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NOW LIVE: You can transfer your Avios to Qatar Privilege Club – and why it changes everything

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This morning, Qatar Airways has officially adopted Avios as its frequent flyer currency. Qmiles are no more.

You can now link your British Airways Executive Club account with your Qatar Privilege Club account and move Avios back and forth at a 1:1 ratio. Our ‘how to’ guide to account linking is here.

If you think ‘so what?’ because you could already book Qatar Airways flights via British Airways Executive Club, then you need to think again.

You can transfer your Avios to Qatar Privilege Club

This is such a big topic that it’s going to take us a number of articles over a number of days to explore its nuances. In this introductory piece, I want to highlight a few things that should get you excited, or at least intrigued.

There are two additional articles today:

Qatar Airways reward flight pricing has changed, irrespective of where you book

Historically, if you booked a Qatar Airways flight on using Avios, it priced off the ‘partner reward chart’ which you can see in this HfP article.

This is no longer the case.

From today, Qatar Airways and British Airways flights will cost the same number of Avios irrespective of whether you book them on via Privilege Club or via Executive Club.

I do NOT mean that you will use the same number of Avios to fly to the same city on British Airways or Qatar Airways. I mean that there is no Avios arbitrage between the two websites:

  • a British Airways off-peak flight to New York in Business will cost 100,000 Avios via Executive Club on or Privilege Club on
  • a Qatar Airways flight to Dubai in Business will cost 100,000 Avios via Executive Club on or Privilege Club on

Qatar Airways has lower taxes than British Airways

When comparing British Airways and Qatar Airways redemptions to the same city, you should find that taxes and charges are lower on the Qatar Airways flight.

You can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher or a Barclays upgrade voucher on Qatar Airways redemptions, of course. Your flight will also involve a connection in Doha.

It doesn’t matter which website you book on. For most destinations, you will pay a similar level of taxes irrespective of whether you book Qatar Airways redemption flights on the BA or Qatar Airways websites.

There is a difference when you book Business Class and your connecting flight from Doha is on a short-haul aircraft. This is what you would get if you booked London – Doha – Dubai for example.

This is down to how the BA website handles the connection, which is on a two-class aircraft featuring just Economy and First Class. It means that you pay £50 more to book the routing above on

Qatar Airways redemption flights starting outside the UK are great value

Qatar Airways has a broad network of departure points across Europe, allowing you to save a substantial amount on Air Passenger Duty and UK airport charges.

Again, we’ll look at this more closely in a few days but here is an example (remember that you ONLY see this pricing if you book on

  • London to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £526 of taxes and charges
  • Dublin to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £295 (€355) of taxes and charges
  • Amsterdam to Bangkok, Business Class, on Qatar Airways – £318 (€383) of taxes and charges

For comparison:

  • London to Bangkok, Business Class, on British Airways – £759 of taxes and charges

The real difference is availability, however. In practice there are ZERO dates you can get Club World seats to Bangkok over the next year. Qatar Airways is wide open.

Qatar Airways also has a superior Business Class product to British Airways, especially if you can secure flights with Qsuite:


and, especially good for families:

Qatar Qsuite

Our most recent Qsuite flight review is here and we plan to run a fresh one in the next few weeks.

Avios requirements on Qatar Airways are often cheaper too

In our Bangkok example above, Qatar Airways wants 150,000 Avios return. British Airways wants either 150,000 or 180,000 Avios depending on date.

Look at Sydney. British Airways, in the unlikely opportunity that you can find a seat, wants 250,000 or 300,000 Avios return in Business Class.

Qatar Airways has decent availability for 180,000 Avios and under £600 of taxes and it flies to multiple cities across Australia.

Remember that Avios transfer to and from British Airways Executive Club to Qatar Privilege Club in a 1:1 ratio.

Qatar Airways will guarantee Avios seats in all cabins on all flights

Like British Airways, Qatar Airways will be guaranteeing Avios seats in all cabins on all flights. The exact amount will vary by cabin and by aircraft type, but there will be at least two Business Class seats available.

This is not a ‘big bang’ change. For practical reasons Qatar Airways hasn’t been able to open up every flight in the schedule from today, but it will happen.

You can transfer your Avios to Qatar Privilege Club

You can use ‘cash and Avios’ to get cheaper cash tickets on Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has adopted ‘cash and Avios’. This allows you to use your Avios to save money on a cash ticket, which means you get around issues of award availability.

We have a separate article today on a special launch offer which you can read here. You can book ‘cash and Avios’ on the Qatar Airways website here.

You can now earn and spend Avios on new airlines

Qatar Airways has partnerships with a number of airlines outside of the oneworld alliance. You can now earn and spend Avios with new airlines – see here.

We will look at this in more detail on another day, but I am most excited by the opportunity to redeem Avios on Oman Air, especially as British Airways no longer flies to Muscat.

Unfortunately, you cannot redeem with partner airlines online, but I believe it is in hand to launch later this year.

You can now earn and spend Avios with new hotel and car partners

This is also an article for another day, but a lot of new Avios earning options with partners are now available (as long as you open a Privilege Club account).

Europcar, Hertz and SIXT car rentals can now you earn Avios, for example – see here.

None of this applies to Iberia Plus members, unfortunately

It appears that you can only link British Airways Executive Club accounts to Qatar Privilege Club.

You can’t link Iberia Plus, Vueling Club or AerClub accounts.

This isn’t a huge problem but it is a bit annoying. You can use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move Avios from Iberia, Vueling or Aer Lingus into a British Airways account, and then on to Qatar Airways.


We will have a lot more on the benefits of this new partnership over the next few days.

The bottom line is that if you don’t think there is anything in it for you, you’re wrong.

Even if you never fly with Qatar Airways, you’ll be grateful for this partnership next time you use an airline, hotel or car rental company which works with Privilege Club but doesn’t work with British Airways.

Further reading:

Comments (203)

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

  • Marcw says:

    Unfortunately QR decided to add surcharges overnight. That alone makes it less exciting (better than BA though, but questions whether all this makes sense – big picture…).

    • Babyg says:

      As a holder of loads of Avios this is great news for me.. i booked up a few LHR-AKL returns last night, not only could i get the dates i wanted (without having to phone up an midnight) they were at much better rate vs BA… but yeah i guess this is bad news for qmiles as BA / QR level the playing field.. perhaps it will encourage BA to bring down their crazy fees.. but i suspect it will actually encourage QR to raise theirs (even more)… i suspect we will see QR availability reduce drastically as the avios hoarders move in!

      • meta says:

        I checked a couple of routes and I don’t think they have. Unlike BA, you can open up an award seat for double the avios and double the surcharges.

        • marcw says:

          They certainly have – this is nothing about FlexiAwards (which, btw, is jus a mechanism where you pay double the Avios to “unlock” a reward seat).
          Checking taxes + fees with Qmiles and now with Avios, there’s about £220 in surcharges pp in business return trip (4 sector trip) in a standard redemption (in economy it’s about £100 for a 4 sector trip).
          The surcharges are known as “redemption-fee” which btw, are non-refundable. There are new, re-introduced with the Avios change (they introduced redemption fees back in 2016/17 but removed again in 2020).

          • Lady London says:

            Now that could be really nasty if introduced by my favourite airline.

        • Babyg says:

          previous i could find 4 seats on LHR-DOH, now i can only find 2 seats.. paying double Avios removes alot of the value for me (still useful thou)…

      • ToffeeTom says:

        How many Avios + how much cash for LHR – AKL? I am unable to check, presumably as I don’t have sufficient Avios to cover the trip (yet).

    • BJ says:

      More choice/options in themselves are good though. I am particularly interested in exploring how cash and avios works out from the regions and exEU. Also, how attractive upgrades might be. A huge amount of new avenues to be explored and comparisons to be drawn.

  • Doctorbee says:

    If you move book a flight with Avios via Qatar privilige club as a BA Gold (but basic Qatar status), is it possible to still use the Oneworld Emerald benefits (first class check-in & lounge), even though the frequent flyer number will be associated with Qatar privilige club?

  • Andrew says:

    Thanks Rob, got my 2,500 Avios for signing up.

  • BJ says:

    Thanks, good start and looking forward to the forthcoming articles. I just wish QR would spend some serious money on their IT and make it work as good as it looks. I find it the most frustrating and randomly unstable of any airline I use. Tried several times without success to get the BKK details you reported here so thanks for using that example too.

  • Justin says:

    Thanks for the info Rob.

    I signed up and linked my BA account. As promised, the 2,500 Avios showed instantly within my Qatar Airways account. Additionally, transferring the points to BA was a simple process and was reflected on my BA account within a couple minutes – I actually had to go into the BA statement for my points balance to update within my BA app.

    I was honestly impressed with the simple, yet functional website provided from Qatar Privilege Club..

    • Daiboy1980 says:

      Hi Justin, Totally agree.

      That is how a website should be set up, absolutley flawless and very user friendly!

    • Charles Martel says:

      Every airline seems to have better IT and website functionality than BA: Finnair, Qantas, Qatar even United.

  • Chris H says:

    I was so excited to get ‘ahead of the game’ last night. Tonnes of availability for couples travelling but I couldn’t find one route for a family of four. Bit disappointing to be left out to be honest.

    • FlightDoctor says:

      Urgh! We’re a family of 5 and was hoping to look for something exciting to book today! Does this mean I am doomed?

      • Rob says:

        Not necessarily. 2 seats guaranteed, more than that is discretionary.

        Historically Qatar has opened more seats from outside London (Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin etc). It’s hard to fill 2 x 787s per day out of Copenhagen ….

    • Babyg says:

      #metoo… i booked some QR flights last night anyways in the hope that i can find more availability in the future.. currently our family is flying 24hrs apart…

  • Pogonation says:

    Annoyingly QR doesn’t seem to let me check availability without having sufficient avios in my account. Is it as easy as transferring a load over, checking availability, then transferring them back?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. I agree this is annoying. However in theory has the same availability – just higher taxes – so you could search on that, but in reality tends to show fewer options because it ignores combos with long connections in Doha. If you’re happy to do a long connection you’ll see more on the Qatar site.

  • Trevor Kislingbury says:

    Signed up but no 2,500 Avios posted for me

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

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