Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Crazy Qatar Airways fares earning Avios and 560 BA tier points

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Qatar Airways has launched another of its slightly crazy sales.   This one has, frankly, some astonishing fares to Australia and New Zealand.

I will say up front that these are ‘two together’ fares, so if you’re looking for a deal for just one person then you’re out of luck this time.

As usual, Qatar Airways has launched a range of discounted fares from all of the major cities where it operates in Europe.

As usual, the best deals are not from the UK and will require you to start your trip elsewhere.  It’s worth it, I promise you!

Here are the booking and travel dates for this sale:

Book by 10th November

Travel before 30th October 2018, excluding 15 December – 10th January and 7th June – 10th September

Minimum stay 3 days

All fares earn Avios and British Airways tier points (560 return for Asia, 600 for Australasia, except for Athens routes)

Note that Easter is not restricted, which is handy if you have school age kids or want to minimise your time off work.

You can book on the Qatar Airways site 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 more in theory.  Do check though, as Qatar pricing can be all over the place at times.

These prices are NOT the full list of discounts – they are just random examples I found to be quite good. The prices are a return flight per person based on when two people travel.  You are looking for the red ‘Business Promo’ fares.

Here are some example fares:

Stockholm to Singapore – SEK 11,078 (£993) – click here for more Stockholm prices 

Stockholm to Sydney – SEK 14,840 (£1,331)

Stockholm to Auckland – SEK 15,074 (£1,351)

Stockholm to Krabi – SEK 10,289 (£924)

Athens to Johannesburg – €1,383 (£1,213) – click here for more Athens prices 

Athens to Hong Kong – €1,210 (£1,061)

Athens to Tokyo – €1,286 (£1,127)

Berlin to Tokyo – €1,706 (£1,496) – click here for more Berlin prices

Berlin to Johannesburg – €1,320 (£1,157)

Copenhagen to Hong Kong – DKK 12,587 (£1,478) – click here for more Copenhagen prices 

Sofia to Shanghai – BGN 1,903 (£850) – click here for more Sofia prices 

Sofia to Singapore – BGN 1,928 (£862)

Munich to Windhoek – €1,320 (£1,153) – click here for more Munich prices 

Budapest to Tokyo – HUF 425,000 (£1,191) – click here for more Budapest prices 

Helsinki to Bangkok – €1,093 (£955) – click here for more Helsinki prices 

Remember that these are only sample destinations.  You should, for example, find other Australian destinations available for the Sydney price quoted above.

You should also look at the Qatar Airways sale pages out of Brussels (click here) and Vienna (click here) as these can also have good pricing.

And for comparison:

Heathrow to Bangkok – £1,858

Heathrow to Sydney – £2,958

Heathrow to Singapore – £2,075

These routes would (almost) all – apart from Australasia – 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.  Australasia is 600 tier points for a return flight.

The only exception is Athens.  Athens to Doha is under 2,000 miles and only earns 40 tier points. That means 360 for a return trip (400 to Australasia).

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.

Pick your aircraft as well as your departure city

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 they will be replaced by the amazing new Qsuite – but that is only on a handful of planes so far.  Qatar Airways 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:

The Qatar website here if you want to have a look at the deals available.  The sale ends on 10th November.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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 (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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

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 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 (137)

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

  • Hingeless says:

    You can also get this offer from Australia, which makes a nice change

    • TripRep says:

      Do you have a link to the Oz sale fares with any examples, eg PER to EDI.. ?

    • TripRep says:

      Did a search on the link above in Apr/May, cheapest I could find was approx £3100 rtn per pax :-/

  • Michael C says:

    Re. the “it’s worth checking for more than two”: I’ve found Helsinki-BKK at the promo price for 3 (Mar-Apr. 18).

    Thanks, Rob!

    (PS anyone else have trouble with the page in Safari?)

    • Greenpen says:

      Jumping round to other pages and can’t get it to enter destinations so never go any further!

  • may says:

    Anyone got anything ex-SEA?

  • Nick Burch says:

    In the previous Stockholm sale last month, you could route Brisbane (BNE) via Perth (PER) to get 840 tier points on the return! I’d assume the same again, though I haven’t checked prices as I booked last time and don’t want to know what it is today…

  • Stephen Harte says:

    As a former resident of Athens I can confirm that ATH-DOH is Just outside the higher mileage range and so gets the lower BA tier points.

  • a270 says:

    I am not finding any particular difference in economy fares as have been keeping a close eye on Qatar fares. Wondering if I need to search for 3 people and book the 4th separately as per the deal for 3 people in economy? For Business, would it make a difference if I searched for 4 people or do I need to do 1A and 1Child in two separate bookings? If someone finds a great fare to Seychelles, Maldives, BKK or KUL in economy or business, please do post.

  • Kilburnflyer says:

    Nb. Sofia – Doha is 1,999 miles and therefore will earn 80 tier points in Business rather than 140

    • Andrew says:

      BA Exec club site states 140TP for Sofia to Doha, so Rob is correct. BA must be generous in its rounding.

    • ee says:

      We flew Sofia to Doha and back a month ago and earnings were 140 tier points plus 2002 Avios per person each way. The main down side was the reclining J class seats on the A320.

      • Drav says:

        sounds awful. glad to hear you survived the ordeal though

        • Polly says:

          V funny!

        • ee says:

          It’s Ok as a couple but I wouldn’t want to fly on my own on one of those planes. When the seat in front reclines access from the window seat to the aisle is tricky. Ok if you know your companion but not very premium!

    • Rob says:

      No, 140

  • Aceman says:

    Raging… I need to get to Melbourne in January, just me…

    • TripRep says:

      Advertise your dates on FT for a flight buddy, you never know, someone else might be equally annoyed… 🙂

    • Alan says:

      In some ways I’m relieved with the blackout dates – means my Oz/NZ trip in Jan in SQ Suites is still a good value redemption, although wish it was on the new product, looks absolutely amazing!

      • Alan says:

        Yep, saw the coverage on OMAAT a couple of days ago, superb! Unfortunately my flight is from Melbourne not Sydney so will be stuck(!) on the older product.

    • Fadi says:

      Aceman. What dates? I *might* be able to help out here.

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

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