Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Earn 560 British Airways tier points (almost Silver) with a £1,125 Qatar Airways deal

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Qatar Airways has launched the best flight deal we’ve seen from them for a while.  Since we haven’t covered a decent Qatar Airways offer for a few months, I thought I’d run through this one in more detail than usual for the benefit of new readers.

Here are the bare bones of the offer:

Milan Malpensa to Bangkok, Business Class, for €1250 (£1125) return – this can be reduced by a further £200-£400 via the current Amex Travel cashback deal

Bookable here at (if you’re not targeted for the Amex offer)

Must book by 4th January although it may be pulled earlier

Must stay between 5 and 31 nights

Bookable for travel until November 2019

No stopovers allowed

Effectively non-refundable and non-changeable (can be done but the fees are very high)

Why is this a good deal?

Above all else, it just ‘is’!  £1125 for a Business Class return flight to Asia is a very attractive price.

Of course, you need to add in the cost of getting to Milan Malpensa (not Linate, note).  As this will be on a separate ticket, you also need to build in enough flexibility in case your inbound flight is delayed – this may even mean an overnight stay in Italy.

As this is Qatar Airways, you will also be changing planes in Doha.  Your routing will therefore, potentially, be something like Manchester – Milan – Doha – Bangkok, which is undoubtedly a bit of a pain.

You could get it even cheaper!

American Express Travel is offering a generous cashback deal at the moment.

You need to look at the ‘Offers’ tab on your Amex online statement pages for each separate card you hold.  If targeted, you will see either:

  • £50 back on £200 Amex Travel spend
  • £200 back on £600 Amex Travel spend
  • £400 back on £1000 Amex Travel spend (Centurion only)

You have until 28th February to do the necessary spend.  This offer is only valid for pre-paid products and a flight is the best way of taking advantage.  Whilst there is clearly value in booking hotels this way too, Amex Travel is counted as a third party booking site and you won’t receive hotel points or status benefits.  You can’t use it for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings as these are not pre-paid.

Qatar Airways qsuite

So why do it?

For a start, Qatar Airways has an excellent Business Class product.

With multiple daily flights on each leg between Milan-Doha and Doha-Bangkok, you can pick from combinations which include:

Boeing 777-300ER – between Milan and Doha, it seems that you are very likely to get the older 2-2-2 seating I reviewed here.  If you select this aircraft between Doha and Bangkok you might get a refurbished one with the amazing new Qsuite (reviewed here).

A350-900 –  the herringbone seat which I reviewed here, albeit in its 787 incarnation, which is very impressive.  Qatar has a special website showing off this seat which you’ll find here.

A330-200 – there are various versions of this aircraft in the Qatar fleet – whilst SeatGuru says they have angled lie-flat seats, comments below say they are now refitted with flat seats, usually in a 2-2-2 configuration

A340-600 – as for the A330-200

A380 – this is the herringbone seat which I reviewed here, it is not Qsuite but has a great bar

It has to be said that Qatar Airways has a habit of changing its aircraft allocations at short notice, so I wouldn’t get too hung up on which one you choose because it may change.  The best choice would be the A350-900 or A380 if you want certainty (unless you get a plane swap), especially if travelling solo.  The 777-300ER (non Qsuites version), A330-200 and A340-600 are not good for solo travellers due to the 2-2-2 seating.

An equally important reason for booking this trip, however, is the ability to pick up a lot of British Airways Executive Club tier points.

How many tier points will I earn?

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld airline alliance, alongside British Airways.  This means that, if you put your British Airways Executive Club number into the booking, you will earn Avios and BA tier points when you fly.

When flying airlines other than British Airways, there is something called the ‘2000 mile rule’ in the Executive Club:

  • Business Class flights under 2000 miles earn 40 tier points per sector
  • Business Class flights over 2000 miles earn 140 tier points per sector

Milan to Doha is more than 2000 miles.  Doha to Bangkok is more than 2000 miles.  This means that your return Business Class flight from Milan to Bangkok will earn 140 + 140 + 140 + 140 = 560 tier points in British Airways Executive Club.

How many tier points do I need for Silver status?

600 tier points.  This means that you are over 90% of the way there in just one trip with this deal.

However, you ALSO need to have done four paid British Airways one-way flights in your current membership year before you are upgraded.  You cannot earn the 600 tier points purely from partners.

Bronze status requires just 300 tier point and two four paid BA flight segments in your current membership year.

British Airways Executive Club Silver status has two key benefits – lounge access for you and a guest whenever you fly, plus free seat selection at the time of booking.  You can find out more benefits of Silver status on here.

Your status would last for the rest of your current membership year plus all of the following year.  If you booked one of these flights in the first few weeks of your next membership year, you would potentially get Silver status for almost two years.

How many Avios will I earn?

Milan to Doha is 3,404 Avios.  Doha to Bangkok is 4,084 Avios.  This make a total of 14,976 Avios for the round-trip.

There is no status bonus for Bronze, Silver or Gold members when flying on Qatar Airways.


Qatar Airways traditionally runs a massive sale each January.  In 2018 it was relatively weak compared to previous years.  You may see a better or more convenient deal than this if you wait, but it is a gamble.

Irrespective, £1125 for a Business Class trip to Bangkok on one of the best airlines available is a good deal.  Potentially saving an extra £200 booking online via Amex Travel is even better, if you are targeted for that deal.

Being able to pick up 560 BA tier points plus a large pile of Avios is even better!   All you need to decide whether the effort of positioning via Milan Malpensa is worthwhile.

If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency.  This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 a huge range of valuable 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (75)

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

  • Lady London says:

    FR and EZ both have excellent numbers of flights to MXP. FR flies into the newer terminal T1, which is used by all the major airlines including QR. EZ uses and seems to practically ‘own’ the older, much smaller terminal T2. Moxy is practically opposite.

    British Airways has almost no flights to MXP. They are mostly in Lunate. Lunate has the great advantage of being close to walking distance from town. You can get a bus to town at local bus rates rather than the expensive airport official bus.

    • Lady London says:

      *No idea why WordPress corrected Lunate to Lun….

      Basically. If you’re going shopping in MIL use LIN. If you’re transiting use MXP.

      • Lady London says:

        **Wordpress mis-corrected it again! Lunate above is LINATE (LIN), the alternative Milan airport that is practically on the doorstep of town.

    • Yan says:

      25 flights weekly to MXP is far from “almost no flights”, which will double up when LIN is be closed for renovation over Jul-Oct 2019

      • Lady London says:

        Hi @Yan
        If you take a look at the schedules of FR and EZ you will see what I mean. Far more flights filling all imaginable times of day between those two.

  • Mr Dee says:

    If I could sell my Avios I’d be happy with 0.80 :/

  • Phillip says:

    Interestingly, if you search now, you can get the same price on the direct Air Italy flights only!… which makes sense as to why the QR deal appeared in the first place! Use QR to promote Air Italy. Other than for those looking for Tier Points, this brings Air Italy to the fore of search engines and people’s attention.

    • Polly says:

      Wonder what would happen if someone were to put their baec nos into their bookings on air Italy? Would the tickets get processed via the qr booking system?

      • The Real John says:

        What does “processed via the QR booking system” even mean? If you put your BAEC number into IG bookings I presume you would just earn avios according to the BA chart for IG (basically 125% of flown miles for business class), and no tier points. Nothing to do with QR.

        Based on Phillip’s post the QR fare could have been a mistake, or just a flash sale like has happened a few times before.

        I mean the only attraction of flying this on QR fare, for a London resident is the 560 TPs. Unless I had something to do in Milan and/or Doha I would much rather just fly direct to BKK in Premium Economy on TG or BR than faff around with two stopovers even if QSuites is available.

  • James says:

    Any way to book intra-EU flights with checked luggage on amex travel? I only see hand baggage only fares on Iberia/KLM/SAS. Is the only option to book direct with the airline?

  • Genghis says:

    I thought the offer was cumulative?

    • MattC says:

      I thought it might be too as per the Hilton deals. But no credit showing yet.

      • Alan says:

        When did you book? I’m finding Amex offers taking days longer to post than usual – some Morrisons ones took a week! Won’t be an issue at all, just chase up with Amex if nothing shows.

  • Rob says:

    You’ll get the money. Drop Amex a note.

    • Ben says:

      The reason I keep paying for both Platinum and BA Amex is their call centre is staffed with smart, reasonable people with considerable freedom to fix problems. Recently they manually credited the £200 travel offer, for a hotel booking made after the offer ended.

      Luckily I was able to prove that I had attempted to pay a number of times before the end of the offer, and received various website errors on their (not brilliant) booking site.

  • Polly says:

    They will manually grant you the 200. We had similar sit with a hotel and separate ba flight, which they honoured…so wait a few days and phone them. Yes, Morrison’s taking ages, but credits showing in savings first. Getting our fee back on that one…GCs and their own paper vouchers mainly..

    • Alan says:

      Yep savings tab seems to show it 1-2 days in advance. Are the paper Morrisons ones on the GC shelf or have you had to get them from CS desk? I take it they can’t be used on fuel?

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