Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Great business deals (Avios earning) with Qatar – Auckland £1440, Tokyo £1193, Bangkok £874

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Qatar Airways has kicked off another round of good business class deals with its third annual ‘Qatar Travel Festival’.

This is a genuinely impressive package:

Cheap business class fares from various European departure points

You can book for travel until 15th December 2017

Qatar Travel Festival

… all of which earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia)

… or, if you credit to Qatar Airways, will earn double QMiles

… and you can win a prize as well in a free draw for all bookers

… and you get an extra discount for paying with Visa when you use promo code VISA

… and you can even travel on the British Airways codeshare service to Doha if you fly from London, although I cannot imagine why you would do this given that Qatar Airways is superior in every respect

You have seven days to book – these deals end on 16th January. That said, availability is restricted and I wouldn’t wait if you are tied to certain dates.

Note that you cannot travel between 15th June – 1st July and 15th August – 10th September 2017.  Additional blackout dates apply in some countries.

Check the minimum stay period which seems to vary from 4-7 days depending on where you start your trip.

From the UK, kids under 12 fly for free, excluding taxes, if you book Economy.

Full details of the Qatar Travel Festival can be found here.

The best fares will not be found from the UK as you can see from the examples below.

Here are a few of the better headline prices.  These deals are all for business class travel via Doha.  They are per person, based on two travelling – single travellers will pay a little more.  In some cases a group of three will pay a little less.

These prices EXCLUDE the additional discount for using the VISA promo code when booking.  This discount does not appear to work for every flight.

These prices are NOT the full list of discounts – they are just random examples I picked out last night.  You can use the country links below to check out prices from other popular starting points.  Stockholm seems to have the best deals, especially when two people travel.

Stockholm to Cape Town – £1,173

Stockholm to Dubai – £763

Stockholm to Hong Kong – £965

Stockholm to Melbourne – £1,835

Stockholm to Tokyo – £1,193

Stockholm to Auckland – £1,440

Helsinki to Bangkok – £918

Helsinki to Bali – £1,391

Helsinki to Phuket – £961

Oslo to Maldives – £1,140

Oslo to Singapore – £1,090

Oslo to Sydney – £1,769

Brussels to Jakarta – £932

Brussels to Perth – £1,864

Brussels to Singapore – £1,335

Copenhagen to Kuala Lumpur – £1,315

Copenhagen to Singapore – £1,240

Copenhagen to Cape Town – £1,310

Paris to Delhi – £1,095

Paris to Tokyo – £1,434

Paris to Shanghai – £1,446

Amsterdam to Adelaide – £1,950

Amsterdam to Bangkok – £874

And for comparison:

UK to Bangkok – £1,440

UK to Bali – £1,550

UK to Singapore – £1,715

UK to Sydney – £2,450

UK to Auckland – £2,475

The German prices were filed late but will be here.

These routes would all – apart from Dubai, Delhi and nd Australia – earn 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points return (140 + 140 + 140 + 140) due to the change of plane in Doha.  That is more than 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  Delhi is 140 + 40 + 40 + 140.  Dubai is 140 + 60 + 60 + 140 as the connection books into First Class on a two class plane.

How to pick a departure city

It isn’t all about the long-haul flight price.  You need to add in the cost of getting to your starting point.

More importantly, you need to build in contingency.  You need to arrive early enough to ensure that you won’t miss your connection if your inbound flight is late.  If that means staying overnight, you need to factor in the cost of a hotel.  You may also want to pick an airport with a hotel on the airport to avoid messing about with shuttle buses.

Remember that BA will no longer tag through bags to connecting flights when they are on separate tickets.  If you are checking in a case, you will need to fly London to, say, Stockholm, wait for your case, clear immigration, go to Departures, check in your case and clear security again.  This will take some time.

Here are the links to the Travel Festival pages on the main Qatar European sites:

Qatar Airways UK deals

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals 

Qatar Airways Helsinki deals 

Qatar Airways Germany deals 

Qatar Airways Oslo deals 

Qatar Airways Denmark deals

Qatar Airways Paris deals

Qatar Airways Amsterdam deals  

Qatar Airways Brussels deals 

As ever with Qatar, you should keep an eye on the aircraft.  The most modern seats are on the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 fleet.  I think that the full A330 fleet has been refitted now too.  The newer planes have a 1-2-1 herringbone layout where passengers faces away from each other.  

The Boeing 777 aircraft are fully flat but have a different 2 x 2 x 2 layout, albeit that a replacement for this will be announced at ITB Berlin in March (we’ll be there to check it out).  Qatar also uses short-haul planes on some European routes but these are configured with ‘proper’ business class seats.

Here are my Qatar Airways seat and lounge reviews – you will see that I am very positive about them:

You can book your Qatar Travel Festival deals on this special site here.  Remember to enter the promo code VISA for the additional discount.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of 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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (198)

  • Shaun M says:

    I was so excited booking my trip I forgot to put in the Visa promo code

  • Steve says:

    Sorry for OT. I have a couple of points on my amex gold and I was wondering what is the best hotel redemption option if I want to spend 4 nights in NYC? Hilton, Sheraton, IC?

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Carlson, at 1:3, is usually the best deal but I don’t think there is a good Radisson in New York.

      You can also do Marriott properties via SPG now remember, move SPG to Marriott at 1:3.

      Best deal in my view is Conrad New York which I have in June for 70,000 Hilton (35,000 Amex). This is an all-suite hotel down by Wall Street, in Battery Park, overlooking the harbour. Stayed there twice before and more than happy to go again.

      • Nate1309 says:

        I also stayed here in Feb last year. Lovely Hotel. I had a nice view of the One World too.

      • Lawro says:

        Agreed. Really excellent property and good value too! We were there a couple of weeks ago and would like to return in the future.
        Liked the location and the plus of having guaranteed suite for the little one to run around.

      • Dan says:

        We hopped around a few hotels in NY last April. The Conrad was by far the best and fantastic value with the Barclaycard free night cert!

  • Boi says:

    I feel like I am missing out! Is anywhere in Asia worth going to for a week with kids? We are still undecided about where to go in April (first week).

    • Rob says:

      Whilst not very ‘Asia’, we did a week on Sentosa in Singapore two years ago. The Capella Hotel has houses you can rent (fully serviced, breakfast served in a communal area) and it is a 5 minute walk to the beach. All the Sentosa fun stuff to do, just not very Asian!

  • Andrew says:

    Is it possible to book with a Doha stopover? For say a few days?

    • Rob says:

      No, for odd reasons (because you assume they would want some tourism money) these deals never allow stopovers. I think the reason is to stop locals ‘nesting’ flights with huge stopovers.

      • Andrew says:

        And do you do that as a multi-city booking to open up that flexibility of onward flights?

    • Alistair Todd says:

      I booked a stopover, for a day. Price went up by about £20 or something. Just try pricing out a multi-city route and see if there’s a difference.

      • Rob says:

        If it was under 24 hours it is not a stopover.

        • Alistair Todd says:

          More like a day and 3/4. Seemed to work. Price difference I think was just the different flights rather than any charge for stopover.

    • AndyR says:

      Stopovers are now possible for free for up to 96 hours. You can apply for a free visa via the Qatar Airways website.

  • Clive says:

    Some of the earlier comments seem to say that the VISA code isn’t working – do we know that it definitely is because I’d rather use Amex if it makes no difference to price?

    • aceman says:

      seems to be working, but only tried it in a few spots.

      I’m more curious what happens if you use the Visa promo code, then pay with amex!

      • Clive says:

        Haha! The problem with visa payment is amex travel insurance doesn’t then apply…

      • fbrj says:

        When I booked this morning, I thought just that too. However with the Visa code when you come to pay you can only use a Visa card! ie the only option is to press the Visa payment “option” button!

  • S879 says:

    Anyone found any value deals in economy with the 2 kids free option? When they did a few months ago, I could see deals for £1,300 total for 2 adults, 2kids and 1 infant to Dubai but now the prices are nowhere near.

    • barry cutters says:

      Depends what time of year you are looking , but on sky scanner i can see a load of flights to dubai for sub £260pp, direct flights on qantas, BA, Virgin. Emirates . Its a lot of work to change planes in qatar if you are going to dubai.
      Especially if not saving anything.

  • Ro says:

    OT slightly
    I have economy flights already booked for next month and on the return leg I was thinking of upgrading the DOH-LHR segment with qmiles. Kinda on the fence as its only a 7h flight. does anyone know if you get the business class tier points (qpoints) when you upgrade with miles or do you only get the points for the original booking code?
    I know if you upgrade at the airport you dont but wasnt sure if it would be the same for this.

  • fbrj says:

    Helen, Matt – upthread at 8.00 this morning. Thanks for info re Bali weather. Took the plunge for the last week October / first week November. Really pleased <£1500pp ex LHR; also change at DOH is between 1.30hrs and 2.30hrs – most cheaper options required 7hrs + transit one way. Also will be on A350 for the first time. Currently at OSL airport hotel prior to QR departure tomorrow am to Australia. At least with my new Bali booking there is no faffing going ex-EU, worrying about strikes, the weather, missed connections, luggage etc etc!

    • Polly says:

      We left OSL yesterday for Ho Chi Minh city. Nice to feel Christmassy for the stay there. Stayed at gorgeous best western building on Carl Johan gate, watching the kids ice-skating in the city rink out the window. Love these ex eu. We are also looking and trying to decide on a Bali or Bangkok trip for Nov, if good enough, will cancel our KUL ba 241 in F. Once TPs banked, we can do other options.

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