Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Earn on Qatar Airways, redeem on …. British Airways AND Virgin Atlantic

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Yesterday I published details of Qatar Airways entry into the oneworld alliance, which now seems set for 1st October (but possibly still 31st October, depending on what you read).  From that date, you will be able to redeem Avios for Qatar Airways flights.

There is an interesting side effect to this, though.

As well as being a oneworld member, Qatar Airways has partnerships with a number of other airlines.  These include ANA, Asiana, GOL, MEA, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

You are able to redeem your Qmiles (Qatar’s award currency) for flights on any of their partners – including Virgin Atlantic.

This is the partner award chart they use.  It is distance based, like the Avios chart.  At first glance, it seems more expensive than usual, and more expensive than the BA or Virgin charts.

With Virgin, there is also a nasty catch.  If you want Upper Class, you need to pay Qatar’s First Class redemption rate.  If you want Premium Economy, you need to pay the Business Class rate!  This is a joke, frankly.

However, ignoring the above, Qatar now offers a unique package.  You could choose to credit all your BA flights and almost all your Virgin Atlantic flights to Qmiles.  You would then have the choice of whether you redeemed on British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, using the same pot of miles!

(I say ‘almost all’ because Virgin Atlantic flights to/from Dubai are not available for credit to Qmiles.  All other routes are OK.)

Note that I am NOT recommending you do this.  The option is there, however, for someone who wanted to be VERY strategic in how they spent their miles!  One of the downsides is that Virgin flights credited to Qatar do NOT count for status with Qatar, although BA flights will.

There is no word yet, by the way, on whether Qatar will charge fuel surcharges on BA redemptions.  BA will almost certainly charge fuel surcharges on Qatar flights.

One other thing ….

It was pointed out in the comments yesterday that a number of Qatar routes to Doha – including some which use the new Boeing 787 fleet pictured above – fall into the Zone 4 banding (2001 – 3000 miles).  This means that a business class return flight from, say, Frankfurt to Doha (2,847 miles) will only cost you 50,000 Avios return, compared to 80,000 Avios return from London.  This routing would also save you over £100 in Air Passenger Duty as well.

I will do some more work on the Qatar Airways network in Europe and what planes are used, and write a longer post as soon as Qatar flights are available to book.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (2)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James67 says:

    The cheap redemption to Doha from Europe sounds good but since most of us using it probably connect to Asia we are then disappointed to find many of the key cities falling just over 3000 or 4000 miles. The ossue then becomes is the inconvenience worth the saving from London. This is complicated further for those of us in regions who have to factor in the benefit of free domestic connection on BA. Having said all that, for me personally it is worth it. I usually start my journey in AMS with AA miles or in HEL with BA avios.

  • Boddingtons says:

    It’s one thing getting a cheap ticket to Doha, however, there will be very few people wanting to actually go to Doha, meaning there will be additional miles required to get elsewhere in the Middle East. Annoyingly, Qatar often sell ‘First Class’ seats instead of Business Class on their regional network meaning those tag on flights could work out to be expensive.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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