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BIG NEWS: Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, drop Qmiles

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Qatar Airways has announced that it is to adopt Avios as its reward currency.

From some point in late March (the rumoured date is 22nd March), the airline will drop Qmiles, the currency of its existing loyalty programme.

If you currently have a Qatar Privilege Club account, your existing Qmiles balance will be converted into Avios at the rate of 1:1.

Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, drop Qmiles

You can find out more on the Qatar Airways website here.

If you have a Qatar Privilege Club account, note that Qpoints and Qcredits will not change. There will also be no change to the current Qmiles expiry rules when the currency switches to Avios.

What does this mean to UK Avios collectors?

It’s not clear yet.

The announcement this morning has been done to give Privilege Club members the required advanced notice of major changes to the programme.

There will be a further announcement in a couple of weeks which will let us know exactly how the new relationship will work in practice.

You can, of course, already use Avios to book flights on Qatar Airways. To that extent, this is not a revolutionary change.

We don’t know if it will be possible to use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios directly to and from British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Privilege Club. Even if you can, why would you? The benefits won’t be totally clear until we compare reward charts, taxes and charges.

Qatar Airways has promised its members (see the Q&A here) that its own reward charts will be unchanged.

Qatar Airways to adopt Avios, drop Qmiles

If you can move Avios between the programmes, it will open up new partnership opportunities. You can convert Qmiles into Accor Live Limitless points, for example, so it may soon be possible to move Avios into Accor points. Privilege Club has different hotel and car hire partners to British Airways, which would broaden your collecting opportunities.

Some readers may find it more profitable to credit flights to Privilege Club and not Executive Club. Unless the schemes are fully aligned, certain classes of ticket on certain airlines will earn more Avios in one scheme than the other. Some readers may find they want to earn status in Privilege Club instead of Executive Club, given that they no longer need to give up earning Avios to do so.

We’ll obviously be looking at all this in detail as more information emerges.

All we know officially for now is that:

“IAG Loyalty and Qatar Airways are working to introduce new customer benefits from the partnership, as well as more ways to earn and collect Avios around the world in the coming months.”

Qatar Airways adopts Avios

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said:

“The transition from Qmiles to Avios marks a ground-breaking new era for Privilege Club, enabling our loyal members to participate in the most compelling loyalty network and the largest portfolio of partners in the industry. As the World’s Best Airline, Qatar Airways continues to redefine loyalty through the adoption of exciting digital innovations to create unique world-class experiences for our members. We look forward to revealing more details of this exciting change over the coming weeks, as we explore even more ways to reward our valued members both on and off the ground.”

For clarity, Qatar Airways is not buying an equity stake in IAG Loyalty. It will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of International Airlines Group. It’s not clear, economically, how the swap from Qmiles to Avios will be treated in terms of the Qatar Airways balance sheet.

You can find out more on this special Avios page of the Qatar Airways website.

PS. Here’s something you can do whilst you wait

Qatar Privilege Club is, until 31st March, offering 2,000 Qmiles as a bonus for signing up.

You don’t need to take a flight. You receive the Qmiles immediately.

In late March, these 2,000 Qmiles will become 2,000 Avios. There is a good chance that you will be able to move them across to British Airways Executive Club.

If you DO take a Qatar Airways flight before 30th September, however, you will earn between 3,000 and 5,000 additional bonus Qmiles depending on your travel class.

You can sign up for Qatar Privilege Club and pick up your 2,000 free Qmiles by clicking here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.

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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (152)

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

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I had an email lately offering Privilege Club members only discounts. I’ve not looked into those yet but would it be possible to book those fares and then switch the number in the booking to a BAEC number?

    If I was booking those fares I’d still want the tier points.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, totally fine – switch the number at check-in.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Thanks. Thought that’d be the case but wanted to double check

        • Ikaz says:

          Maybe not with Qatar, there are reports that once your Qatar number is associated to your booking it is impossible (or really difficult) to change it, for example:

          • Jonathan says:

            I tried to take off my BAEC account from a flight of theirs (before flying time), and put my Iberia Plus / Aer Lingus Aer Club account number in, but I couldn’t find anywhere to take off the BAEC account. Important to note that I had used an e-voucher as part of the payment towards the flight, having took full advantage of the extremely rare part pay with Avios promotion where a flat 2pence per Avios point was available – something I don’t think we’ll ever see again !

          • Andy says:

            No problem changing at checkin in Melbourne in December

        • polly says:

          We have always been able to change the qr no to baec very easily, when you log onto qr. the drop down slot is there to chose. And then at check in, just make sure your baec no in there. We once had them change it at the gate on boarding, as l had completely forgotten to do it, when crossing our seats.

    • Phillip says:

      If you want to change before check in, the Finnair site tends to do the trick. To a lesser extent the RJ one too. It won’t work if you try after online check in has opened

  • Peter K says:

    Oh, wow. I never saw this coming! It’ll be very interesting to see how it pans out!

  • Damian says:

    Thanks Rob, good heads up and interesting times ahead. Just joined for the 2000 points soon to be Avios.

  • Chris says:

    If anyone had seen this coming I think people’s attitudes to taking the multitude of QMiles offers over the years would have been a lot different!

  • Jeff77 says:


    What does this mean to UK Avios collectors?

    It’s not clear yet.


  • Paul says:

    Great. Can only be a positive. Thanks for heads up on 2k points, just signed up

    • Benilyn says:

      Not unless the QR frequent travelers have had enough of Q Suites and decide to book BA for their CW seats!

    • Taylor says:

      I can only see 2000 for first online booking? Do you have a link to the sign up only bonus?

      • Rob says:

        Eh? “Join Privilege Club by 31 March 2022 using the promo code JOINPC1, to get 2,000 bonus Qmiles instantly” The link is in the article.

  • AndrewM says:

    So the 5000 Qmiles we earned through signing up last year, will also have the chance to be converted to Avios ?

  • allycat says:

    Just a warning note for those who may be signing their family/household members up for accounts for the 2000 miles. I did it successfully for my wife and the 2000 miles were there instantly but for my son’s account I put my own mobile number into the form. The form checks this against existing numbers and does not allow duplicate phone numbers, so I put his mobile number in instead. However I think it wiped out the promo code JOINPC1 in the process and I did not spot this so when the account was opened there were 0 miles. I have sent them a request to correct this but who knows if they will honour it … worth a try though

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

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