So while you can't transfer British Airways miles to American Airlines, you can use British Airways Avios to redeem for flights that are operated by American Airlines. What's more, using Avios to book award flights operated by American Airlines can sometimes be better than had you booked the flight with AA miles.How many Avios do I need for gold membership in Qatar? ›
To retain Gold
Earn 270 Qpoints within last 12 months or 540 Qpoints within last 24 months prior to renewal date.
Carry more with you
Spend your Avios on extra baggage for your next trip with us, or for anyone else.
Every 5 QAR spent at Qatar Duty Free QDF is equivalent to 1 Avios. Earning is calculated per spend in QAR (spends in other currencies will be converted to QAR for calculation of Avios).How do I transfer Avios to Privilege Club? ›
Just link your British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Airways Privilege Club accounts together to move Avios between the two. Move Avios at any time, once you have linked accounts. You will have the flexibility to move your Avios in or out of your Executive Club account.Is Qatar Airways better than BA? ›
Qatar Airways has just won the prestigious AirlineRatings.com Airline of the Year award for 2022. British Airways, once lauded as “the world's favourite airline” because it carried more international passengers more miles than any other, was ranked 20th.
Executive Club Silver status is the equivalent to oneworld Sapphire tier, allowing you to access the oneworld equivalent business class lounges. This includes Qatar Airways business class lounges.How much is 20 000 Avios points worth? ›
|Prices from 1 May||GBP||USD|
, 25,000 British Airways Avios are worth about $200. How much are 50,000 British Airways Avios worth? , 50,000 British Airways Avios are worth about $400.Is there a fee to transfer Avios? ›
Now, you'll pay a flat fee of £15 ($20 USD) to transfer up to 27,000 Avios to another account, which is a massive discount to what it was before. Keep in mind that while you can transfer up to 162,000 Avios per year out of a single account, the maximum you can send per year to any particular recipient is 27,000 Avios.Can I convert Avios to cash? ›
When you book an award ticket online, the Avios required will be displayed once you choose your flight and cabin class. By using our convenient Avios plus Cash slider on the payment page, you can change the number of Avios to be redeemed for your award, and pay the balance in cash.How many Avios do I need to fly to New York? ›
|Economy points needed per return (+ taxes & charges)|
The UK Avios Travel Rewards Programme has now closed, but Avios, the currency, remains. As part of the closure, some of our customers have moved to the British Airways Executive Club. You are still able to collect and spend Avios as a member of the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, AerClub and Vueling Club.Can I use Avios on Emirates? ›
Flying Emirates for Avios collectors
As long as your Emirates flight is booked under a Qantas (QF) flight number and not an Emirates (EK) flight number, you will receive Avios points when you fly. Not all Emirates flights operate under the codeshare but a large number of destinations are available.
Because British Airways and American Airlines are partners, you can use your Avios for nearly free American flights. Better yet, it's incredibly easy to earn Avios, so even if you've never flown with British Airways before, you could still be in luck.Do British Avios expire? ›
Yes, British Airways Avios expire after 36 months in an account with no activity. Per the British Airways Executive Club terms and conditions: “Your Avios stay with you as long as you collect, spend, purchase or share at least one Avios every 36 months — any longer and your Avios will expire and be removed.”
It's as easy as it sounds, thanks to the Qcredits you get as part of Qatar Airways' Privilege Club program. All you have to do is check if there is upgrade availability, book an eligible cash fare, and then put your Qcredits to work with a free upgrade.Can I ask for a free upgrade at the airport? ›
If the seat is available, the passenger pays for the upgrade on the flight." So while you shouldn't expect a free upgrade on a flight, you can still ask for upgrades from booking till boarding — and you may be able to pay your way to a much more comfortable seat.Is it cheaper to upgrade to first class after booking? ›
The cheapest way to get a business or first-class ticket is to buy an economy ticket then buy an upgrade. You can either do this immediately after booking or look for last-minute upgrades as your travel date approaches. The price for premium cabin fares decreases as you get closer to departure.What is the difference between Qmiles and Avios? ›
Your Qmiles will become Avios on a 1:1 basis, so every 1 Qmile will become 1 Avios. For example, if you had 35,000 Qmiles in your account you will have 35,000 Avios. Will the amount of Avios required to book a ticket with Qatar Airways be different to the amount of Qmiles previously required?How much are Qatar Avios points worth? ›
The value of Avios at Qatar Duty Free
You can redeem Qatar Airways Avios for 0.65 cents each toward a purchase at Doha Hamad Airport. You can earn one Qatar Airways Avios per $1.37 (5 QAR) spent at Doha Hamad Airport.
The airline has launched its first Avios sale of 2023 that allows Privilege Club members to buy them at a 50% bonus through May 11, 2023.How much is 100000 BA Avios worth? ›
Best ways to use 100,000 Avios
That means you can expect to get roughly $975 worth of flights from 100,000 Avios, although the exact value you'll get depends on how and when you redeem your rewards. British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus all use slightly different distance-based award charts.
That means for your 100,000 Avios, you could book 12 return trips (so 24 flights for one person). Or if you're a family of four, you could still book three return trips for all four of you. That could be the flights for three European holidays for your whole family, which could save you thousands.How many BA points do you need to upgrade to premium economy? ›
A one-way peak Economy / World Traveller ticket to Dubai is 20,000 Avios for example, whilst Premium Economy / World Traveller Plus is 40,000 Avios. It would therefore cost 20,000 Avios each-way to upgrade the ticket. This article shows the Avios needed for EVERY British Airways route – click here.How many Avios points do I need to fly to Australia? ›
You will need the following Avios, per person, each way: World Traveller: 32,500 off-peak / 50,000 peak. World Traveller Plus: 65,000 off-peak / 100,000 peak. Club World/Suite: 125,000 off-peak / 150,000 peak.
Deducting the 26,000 Avios required for a World Traveller Plus redemption (that you have already paid as your cash fare), you will need 24,000 Avios to upgrade this flight to Club World.Can you transfer Avios points to Qatar? ›
You can link your BA and Qatar accounts and transfer Avios between the two accounts at a 1:1 rate in either direction. This means if you want to transfer your Avios from, say, Qatar to Iberia or Aer Lingus to Qatar, you can do either by transferring them via British Airways.Can my daughter use my Avios points? ›
Household Accounts allow up to seven individuals who live at the same address to 'pool' their Avios together into one cumulative Household Account Avios balance which can then be redeemed by all Household Account members.Can I merge 2 Avios accounts? ›
Simply head over to Avios.com and choose to log in using your AerClub credentials. Once logged in, select 'Manage my account' and choose 'Combine my Avios'.Does Amex transfer to Avios? ›
American Express Cards enrolled in the Corporate Membership Rewards Tier are not eligible for point transfers to Avios. Membership Rewards points transfers must be made in increments of 100 points, with a minimum redemption requirement of 1,000 points for each transfer. 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios.Can you transfer Avios between household accounts? ›
Yes, so long as you have a valid payment card/cards and you haven't opted out of moving to British Airways Executive Club. Your card details will not be shared but simply your Avios collected will be added into the new account.Can you transfer Avios between family members? ›
You can transfer up to 27,000 Avios to another Executive Club Member each calendar year. Transferring Avios will reset the 36-month period for both the person sending and the person receiving the Avios.
Household Accounts allow up to seven individuals who live at the same address to 'pool' their Avios together into one cumulative Household Account Avios balance which can then be redeemed by all Household Account members.How many Avios points do I need to upgrade to business? ›
Almost all long haul upgrades to business class or first class require between 18,000-30,000 points one way, depending on peak or off peak and how far you're going.Can I gift Avios to someone? ›
Yes, Avios can be gifted to another member of your household. Will gifting Avios reset the 36-month expiry rule? Yes, for both the Sender and the Recipient.
With our programme feature, if you don't happen to use your Avios within a three-year period, you can recover them within one year for a fee. To revalidate Avios, log in to your membership account, click on “My Services” from the menu and select “Revalidate Avios”.Can I sell my Avios points? ›
Yes. You can sell your British Airways miles. Many account holders sell their Avios points or British Airways miles for several reasons. One of the most common reasons being the low availability of reward flight tickets which leads to high competition to get their hands on these tickets.How many points do you need to get silver on British Airways? ›
Silver: 600 Tier Points or 50 eligible flights.How much discount do BA staff get? ›
Whether you are commuting to Heathrow, or heading off on holiday you'll be entitled to buy Express Saver Tickets with a 75% discount. Car Parking.How many Avios points do you get with American Express? ›
American Express Cards enrolled in the Corporate Membership Rewards Tier are not eligible for point transfers to Avios. Membership Rewards points transfers must be made in increments of 100 points, with a minimum redemption requirement of 1,000 points for each transfer. 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,000 Avios.