Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Another Qatar business sale: Cape Town £1583, Auckland £1667, Jo’burg £1470

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Qatar Airways is running another short sale from its major European markets.  It is running for a week, until 19th July, so you have a little longer to think through your plans this time.

These fares are valid for travel until 10th December and most routes have a minimum 5 day stay.  The previous sale was only good until September so you have a bigger booking window this time.

That said, prices are generally higher across the board than the previous flash sale – although still very, very good value.  Auckland, however, remains at the ludicrous £1,600ish.

Qatar A380

The UK offers in business class are fairly weak.  However, as usual, there are decent prices out of Scandinavia and Italy.

Here are a few fares:

Stockholm to Singapore – SEK 13799 (£1273)

Stockholm to Auckland – SEK 18247 (£1684)

Stockholm to Maldives – SEK 20024 (£1848)

Stockholm to Shanghai – SEK 16126 (£1488)

Helsinki to Bangkok – €1392 (£1237)

Helsinki to Cape Town – €2293 (£2038)

Copenhagen to Singapore – DKK 11341 (£1355)

Copenhagen to Auckland – DKK 15328 (£1832)

Copenhagen to Bali – DKK 13774 (£1646)

Oslo to Cape Town – NOK 16955 (£1583) 

Oslo to Auckland – NOK 17844 (£1667)

Venice / Pisa to Bangkok – €1289 (£1146)

Venice / Pisa to Johannesburg – €1656 (£1470)

Venice / Pisa to Cape Town – €2131 (£1895)

The rest of this article may sound familiar as it is my usual round-up of the pros and cons of flying with Qatar via Europe.

As a reminder, Qatar Airways sale flights are an excellent way of earning British Airways status cheaply.

The longer routes would earn 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points return (140 + 140 + 140 + 140) due to the change of plane in Doha.  Auckland is 600 tier points.  560 points is more than 90% of what you need for a BA Silver card.  Remember, though, that you still need to have taken 4 British Airways flights for cash in your current tier point year before you will be upgraded.

Get a free hotel if you stopover in Doha

Until 30th September, Qatar Airways will give you a free hotel stay if you choose to stop in Doha on the way.

There are two options:

First and Business Class passengers get one free night in a 5-star hotel (add a 2nd night for $50 per room)

Economy passengers get one free night in a 4-star hotel (add a 2nd night for $50 per room)

Full details are on the Qatar Airways website here.

Earn bonus Qmiles if you credit to Qatar Privilege Club

If you credit a business class sale flight to Qatar’s own frequent flyer scheme, you will earn QUADRUPLE base miles.  You must opt in via the offer page on the Qatar Privilege Club site.

I would be wary about doing this unless you know what you are doing.  You won’t earn any British Airways tier points this way, and you won’t earn status in the Qatar scheme with just one flight.  Qmiles are also very hard to earn in the UK – there is no credit card and they are not an American Express partner.  You may earn fewer miles by crediting your flight to British Airways Executive Club but you’ll find them far easier to use.

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 sale pages for the departure countries mentioned above:

Qatar Airways UK deals

Qatar Airways Stockholm deals 

Qatar Airways Helsinki deals 

Qatar Airways Oslo deals 

Qatar Airways Denmark deals

Qatar Airways Italy 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 – the new QSuite in business class on the 777 fleet is unlikely to be installed before you fly.  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:

There is always an element of ‘needle in a haystack’ with these sales, but if your plans for the rest of the year are not yet firm it is worth popping over to the Qatar Airways website and seeing if there is anything interesting.

Remember that you must book by 19th July for travel by 10th December.  The Qatar Airways website is here.

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 – 30,000 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

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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 (65)

  • The Original Nick says:

    Sorry, completely O:T. I’m staying at the Park inn at Heathrow tonight on a P&M stay. Will I earn CC points on this stay? I’m Gold via Amex Plat.

  • Chris says:

    OT: Anybody having trouble with Combine my Avios today? When I click on the link for combine my avios on BA site it gives the following message:

    Sorry, you are not eligible to combine your Avios
    Please refer to the Combine my Avios terms as you may be able to resolve the problem.

    Can’t seem to see anything in there that would prevent me from being eligible, and I did it successfully about a month ago.

    Attempted to combine from avios website (never done it before) and it’s throwing up an error as well, about how my session has timed out.

    • mark2 says:

      I successfully pulled Avios from Avios to BAEC on two accounts about 0830 today.

    • John says:

      If you’re using a smartphone/tablet, try using a laptop/PC or vice versa.
      Using a different browser can also sometimes cope with IAG’S lousy IT. Good luck!

    • Gavin says:

      Always works for me on IE at work so I do it there

  • Evan Hathaway says:

    Sitting in the HIA lounge right now from Krabi. Had an A330-200 with the old (crappy) angle flat seats there and back. On the plus side, only 2 other people in business on both legs!

    • Polly says:

      Evan, once uptake increases to Krabi, they will start to put on the good planes like they do to HKT. Or chose Hkt either next time. Enjoy HIA it’s a nice place, huge tho!

      • CV3V says:

        Have great memories of Krabi, but Phuket was up until recently one of my preferred destinations. However on last trip in December i really fell out of love with the place, seems to be one big tourist trap. In latter part of holiday went to Vietnam and loved it, wish i had gone earlier.

        • Leo says:

          I like Phuket – it’s quite big and I think it depends which bit you go to. Without doubt there are lots of touristy bits so you’re not wrong. I thought Bali was worse….

  • Daniel Haroon says:

    off topic but has anyone had the 1000 points post for the marriott reward sign up?

    • Anna says:

      Nope, even after activating one of the accounts a couple of days ago because another reader said she received hers after activation, rather than just registering.

  • Kirill says:


    With the barclay card hilton voucher, would you get it back if you cancel the reservation?

    • The Original Nick says:

      Yes you do get the voucher back. But remember, it still keeps the 6 month validity date so don’t think it renews it. Some people have reported that they’ve got points back instead of the voucher when they’ve cancelled the voucher. (ie getting 90000 points) I tried but no joy.

      I’m using a voucher for my stay at the Conrad in the Algarve this Friday which I’m looking forward to.

      • Kirill says:

        Hi Nick, thanks for getting back to me. I’m actually hoping to use it next Saturday at Conrad Algarve as well! Hope you enjoy your stay.

        • The Original Nick says:

          Only premium rooms available next Saturday so you’ll have to choose another night.

          • Rom says:

            Do you have to keep Hilton visa card to keep the free voucher alive?

        • Yuff says:

          I’m there on Sunday, on points for the week 😉 with a paid upgrade

  • Anna says:

    OT – Groupon are offering the 1903 lounge in T3 at MAN for £28 per person (full price is £40 apparently). I think this lounge was reviewed recently here?

  • Martin says:

    Ah, I didn’t know that you get double BA tier points when you change planes at Doha (or presumably any other overseas hub within OneWorld).

    So purely from a Tier points perspective, you are better off flying to (say) Asia via Qatar, JAL, FinnAir or some other OneWorld partner, rather than non-stop on BA?

    Is that correct? It matters to me because I am 400 Tier points short of BA Gold with a few weeks to go!

    • Alan says:

      Yes, for purely TPs you’re better with a break of journey and change of flight number to increase the number received. Another good example is to the West Coast USA. Direct business LHR-SFO = 140 TP, Instead go LHR-JFK-SFO = 140×2 (or 140+210 if you can get into domestic first). Lots of detail in BA TP run thread on Flyertalk.

    • the real harry1 says:

      sure – you can get 560 tps there & back if you break in Doha

    • Rob says:

      Yes. Your best bet is to grab something in the current Qatar sale and get yourself a few days in Asia somewhere.

  • Martin says:

    Alan, Harry and Rob

    Thanks, I’m all over this!

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