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Is the 40% ‘American Express to Qatar Airways Avios’ transfer bonus worth it?

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A few readers dropped me an email to ask about a new Qatar Privilege Club transfer bonus from financial institutions into Avios. Details are on the Qatar Airways website here.

On the face of it, this offer is very attractive. You get a 40% bonus on any points you transfer into Avios in Qatar Privilege Club, and you can transfer those Avios across to British Airways Executive Club using the process I outline here.

The problem here is a rather obvious one – there are no UK financial institutions whose points can be transferred into Qatar Privilege Club. End of discussion! Despite what you may think, Qatar Privilege Club is not a UK American Express Membership Rewards partner.

Is the 40% 'Amex to Qatar Airways Avios' transfer bonus worth it?

However ….

Qatar Privilege Club IS a partner of the American Express International Dollar Card and International Euro Card. These cards are worth a look if you are UK based, primarily because the Platinum version comes with a big sign-up bonus which you qualify for irrespective of your UK Amex cards.

Even then, however, the offer is less valuable than it looks.

Let’s imagine that you have 100,000 Membership Rewards points sitting with your American Express International Dollar Card.

These transfer at 3:2 into Qatar Privilege Club, so with this 40% bonus promotion you’d receive (100,000 / 3 x 2 x 40% bonus) 93,333 Avios.

However, there is a 2nd option for using 100,000 Membership Rewards points from an International Dollar Card.

You can transfer them to a UK Membership Rewards account, adjusted by the current FX rates. With £1 worth $1.26, your 100,000 IDC Membership Rewards points could be converted into 79,365 UK Membership Rewards points and then onto 79,365 Avios.

More importantly, you can do this transfer at any point. You don’t need to be rushed into making a decision by the end of June, as you do with the Qatar Airways offer.

So …. bottom line …. if you have an American Express International Dollar Card, this offer really represents a 17.5% bonus, and not a 40% bonus. This is the difference between 79,365 Avios and 93,333 Avios.

A 17.5% transfer bonus still isn’t a terrible deal, of course. However, the sweet spot with the International Dollar / Euro Card Membership Rewards scheme remains those programmes with 1: 1 conversion rates:

  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (oneworld)
  • Finnair Plus (oneworld)
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich (oneworld)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (Star Alliance)

You get a better transfer rate into these four schemes (1:1, 365 days per year) than with this special transfer deal into Qatar Privilege Club.

If you have no idea what I am talking about when I discuss the Amex International Dollar Card and Amex International Euro Card, read this HfP article. You can see more details on the 30,000 points bonus on the International Dollar / Euro Platinum card here.

Details of the 40% transfer bonus are on the Qatar Airways website here.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

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.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

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