Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

(IT ERROR) Has British Airways cut the tier points earned in Qatar Airways business class? (No)

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

EDIT: I’ve now been able to have a chat with BA about this. Even though some other oneworld airlines have reduced the earnings rate on Qatar Airways Business Light tickets, this is an IT error which will be corrected ASAP. All Qatar Airways flights remain at 140 tier points.

This isn’t great news if true, especially for a lot of people who already hold tickets.

According to ba.com, the tier points you earn on discounted Qatar Airways business class flights have been cut by 35%.

If correct, this will have a serious impact on people who were travelling to Asia and beyond on Qatar Airways to knock up some easy tier points.

British Airways cuts tier points earning on cheap Qatar airways flights

Historically – and this applies to all partner airlines, not just Qatar Airways – any flight between 2,000 and 6,000 miles in business class earns 140 tier points in British Airways Executive Club. Shorter flights earn just 80 tier points, longer flights earn 160 or 240 tier points.

This meant that any flight from the UK to, say, Asia would require 4 x 2,000+ mile flights. You had UK to Doha, Doha to (say) Bangkok, Bangkok to Doha and Doha to the UK.

You would pick up 560 tier points in just one return trip. Remember that you only need 600 tier points to earn British Airways Executive Club Silver status, albeit that you need to take four British Airways cash flights too.

Get your timing right and you could get almost two years of Silver status on the back of a business class holiday in Asia, flying arguably the best business class product in the world. Who could argue with that?

What has changed with tier points on Qatar Airways flights?

The British Airways Avios and tier point calculator is here.

This is what ba.com is now showing for any 2,000 to 6,000 mile flight on Qatar Airways:

British Airways cuts tier points on Qatar Airways

You will see that a new category of ‘Business low’ has been added. This only earns 90 tier points each way.

It also earns just 1 Avios per mile flown.

This has completely upended the entire Executive Club tier point earning system. I can’t see any other oneworld partners with a similar 90 tier points category.

Your return trip from the UK to Bangkok will now only get you 360 tier points instead of 560 tier points, leaving you a long way from Silver.

However …. look at the top line. This is clearly a mistake, with ‘Economy lowest’ showing 90 tier points. So is the whole chart wrong?

For comparison, this is what ba.com shows if you fly London to Doha on British Airways:

British Airways tier points to Doha

Basically, the BA World Traveller Plus rate of 90 tier points is what BA is now applying to Qatar Airways flights in discounted business class.

Amusingly, if the chart is correct for Qatar Airways, you now earn more Avios in British Airways World Traveller Plus than you’d earn in Qatar Airways business class on a discounted ticket.

Note that this only applies to Business Light cash tickets on Qatar Airways, which book into ‘P’ class. These tickets have other restrictions, such as no lounge access.

If you are booking business class on Qatar Airways, you will now need to pay a little more to avoid ‘Business Light’. On the upside, this will also get you lounge access.

What happens if I have an existing Business Light booking?

I don’t know.

It is possible that ba.com is wrong and that someone has typed in the wrong data. This has happened before. I wouldn’t panic immediately. The fact that there is an Economy ticket class showing as 90 tier points implies that something is not right.

If it turns out that you will now only earn 90 tier points for Qatar Airways Business Light tickets, I think you have grounds for insisting on 140 tier points per leg based on the rate at the time of booking.

That said, I don’t see BA being generous given that this is a partner booking, and agreeing to this would mean literally 11 months of admin for them until all existing bookings drop out of the system.

Let’s see. If we’re lucky this is just a typo ….


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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

30,000 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 £15,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (40)

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

  • Jack says:

    I think this is most likely a error which I’m sure Ba will fix in time . Looks to be a glitch generally with the database

    • A Traveller says:

      Wouldn’t bet on that. Their illogical treatment of CX P class as a zero-earning fare has lasted for several years already.

      I abandoned OneWorld entirely as a direct result of that.

  • John W says:

    I hope this is an error as I made a booking end of January for May flying to BKK . The outbound flight had short connection so I selected P type fare . On the return it is R .
    I was looking with some other flights to reach gold this year .
    At the point of booking , the BA website showed the full 560 points

  • The Original Nick. says:

    I’m pretty sure something similar to this happened a few years ago but was put straight after. Mistakes happen.

  • The Original David says:

    Any chance you could mention BAEC earning on Cathay Pacific P-class fares too, next time you’re having a conversation with the right person at BA?

    • Alan says:

      Yes Rob, the CX P-class business fare can’t earn BA tier points is really weird, can you help to ask BA team next time? Much appreciated, thank you. I’d like to believe it is IT glitch / error, rather than no points at all….

  • Tom B says:

    I wonder if BA are still giving TP to Qatar business class upgrades on economy tickets via avios. Bagged an easy 280 TP last year upgrading cheap economy tickets Doha > Nepal each way with avios. Assumed this was IT glitch with the BA/Qatar systems not communicating properly as you’re not supposed to get TP from avios upgrades.

  • David says:

    I don’t think the errors are limited to Qatar on the BA tier point calculator. Example 1: Z fare (business lowest) on MH earning more tier points (240) on LHR – KUL than J,C,D fully flexible business class (160). Example 2: X class (business lowest) on JAL earning zero tier point and zero avios from LHR to HND/NRT.

  • Ian says:

    Can any reader advise me please on what I should have earned on a recent Royal Jordanian trip to BKK? The AMM-BKK sector correctly earned 140 tier points. My wife flew CDG-AMM and earned 140 points each way on that sector. I flew the slightly longer LHR-AMM sector but only earned 80 points. Is this correct?

    • Rob says:

      I think the London rate is aligned to BA so that the RJ flights are not seen as more lucrative. BA treats Amman as short haul.

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.