The Qatar Privilege Club is Qatar Airways' frequent flyer program. Oneworld member Qatar Airways is based in Doha, Qatar. From this hub they fly to over 150 worldwide destinations.
- Competitive reward pricing to Middle East and South Africa
- Qatar has good reward inventory
- Change and cancel fees are low
- Elite members get reward discounts and better availability
- Family program allows for points to accrue to family main member
- Easy Deals offer good saving for economy and business class rewards on select routes
- Upgrades can be less expensive than purchased fares
- Program lacks transparency
- Collects carrier imposed surcharges on all rewards
- Can only search for rewards if you have points in account
- Points expire after 3 years with expensive one year extension option
- Least competitive program for Oneworld flights
- Expensive point purchase option of 3 to 3.5 cents per point
Qatar Airways frequent flyer currency is called Qmiles. Their redemption amounts are based on regions, however they do not publish a reward chart, opting instead for a Qcalculator. This tool works for Qatar Airways flights which have their own Qmile redemptions, as well as Partner Airlines that employ a mileage based chart. In addition to the reward calculation, Qcalculator can be used to find out how many Qmiles are earned on revenue tickets as well as the cost of upgrades on Qatar flights.
This Reward table was compiled using the Qcalculator for flights from North America to destinations throughout the world. All North American flights are eastbound to Doha where connections are made to other destinations.
The Flexi program is the name for Qatar's standard reward redemption. Flexi rewards require twice the number of points as the saver program. A customer may only get 2 Flexi rewards for themselves and a companion.
Partner airlines, including all Oneworld members, have a distance based reward chart. Each segment of an itinerary is added arriving at a total miles traveled. The redemption is based on this total according to the following table.
Qatar is not very transparent with details about their program. If you don't have any points in your account you can not search for rewards.
You may redeem a reward ticket for anyone. (This is contrary to the more expensive Flexi reward that can only be redeemed for the member and a companion.)
Rewards may be booked online up to 48 hours before departure. (Unable to verify 48 hour limit)
Rewards made at Qatar service centers or Qatar ticketing offices may be booked, based on Elite status:
- Burgundy members (everyone starts as): 7 days in advance or $25 fee
- Siver members: 4 days in advance or $25 fee
- Gold members: 3 days in advance or $25 fee
- Platinum members: 3 days or $25 for tickets other than their own.
- Same day for a $50 fee
Tickets are good for 1 year from the initial date booked.
Tickets may be held for 48 hours before ticketing.
Cancellations are allowed up to 3 hours prior to departure.
Changes and cancellations made before 24 hours of departure are charged $25 per ticket. This fee is waived on the personal tickets of Gold and Platinum members.
Changes and cancellations made 3-24 hours before departure are charged $100 per ticket, with the same waiver policy.
Changes or cancellations within 3 hours of departure are not allowed. Burgundy members lose points, fees and taxes while Silver, Gold and Platinum members get taxes refunded (not surcharges).
Qatar collects carrier imposed surcharges for all reward tickets, including their own.
Gold and Platinum members receive a 5% discount for online reward redemptions. In addition greater reward award availability is given to these elite members.
Qatar has a family program that allows up to 9 members of a family to pool points into the main members account. Earning rates for low tier members appear to be low for this program. However if a family member is not going to be traveling frequently, this may be a good option to save those points that would otherwise go unused.
Points are good for 3 years with expiration being the last day of the half year when expired. Exp: Earn date is April 15, 2014, expire date will be June 30, 2017. Points for Platinum members never expire as long as this status is kept.
You are allowed a one time, one year extension for fee of .015 cents per point.
No routing rules, including layovers or stopover rules, are mentioned within the Qatar Privilege Club documentation.
Mixed class rewards are not mentioned as well for Qatar redemptions. However for Partner rewards, the higher class redemption amount applies when booking 2 class rewards.
You must have points in the Qatar Privilege Club to search for rewards.
Easy Deals are periodic promotions for reduced redemption rewards on select routes. They are only applicble to the Qatar reward chart on Qatar Airways aircraft. You can not use the points and cash option on these specials. Changes to itineraries outside the applicable dates for the Easy Deal are subject to normal point redemptions.
Use this link for current Easy Deals.
Partner Comparison - Qatar flights
This comparison is flying a Qatar Airways aircraft from either JFK or LAX to Doha. Neither route offers first class at this time. The redemptions are for the major Oneworld programs. Of note, all programs except American Airlines AAdvantage collect carrier surcharges. While 5,000 fewer Qatar points are required for economy over American, the surcharges will erase that advantage.
Partner Comparison - Oneworld flights
Comparing the Oneworld carrier redemption amounts for rewards on oneworld carriers other than their own shows that Qatar Privilege Club is always more expensive. These comparisons are based on the mileage groupings of Qatar. Due to differences in each programs mileage categories not all line up. However many international routes will exceed 12,000 miles which is Qatar's highest, most expensive level. All other carriers, even British Airways, have mileage levels above 12,000.
When viewed on specific routes, the comparison shows an even more distinct edge for other programs.
You can upgrade purchased fares on Qatar using points. The QCalculator will show the number of points required for your flight. You need to know the booking code as the levels are based on the fare you purchased. For flights from North America to Doha the following number of points are required to these select destinations.
The only booking codes you can't upgrade are T,O,W. The lowest economy saver fare is the "O" fare so if upgrading avoid this fare. When purchasing a ticket on Qatar's website, once you select the flights the booking codes are shown.
Purchase, Upgrade, Reward?
This example looks at the Boston - Doha Qatar route using their A350. This aircraft does not have first class. The fares, booking codes as well as the YQ fees are shown. (Note, when searching Asia Miles for these exact flights, rewards were available and the YQ fees were about $500 for both economy and business class.)
The fares are:
- Lowest Economy (Q): $1,274
- Economy (Y): $2,894
- Business (R): $5,590
In all cases getting an upgrade using points was better than purchasing the fare. Outright rewards for economy tickets were never a good deal and when points were based at 3 cents, upgrading was more beneficial than an outright reward.
You can request upgrades when booking tickets as well as day of departure at most Qatar destinations.
When flying on Qatar paid fares you earn points based on mileage and booking code. Use the QCalculator to determine the exact number of points you earn.
Earn rates are as follows:
In addition you can earn on partner airlines. The Qcalculator will determine the points you earn on each participating airline, or use this link to look up each carrier.
You can also earn points when booking your flights on Qatar.com. Your first booking earns 2,000 bonus points. Subsequent bookings earn 500 points each time.
Qatar Privilege Club does not have a US branded credit card.
The following transfer rates apply to for points into Qatar Privilege Club
- Citi Thank You Points at 1:1
- Starwood Preferred Guest at 1:1 (5,000 point bonus for each 20,000 transferred)
- Hilton 10:1
- Hyatt: 2.5 to 1 (5,000 point bonus with 50,000 Hyatt point transfer)
- Marriott Rewards range 6.67:1 to 4:1
Qatar points can be earned with hotel stays.
- Fairmont 500 points per stay
- Hilton 1 point per $1USD
- Hyatt: 500 points per stay
- Marriott: 2 points per $1USD
- Starwood: 2-3 point per $1USD
- Wyndam: 2 points per $1USD or 250/500 minimum depending on property
For a complete list of hotels follow this link.
You can earn Qatar Privilege points when booking hotels on these sites:
You may also earn on car rentals from:
Qatar sells points with either block purchases or when selecting a reward ticket where you have the option of points and cash.
To purchase points you must have at least 3,000 in your account. The prices is 3.5 cents each or minimum 1,000 point blocks for $35.00. This price goes to $30 per 1,000 when purchasing more. (More quantity unknown) The most you can buy in a calendar year is 60,000 points.
Qatar also has a points and cash option when booking a reward ticket. The documentation shows you can purchase up to 50% of the required points. The example shown on the website purchases 6,502 points for 690QAR or about $180. This works out to about 3 cents a point. (You can purchase Citi Thank You points for 2.5 cents each.)
There are very few advantages to the Qatar Privilege Club program compared to other Oneworld programs. Qatar Airways has a fantastic product, but you can get these flights with other Oneworld carriers for less in terms of point redemptions, and without surcharges using American AAvantage. The only flights you might not be able to book using American points are flights from North American to Doha and then eastward, to places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, etc. While not commonplace to do so, if no other rewards are available this is one way to get to one of these destination.
The other option is to track the Easy Deals. For example at this writing a round trip business class redemption from Atlanta to Doha would receive a 50,000 point discount, making it a 90,000 point round-trip which is very attractive.