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.
How many Avios do you earn flying with Qatar Airways?
Here is the full chart of earning rates, sourced from the partner page of 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. You are losing out on another 25-100% in additional Avios if you have a British Airways Bronze, Silver or Gold card, which may tempt you to choose BA instead on a trip to Doha.
When it comes to tier points, 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.
This can be exceptionally good value. 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 is, to put it mildly, an excellent return from just one trip.
(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 2.4 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 (December 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:
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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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.
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.