Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
Update 22 March 2022: The transition to Avios is now complete. It’s now possible to link a British Airways Executive Club account and Qatar Airways Privilege account and it’s possible to move Avios between these accounts (click for more details).
In an announcement that’s nothing short of stunning, Qatar Airways has confirmed that it will be adopting Avios as the currency for its Privilege Club loyalty program from late next month. Qmiles are going to be history and going forward, Privilege Club program members will earn the same currency as members of the British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and Aer Club.
Qatar Airways & Avios
Here are a few key things to note:
- At some point in “late March”, all Qmiles held in the accounts of Privilege Club members will be converted to Avios in a ratio of 1:1.
- Qatar Airways says that no other part of the Privilege Club program will be changing and that members “will be able to continue enjoying the redemption opportunities they currently have”. For now, the Qatar Airways award charts will remain as they are.
- We do not know if Avios held in the Qatar Airways Privilege Club will be combinable with Avios held in accounts of other loyalty programs that use Avios as their currency (i.e. we don’t know if we will be able to use “combine my Avios” to pool Avios from BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Qatar Airways).
- A further announcement regarding this change to the Privilege Club is expected in two weeks’ time.
With the limited information we’ve been given so far, it’s hard to say if this is good news or bad but we can definitely say that it’s interesting news.
We can also say that if the Privilege Club introduces a mechanism by which Avios can be moved to/from other loyalty programs that use Avios as their currency, that would open up a number of nice redemption opportunities for those of us with Avios balances held within BAEC, Iberia Plus, and Aer Club.
- 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
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 won’t be many benefits to being able to use Avios to book partner awards via the Privilege Club.
There are two key things to remember here:
Firstly, Avios is a currency that a lot of us find considerably easier to earn than Privilege Club points so if it turns out that the Avios we currently 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, that will make our Avios noticeably more valuable.
Secondly, Qatar Airways is not in the habit of adding ludicrous surcharges to award bookings so if we are suddenly able to use easily earnable Avios to book truly premium awards without having to pay high surcharges, that will, again, make our Avios balances noticeably more valuable.
On the flip side…
If it turns out that Avios earned within the Privilege Club are not going to be combinable with Avios held within the other Avios-earning loyalty programs, this news will be considerably less interesting – Qatar Airways will simply have a new name for its currency and nothing much more will change.
Update: It’s now possible to link a British Airways Executive Club account and Qatar Airways Privilege account and it’s possible to move Avios between these accounts (click for more details).
Qatar Airways has announced that it will be transitioning away from Qmiles and using Avios as its loyalty currency from late March onwards. We’re told that Qmiles will be converted to Avios in a ratio of 1:1 and that all other aspects of the Privilege Club will remain as they are.
Now we just have to wait for the next announcement to see just how important (or not) the Qatar Airways move to Avios is for those of us immersed in the miles & points world.