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Last month, Qatar Airways announced that its Privilege Club frequent flyer program would be replacing Qmiles with Avios as its currency and as of today, that transition appears to be complete. As importantly, not only do flights credited to the Privilege Club now earn Avios but flyers with British Airways Executive Club and Privilege Club accounts can now link those accounts and move Avios between them.
How to link Privilege Club & British Airways Executive Club accounts
If you head over to the Qatar Airways website right now and log in to your Privilege Club account, you should be presented with a screen that shows this pop-up window:
If you follow the prompts, you’ll see a further two windows…
…before reaching the 4th and final window which will offer you the option to link your British Airways Executive Club account and your Privilege Club account.
After you click on the “link my accounts now” button, you’ll be offered a page that shows your Privilege Club balance and another button urging you to link your accounts.
Clicking on this button will open up yet another page with an option to link your accounts…
…and clicking on this “link accounts” button will finally get the linking process going (I have no idea why so many steps are needed to get here!).
The first linking page will ask you to log into your British Airways account.
Once you’ve entered your details and clicked on “Continue”, you’ll be asked to enter a mobile number (make sure you enter a number of a phone that you have immediate access to):
After you’ve entered your number and clicked on “Continue”, you’ll be sent a verification code (to that number) which you will then have to enter in the box that now appears on your screen.
Upon entering the correct code and clicking on “Continue”, the next scene that you see will give you a long alphanumeric code which you’ll be told to save somewhere safe.
Once you confirm that you’ve saved your unique code, you’ll see a screen congratulating you on combining your Privilege Club account with your British Airways Executive Club account.
You’ll also receive simultaneous emails from British Airways and Qatar Airways confirming that your accounts have been linked.
At this point, clicking on “view my total balance” may result in one of two things: You may see your total Avios balance or you may see a screen asking you to reauthenticate your BAEC account.
If you need to reauthenticate, simply click on the link provided to open up another screen that will ask you to verify your identity via a new code that has just been sent to your mobile phone.
As soon as you enter the correct code and click on “Continue”, you’ll see your total Avios balance (a combination of your BA balance and your Qatar Airways balance) and a split showing what your individual balances are with each carrier.
Your British Airways Executive Club account and your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account are now linked.
How to combine Avios
Moving Avios between the British Airways Executive Club and the Qatar Airways Privilege Club is relatively straightforward.
First, head over to the Qatar Airways homepage and log in using the link in the top right corner of your screen.
Once logged in, click on the Privilege Club link at the top of your screen to open up the Privilege Club menu.
From the Privilege Club menu, click on “My dashboard” to open up your Privilege Club dashboard.
At this point, if you see your dashboard, click on “view my Avios balance”.
Or if you’re automatically taken to your Avios balance page, you’re already in the right place.
Here, you should be able to see a “Combine Avios” box under your account balances.
Clinking the link in this box will open up the gateway that will allow you to move Avios from the British Airways Executive Club to the Qatar Airways Privilege Club or to move Avios the other way (use the arrows in the center of the transfer box to change the direction of transfer).
At this point, you should enter the number of Avios that you’d like to move and click on “move my Avios”.
If you’re moving Avios from the BAEC to the Privilege Club, you’ll now be asked to log into your BAEC account.
And you’ll then be asked to verify your identity via a code that will be sent to your mobile phone.
Once the correct code has been entered and you’ve clicked on “Continue”, you will be presented with a screen confirming your transfer.
If you now click on “view my Avios balance” you’ll be taken to your Avios balance page where, because the transfer is instantaneous, you’ll see your updated balances.
That’s it. That’s all it takes to transfer Avios between the British Airways Executive Club and the Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
Avios are now more valuable
There’s a lot of good news here.
Firstly, Avios is a currency that a lot of us have found to be considerably easier to earn than the Qmiles that Qatar Airways used to issue so now that the Avios we can earn from credit card welcome offers, credit card spending, and flights credited to BA/Iberia/Aer Lingus, can be transferred over to the Privilege Club, our Avios balances are now noticeably more valuable.
Secondly, as Qatar Airways is not in the habit of adding ludicrous surcharges to award bookings (unlike BA!), we are now able to use easily earnable Avios to book truly premium awards without having to pay high surcharges, again, makes our Avios balances noticeably more valuable.
Someone with a healthy Avios balance outside of the Qatar Airways Privilege Club can now move Avios over to the Privilege Club and book awards like this:
- London – Sydney in Business Class on Qatar Airways would cost 90,000 Avios one-way (for reference, British Airways charges 125,000 – 150,000 Avios for the same journey).
- New York – Doha in Business Class on Qatar Airways would cost 70,000 Avios one-way
- Los Angeles – Doha in Business Class on Qatar Airways would cost 70,000 Avios one-way
- Atlanta – Melbourne in Business Class on Qatar Airways would cost 120,000 Avios one-way
- Paris – Bangkok in Business Class on Qatar Airways would cost 75,000 Avios one-way
Those are some truly fantastic redemptions and should make Avios collectors very happy indeed!
Note: Awards booked on Qatar Airways partners are considerably more expensive than awards booked on Qatar Airways (Link to the Qatar Airways partner award chart) so there aren’t many benefits to being able to use Avios to book partner awards via the Privilege Club.
The Qatar Airways Privilege Club has now adopted Avios as its currency and as of today, it’s possible to link a British Airways Executive Club account and a Qatar Airways Privilege account and to transfer Avios between the two. At this point in time, there doesn’t appear to be an option to link an Iberia Plus account or an Aer Club account to the Privilege Club but as Avios can already be moved from those programs to the BAEC, that shouldn’t be a major issue for most flyers.