I was contacted by a reader last week who asked how many BA tier points he would earn if he flew on Qatar Airways. I thought it was worth sharing the answer as you may be surprised.
The reason you earn British Airways tier points when you fly with Qatar Airways is that both airlines are members of the oneworld alliance. This allows you to both earn and redeem Avios points on Qatar Airways (and Qatar Qmiles on BA in return) as well as earning BA tier points.
How many British Airways tier points do you earn flying Qatar Airways?
Here is the best bit.
British Airways awards Executive Club tier points based on the distance you fly, per trip.
Because a long-haul trip on Qatar Airways means that you need to change planes in Doha, each leg counts as TWO trips. This means you earn TWO lots of British Airways tier points.
This is how BA awards tier points on partner airlines:
Up to 2,000 miles: Economy 5-20 based on fare class / Business 40 / First 60
2,000 to 6,000 miles: Economy 20-70 based on fare class / Business 140 / First 210
6,000 miles and over: Economy 20-80 based on fare class / Business 160 / First 240
Imagine you are flying to Hong Kong in Business Class.
Fly British Airways and you earn 280 tier points return (140 out, 140 return)
Fly Qatar Airways and you earn 560 tier points return (140 to Doha, 140 Doha to HK, 140 HK to Doha, 140 Doha to London)
560 is more than 90% of what you need for a British Airways Executive Club Silver card.
If you are chasing status with British Airways, it makes sense to book Qatar Airways rather than British Airways if you are flying east.
Is Qatar Airways a good airline?
As well as earning you more tier points, Qatar Airways also has a superior business class product to British Airways.
Whilst individual seats can vary from aircraft to aircraft the exceptional soft-product is uniform across the fleet.
Here are the most common business class seats:
Boeing 787-8 – this aircraft generally has the 1-2-1 herringbone configuration Rob reviewed here. This is based on the same Super Diamond seat that the new British Airways Club Suite is based upon, albeit without a door and a slightly different tray table and sculpted seat surrounds.
A350-900 – mainly used between Doha and many smaller Asian destinations. Whilst some of the A350-900s are fitted with new Qsuite, others have the reverse herringbone seat that is also on Qatar’s 787 (review) and A380 aircraft.
A350-1000 – between Doha and a variety of busier destinations in Asia including Singapore you get the vaunted Qsuite reviewed here, which is installed on all of Qatar’s A350-1000 aircraft.
Boeing 777-300ER – between Doha and Bangkok for example, it seems that you are very likely to get the older 2-2-2 seating Rob reviewed here. Qatar is in the process of refitting its entire Boeing 777 fleet with Qsuite and is about 50% completed on the 777-300ER, so you may get lucky with refurbished one with Qsuite (reviewed here).
A380 – on some flights such as London-Doha Qatar flies its A380, which features its reverse herringbone seat reviewed here, it is not Qsuite but has a great bar.
The Qatar Airways website here if you want to find out more.
The British Airways tier point calculator, if you want to confirm my numbers above, is here. Being able to earn 560 British Airways tier points in the Executive Club for a business class return to, say, Asia on Qatar Airways is an excellent deal you should seriously consider if it is available.
(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 2.0 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.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
There are also good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.