In this article we’ll look at how you can earn Avios and British Airways tier points by flying with Qatar Airways and whether it’s worth it compared to flying British Airways.
It is possible to earn Avios and BA tier points on Qatar Airways instead of QMiles, Qatar’s own reward currency. This is because they both belong to the oneworld alliance. When you book or manage your flights with Qatar Airways, you will be able to add your British Airways Executive Club number. Upon completion of your flights you will automatically be credited the correct Avios.
However, you will earn a different amount of Avios on Qatar Airways compared to if you fly British Airways. This is because they have different earning rates. On Qatar, you will earn Avios at a maximum of 150% of miles flown if you fly first class. On British Airways flights, however, first class fares can come with 300% of miles flown – so double what you’d expect to earn on Qatar.
Here is the full chart of earning rates, sourced from the British Airways website. We are comparing the earnings when you take a flight on Qatar Airways compared to taking a flight on British Airways.
Economy Lowest – 25% on Qatar and British Airways
Economy Low – 50% on Qatar and British Airways
Economy Flexible – 100% on Qatar and British Airways
Premium Economy – Qatar Airways does not have a premium economy cabin. 100%-150% on British Airways
Business Lowest – 125% vs 150% on British Airways
Business Flexible – 125 % vs 250% on British Airways
First lowest – 150% vs 250% on British Airways
First flexible – 150% vs 300% on British Airways
As you can see, economy earning rates are the exact same for both airlines. But for flights in business and first you will suffer some severe losses, earning up to half less on Qatar Airways than you would on a British Airways flight. Obviously, something is better than nothing but if you’re flying on a flexible first fare you’d be disappointed to miss out on an additional 150%!
Additionally, if you hold British Airways Executive Club status, you will NOT be eligible for the usual Avios tier bonus so you’re losing out on another 25-100% in additional Avios.
When it comes to tier points, however, you are better off flying with Qatar Airways than British Airways if your trip involves a connection. This is because tier points are earned per flight, so a connecting in Doha to your final destination will earn more tier points than taking a direct flight on British Airways from London.
You can work out how many tier points you will earn on the BA tier point calculator here. Remember to search leg by leg if you are connecting. A business class flight to Asia from the UK on Qatar Airways earns 560 tier points in British Airways Executive Club (four legs of 140 tier points each) which is almost enough for British Airways Silver status.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
Get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold, or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum! (April 2021 offer)
The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year.
You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios – find out more here:
If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:
You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.