Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

ENDS MIDNIGHT MONDAY: Win Apple AirPods with HfP and Qatar Duty Free

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Until midnight on Monday 6th March, we are running an exclusive Head for Points competition in association with Qatar Duty Free.

We have two pairs of Apple AirPods (3rd generation) to give away.

This is to promote the fact that you can now use Avios to pay for (virtually) anything at Qatar Duty Free in Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Indeed, I bought these AirPods at Qatar Duty Free when I was in Doha last month, paying with Avios generously donated by Qatar Privilege Club.

Win AirPods 3rd generation

The 3rd generation AirPods can provide up to six hours of wireless listening from a single charge. You can use AirPods even if you don’t have an Apple device via a Bluetooth connection.

The recommended retail price of these 3rd generation AirPods is £179.

How can you use Avios at Qatar Duty Free?

Full details are on this page of the Qatar Airways website.

You need to have Avios sitting in a Qatar Privilege Club account. Even if your British Airways account is linked to a Qatar Privilege Club account, you still need to physically transfer them across if you wish to spend them in the airport.

This HfP article shows how to link your Qatar Privilege Club and British Airways accounts.

Qatar Duty Free use Avios

Avios from your flight now appear at check in

If you are flying on Qatar Airways on a cash ticket, you will now receive the Avios from your flight BEFORE departure. This allows you to spend them in Doha during your transit. Clever!

To receive your Avios at check in before your flight, you need to be crediting your Qatar Airways flight to a Qatar Privilege Club Avios account. If your flight is being credited to a British Airways account, the points will turn up a few days later as they do now and so won’t be available to spend immediately.

Earn Qatar Avios before departure

The process for spending your Avios is simple. Most shops have a sign like this:

Spending Avios at Qatar Airport Doha Hamad duty free

…. but even if they don’t, it is highly likely that they are taking part.

When you come to pay for your items, you simply scan your boarding pass. The cashier will instantly see how many Avios you have in your Qatar Privilege Club account, and you can choose to use some or all of them towards your purchase.

(If you are crediting your flight to British Airways Executive Club or another programme and your Qatar Privilege Club number is not on your boarding pass, you can show your Qatar Privilege Club membership card on your phone instead.)

You have to click an on-screen confirmation:

Spend Avios in Qatar Duty Free

…. and you’re done. As you can see, I spent 63,663 Avios which covered 100% of the cost of the two pairs of AirPods we are giving away today.

This HfP article explains the process of spending Avios at Qatar Duty Free in more detail.

You earn Avios on Qatar Duty Free purchases too

You earn Avios in the same way – scan your boarding pass to bring up your Qatar Privilege Club account number, or have your membership card scanned.

If you part-pay with Avios, you earn points based on the cash element you pay. If you pay with 100% Avios, as I did, you don’t earn any Avios back.

Win AirPods with Qatar Duty Free

How can I win AirPods?

It’s very simple. All you need to do is complete the form below by midnight on Monday 6th March. (Mobile readers should click the button below.) We will draw the two winners later in the week.

The full rules are in the entry widget, but here are the key ones:

  • you must be a UK resident and physically present in the UK to enter
  • only one entry per household
  • you must be aged 18+ to enter
  • prizes can only be despatched to a UK address
  • your entry data will not be shared with anyone outside HfP and we will delete it after the competition is over

The competition is organised by Head for Points with the support of Qatar Privilege Club and Qatar Duty Free. Apple Inc. and Avios Group are not associated with the competition in any way.

Good luck!

Win Apple AirPods (3rd generation)!

Comments (86)

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

  • PB says:

    Hi Rob. I’m in Bangkok at the moment having flown here with Qatar Airways. It seems a little unfair that I can’t enter the competition. 🙁

    • DaveJ says:


      • Jan M says:

        Maybe not practical in Thailand but I’m traveling in Germany and still have free roaming. So I just turned off the WiFi on my phone, and voilà it thinks I’m in the UK.

      • Blenz101 says:

        Annoying VPN is also blocked. No entry for readers in the UAE 😞

      • PB says:

        Cheers Dave. Trying to find a free VPN is a bit of a challenge. I went with TunnelBear, but it appears that Gleam is not stupid. I got this…
        The location (IP Address) you are using is from a data center. To prevent fraud, Gleam blocks entry from these locations. This is usually the result of using a VPN to access our site.

    • Nigerian Prince says:

      You are not missing much, 8am Sunday already 2k entries, for 2 airpods…

  • Paul says:

    A travel site which blocks entry to a
    competition to people who are actually travelling!

    It may be the law of the land but it’s very silly!

    I appreciate the purchase was effectively a gift from QR to promote the service offered, but at 63,000 Avios it’s hardly value unless you are very Avios rich or you get them for free.

    At 1p it means you paid over £600 for something worth £179 but this lack of value when using Avios in this way to shop, is not mentioned in the article.

    • Andrew J says:

      But like any advert, negative points aren’t highlighted.

    • Thywillbedone says:

      Not quite that simple. Sometimes you get entrants from countries where there is a low chance of the item actually reaching the intended recipient. Easier to restrict the geography.

      Source: have run similar competitions and learned the hard way

    • BJ says:

      The original article on using avios at Doha duty free did address vue of redeeming avios in this way.

    • Chas says:

      ‘At 1p it means you paid over £600 for something worth £179”

      Except he bought two pairs, so it’s spend £600 for things worth £358. Still terrible value for those of us in the know, but as BJ mentions, the original article highlighted various reasons why being able to spend your Avios (from the flight you’ve not yet taken…) is a positive development.

    • Rob says:


    • Neil says:

      It seems that Rob has taught you too well 😉

  • danimal says:

    So you spent 63,663 and got £179 of value and you didn’t think to mention what a poor return this was.

    • James says:

      63,663 is only the equivalent of 3.5 amex referrals which Rob can achieve from his website viewership of 1,000s (or even better if they agree on better rates than 18k)

      • danimal says:

        I’m not sure what your point is. As the article says Rob was gifted the Avios by Qatar so cost him nothing. The strapline of this website is “Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points” which this clearly doesn’t do.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge HfP fan, it’s my go-to site for all things travel/points, I just think this article doesn’t reflect the ethos of the site and should be clearer that it’s an advert for Qatar.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          @danimal, all the write-ups on the Qatar duty free option have mentioned that it is not maximum value and that it won’t be attractive to 99.9% of regular readers of this site and other points enthusiasts.
          It’s important to remember that we are a small and unusual subset of the general population. It may actually be VERY good value for the non-collecting non-UK infrequent traveller who is travelling Qatar one-time only. That’s because the likely alternative is a small number of orphaned miles forgotten about and expiring unused at a value of zero…

          • danimal says:

            But it wasn’t mentioned in this article is my point, and HfP regularly uses Nectar as a base for valuing Avios which make Qatar duty-free a bad deal. I think they could have been a bit more up-front that this is a promotion/advert for Qatar and not a standard HfP article. I’m not sure how HfP can write objectively about airlines and points AND promote the same airlines and their points.

            Full disclosure – I have entered the competition and will gladly take the AirPods if I win.

          • Rob says:

            I really don’t know what planet you are living on.

            You are saying that we should refuse to take money from the companies we write about on objectivity grounds, even though they are the only companies who actually want to advertise to this audience. You then expect, somehow, that we magic up the substantial sum of money required to pay 3 people full time salaries and run an office.

      • Andrew J says:

        I don’t think Rob gets paid in points for referring people to Amex!

        • James says:

          Even better. Would love to see the ratio of referrals to GBP. I just compared what the amount of avios would be if one of us commoners were to do the same trx

        • BJ says:

          ISTR Rob stating that he and other HFP staff have the same 90k amex referral limit as everybody else.

          • Andrew J says:

            For their personal referrals, yes, but not HFP as a business.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The “business” is just their collective limits plus friends and family

            He’s said the business gets no additional limit for points referrals but ofcourse cash would be different but I don’t believe as lucrative

          • Rob says:


            Although no-one seems to have noticed that we don’t proactively offer referrals anywhere on the site these days, except in a couple of card reviews. Those who still email to ask for one get one from the team or a family member.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      63663 was the cost of two sets of AirPods so £358 not £179.

      • Jan M says:

        Good point. I imagine that the earnings rate might depend on the shop or item too.

        It’s probably an especially good scheme for those who don’t collect Avios. They can get rid off their points in transit…

    • BJ says:

      The article is about a competition, not about value of avios which was addressed in an earlier article quite transparently. Besides, value reported above was based on the notional 1ppa value which, quite frankly, readers often have to perform mental gymnastics to convince themselves of. More accurately they can be valued at £440ish based on Nectar conversion
      (which could then be used to purchase at argos with change) so it is still poor value but that is besides the point. This is a competition, if you win them they cost you nothing curtesy of HFP and Qatar Airways.

    • Rob says:


  • T says:

    Good luck to all who enter the competition!!!!

  • Gordon says:

    Worth a punt, If won I’d eBay them, As I have the pro version and the sound quality base and noise cancellation is second to none, Worth the premium price IMO.

    • Andrew J says:

      Agreed, I wouldn’t be downgrading to the standard version either.

  • roberto says:


  • Harry T says:

    Oh, they shortened the stem on the third Gen AirPods so you can pretend you have the Pro 😂

  • DL says:

    Sheesh looking at some of the responses, two sayings come to mind:

    This is why we can’t have nice things


    Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Every competition @Rob runs gets the same negative comments about the non UK bit.

      Some of his competitions are ineligible even if you’re in Northern Ireland because of the separate laws they have there. So sometimes it’s not even the whole of the UK that’s allowed to enter.

      I’m also away at the moment. I’ll enter when I get back on Monday if I remember.

      • Rob says:

        NI changed the law last year so we can now accept entries

        • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

          Nice to know there was cross community support on the ability to enter HfP competitions!

          • Bagoly says:

            Was that cross-community support, or cross-community apathy?
            i.e. Did it go through at Stormont, or did Westminster “impose” it?

      • Kevin C says:

        Fun fact, the laws about purchase necessary competitions in Northern Ireland were updated last year to make them much more like the rest of the UK. Details are on the ASA website.

        Thanks for running the competition!

    • dougzz99 says:

      Absolutely. If I ran a site like this I’d hunt down the entries of every negative comment and delete them. People can be such tossers, you only have to look at me to confirm that.

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

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