Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Great deal: Qatar Business Class, Prague to Shanghai, for £885 return with 560 BA tier points

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Qatar Airways has launched an excellent sale fare between Prague and Shanghai.

(Qatar Airways has a history of launching random sale fares.  My guess is that they find two routes which are under performing, put in a cheap fare between the two via Doha and then let people like Head for Points readers snap them up.)

You need to book this via the Qatar Airways website here.

Shanghai Unsplash

The fare will come out at 26,040 CZK which is £885.

The easiest way to find dates is to select ‘Premium Only’ on the initial booking page, which drops all the economy results.  You are looking for dates with an outbound fare of 14,000-ish CZK and an inbound fare of 12,000-ish CZK.

The fare is valid for outbound travel until 31st March 2018.

A minimum 7 night stay is required.

You can only fly out Tuesday to Friday and you won’t find the fare available on every day.  I had no problem finding suitable dates though.

What aircraft do I fly?

OK, it isn’t the best Qatar Airways has.

The outbound is a short-haul A320.  You should get this premium seat, which is fine for a six hour flight:

From Doha to Shanghai it is a Boeing 777.   You might get the new Qsuite but the odds are that you will get the old-style seat, which is still fully flat.  It is a good seat for a couple as you can sit side by side.

I reviewed the old Qatar Airways Boeing 777 business class product here.

How many British Airways tier points do I earn?

560 tier points.   Each flight (Prague-Doha, Doha-Shanghai) is 140 tier points.

That is almost enough (600) for a British Airways Executive Club Silver card, although remember that you also need to have flown 4 BA cash one-way flights in your membership year before you are promoted.

You will also earn a huge chunk of Avios back too!

Do I need a visa for Shanghai?

Yes, if you only intend to stay in Shanghai.

No, I think, if you intend to spend less than 144 hours in Shanghai before travelling somewhere else (not in China, not back home).  You can get a transit visa on arrival as long as you can prove you have an onward flight.  We got one of these in Beijing this summer.

Do get separate advice on this.  I am not sure if holding a return ticket back to Doha – which would NOT be eligible for a transit visa – invalidates you from a transit visa even if you have a nested ticket for, say, Shanghai to Tokyo booked.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an interesting spot for a winter holiday – and possibly a short break in Prague on the way – then this is an excellent fare.  The fact that you will effectively get a British Airways Silver card as well (just about) is the icing on the cake.

The Qatar Airways website is here if you want to have a look around.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – 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 long list of travel benefits 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 (42)

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

  • Nathan says:

    Hope they do a similar priced fare for BKK soon!!

    • Allan says:

      Try BA from AMS to BKK

      • Nathan says:

        The Qatar service and the 560 tier points are worth holding out for I think! But prices look pretty good on BA if Qatar don’t do a decent sale in Jan again!

  • The_real_a says:

    You cannot use the 144 visa exemption for this purpose. You must be flying onto a third city, not back to the city you are coming flew in from. Tagging on Hong Kong or Macau are fine as third cities. I have done this a few times already.

    Tourist visa is a very unreasonable 180pounds for 2 years multi entry

  • TOH says:

    Just back from China myself. Worth noting that they no longer offer the single-use one-trip Chinese visa. Minimum is now a two-year visa at £151.00, but the good thing is that it offers unlimited entries.

  • Martin says:

    Seems you can only stay for up to 4 weeks. Is this restriction normal for these kind deals?

    • Rob says:

      Might be there to stop you booking a return seat for later in 2018 when they expect higher yields

  • Tom says:

    O/T – tier points

    I understand if you part pay with Avios you collect TPs (& avios). Purchasing a redemption flight, you are given the option of part paying with cash to reduce the number of Avios to pay – is it the case that you would *not* receive any TPs for this, just like any other reward flight, even though you are paying some cash toward it?

    • Yan says:

      Correct that you get no TP as it is still a redemption ticket. You are basically buying Avios back from BA (rates are route dependent)

    • AndyR says:

      Correct, you would not received any TP’s doing that.

  • AndyR says:

    Looks like fare is gone, its around £2700 now!

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

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