Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

  • Will says:

    You say in your article/email “In our Bangkok example above, Qatar Airways wants 150,000 Avios return”. ( DUB-BKK-DUB)

    I’m getting 300,000 each for that itinerary. What am I doing wrong?
    Total price 600000 Avios + 719.62 EUR (for 2)
    I have been a privilege club member for some years.

    • Marcw says:

      You’ve selected a Q2 award (aka Flexiaward) that require 2x Avios

      • FatherOfFour says:

        Just as I did above! Avoid the green flags when you select the flights.

      • Fraser says:

        All flights London to Bangkok seem to have the green flag, so are double. Am I missing something?

        • Rob says:

          Hugely popular destination, zero BA availability. There was plenty when we researched our piece on Monday.

          • FRASER says:

            That’s encouraging then. I guess there’s been a stampede to grab all the deals, but hopefully over time it will correct itself. Do you know if there’s any alert tools for Qatar? So you can be alerted when the normal (not Q2 award) avios seats come up?

          • Rhys says:

            I’m sure SeatSpy are working on it…

          • FRASER says:

            I was also searching for 4 seats, so I doubt that helped!

  • Mark says:

    Some airports missing in book Avios option on Qatar website like TLV ??

    • Roger* says:

      I think so. The QR website didn’t recognise Zurich as a destination when I tried.

      • Rob says:

        It does recognise Zurich, just tried it.

        • Roger* says:

          Thanks, Rob. I tried again and there it was.

          But no flights available for my April dates for 2 in CE, with availability OK at Fine tuning, I suppose.

    • Rob says:

      Strange that ….

      • Mark says:

        Not TLV ???

        • Rob says:

          Are you seriously surprised? There was a total flight ban between the Middle East and Israel for many years. It’s only very recently that the UAE relaxed and started to allow flights to and from Israel. Qatar is not part of the UAE.

    • marcw says:

      I don’t think Qatar and Israel diplomatic relations are strong…

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Does Qatar have a multi-partner award ticket likes BA’s

    And while I am asking, does Iberia or Aer Lingus

    • marcw says:

      QR doesn’t. In fact, it’s not possible to mix and match oneworld redemptions. Same airline in single ticket (I don’t know about BA + QR with the new partnership).
      IB has a multi carrier chart, but less exciting than BA.

  • BJ says:

    Curious that many people seem to be getting on so well with Qatar site and app. I am having endless issues dating back to flights at beginning of March. It all came together for MMB and OLCI at the last minute though. This weeot my accounts linked without issue and transferred a bunch of avios over to QR successfully. However, so far I’ve been unable to search for a single reward flight successfully under spend avios on the app while in the desktop efforts to do so return message I’m not logged in even though I am. All very frustrating. The award calculator suggests 93000 avios one way business class from EDI-BKK. Isn’t it supposed to be 75,000? Any further clarity on marcw comment that Qatar award fees and charges are nonrefundable?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t trust the calculator.

      • meta says:

        Regarding redemption fees, it seems that Qatar has brought them back and they are non-refundable. They were abolished at the start of pandemic.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks Meta. That’ll be a great pity and something of a spoiler. Amex voucher still works for us when travelling together and my partner will likely use tge HfP promo link next week for Barclays as tge upgrade voucher will work well for solo trips home. I think I’ll just let the dust settle and return to QR site and app later next week. More options always welcome though even if they don’t live up to initial expectations.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks, thought as much but was looking for confirmation.

  • Patrick says:

    Do we know if there is an option to buy economy cash tickets and upgrade instantly to business with Qatar, using Avios, as can be done with BA?

    • Patrick says:

      That said, yesterday I paid 86k Avios and £155 to fly MAD-DOH, DOH-LHR, both in Q suite. Tickets on the same routing, in economy, would cost 967€ – and that’s before spending Avios to upgrade, so in this particular case the upgrade with Avios, if available, is not a sweet-spot as it can be say from Premium Economy to Club with BA.

      • Patrick says:

        Incidentally – BA and Qatar websites quoted identical cash element (and Avios required) for the tickets 👍

  • lumma says:

    Are there any better ex EU airports to start from when it comes to lounges, etc.

    Amsterdam isn’t the most exciting to be fair, just the mediocre aspire lounge

    • Patrick says:

      The MAD T4S long-haul iberia (oneworld) lounge is great IMO – lots of space, vast drink selection, illy coffee, good views out and Do&Co now do the food in there, which is much improved since it reopened, with a really good variety of hot and cold options. Lounge also has showers, luggage lockers, gaming area, kids area, sleeping area…let alone the low taxes ex-MAD.

    • Richie says:

      I liie the lounge at VCE with external terraces.

    • Rob says:

      Prsumably in Helsinki you get the flagship Finnair facilities.

  • Andrew Knight says:

    Thanks Rob and Team. Very helpful set of articles.

    I have a BA HHA and am silver. My wife and 2 kids are blue. We’re all flying on QR economy in April, so this is very handy. Here’s my question – if I associate my new QR number to my existing booking, will I lose out on any significant benefits as a BA silver for my upcoming flight?

  • NorthernLass says:

    Well I am late to this party! Will try for the 2500 avios though as I intend to try QR in future. I did check some cash prices ex-DUB earlier but they were very high and not that different from departing from MAN, which was disappointing!

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.