Why was I in Doha last week?
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Starting tomorrow on Head for Points, I will be running a series of articles on my trip to Doha last week. I will be looking at the Qatar Airways Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 business class products and lounges, as well as the new Hamad International Airport in Doha and the St Regis Doha hotel.
To avoid repeating myself numerous times in the different articles, I wanted to use this post to explain the background to the trip.
I have always written very positive things about Qatar Airways on HfP. Even before they joined oneworld – and it became possible to redeem Avios for Qatar flights – they were a partner with bmi Diamond Club. The airline has a good reputation, flies a modern fleet and, importantly, has a large and growing route network which can get you to pretty much anywhere via Doha.
Despite all this, I had never actually flown them.
The Qatar Airways office in London reads the site and got in touch to offer me a free return flight to Doha in business class. It seemed a good opportunity so I accepted. This was effectively worth 65,000 Avios and £385 of tax which would have been the cost had I redeemed for the same flights (London – Doha – Zurich).
However, Qatar did NOT pay for my transfers in London and Doha, my hotel stay at the St Regis Doha or my food and drink costs whilst I was there. I settled all of those costs myself. Neither did they pay for my connecting flight on the return from Zurich to London (long story ….) The flights were booked in a way which meant I did not earn any miles or tier points from them.
I think that my Qatar Airways pieces are as objective as any of the other airline reviews on HfP. Given that flights are high value products, though, it is only fair that you understand the background to the trip before you read the reviews.
ALL of the flights I review on HfP, of course, have been booked using Avios or other frequent flyer miles. To that extent, I always have less ‘skin in the game’ than if I had paid hard cash for them. Take my review of British Airways First Class on the A380 last month – someone who paid £13,500 of their own money for that flight – which is the fully flexible price – would presumably review it differently from someone who used 150,000 Avios points.
It was an interesting few days last week and I look forward to sharing it.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)
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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
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 famous annual 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
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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.