How To Maximize Your British Airways Tier Points On Qatar Airways

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There’s an outside chance that I may reach the dizzy heights of British Airways Gold status next year if some of the trips I’m planning pan out as expected so I’ve been paying closer attention that normal to the whole concept of Tier Points.

To someone like me who’s been used to earning American Airlines status year after year Tier Points can be a little bit of an alien concept and, as far as I can see, the way they’re earned is less than clear on the British Airways website.

Sure, there’s an Avios Calculator page which will let you know how many tier points you’ll earn on a given point-to-point itinerary but, apart from the fact that it’s an unnecessarily laborious process using this calculator to work out the Tier Points you’ll earn on a multi-city itinerary, I can’t see anywhere that mentions what formula this calculator actually uses.

Still, for the time being that doesn’t matter as I think I’ve worked out the one parameter that interests me most – how far do you have to fly in Business Class to earn 140 Tier Points?

Why Is 140 Tier Points Important?

There are two reasons why this question is important to me:

  1. The jump from 140 Tier Points to the next level down is a steep one (you’ll often get just 40 Tier Points if you fly just short of the distance required for 140) so, if the distance in question isn’t great, it would seem silly not to make the effort to fly a little bit further to earn considerably more Tier Points.
  2. I fly on Qatar Airways quite a bit and flying in that airline’s Business Class cabin is not only a very pleasant experience but it’s also a very good way to earn a lot of tier points… long as you pick the right routes. 140 Tier Points are the key to the “right routes”.

a seat in a planeQatar Airways 787 Business Class

How Many Miles Do You Have To Fly To Earn 2,000 Tier Points

Based on a few tests on the Avios Calculator it would appear that most Business Class flights of around 2,000 miles or more in distance will earn 140 Tier Points.

This isn’t entirely accurate as London – Larnaca (2,040 miles) earns 80 Tier Points while London – Cairo (2,197 miles) earns 140 Tier Points for Business Class bookings but this may have something to do with a Club Europe/Club World difference (if anyone knows please enlighten me!)


For the purposes of this exercise the 2,000 miles cut off works just fine.

What’s Special About Qatar Airways

There are three reasons what Qatar Airways Business Class flights are attractive to those looking to earn British Airways status:

  1. The airline is great at offering some fantastic Business Class deals out of Europe (take a look at the TFM Airfare Deals page to see what I mean)
  2. All Qatar Airways flights route through Doha and most Europe to Doha flights earn 140 Tier Points in Business Class. So, generally speaking, the very minimum number of Tier Points you’ll earn on a roundtrip Qatar Airways Business Class flight is 280.
  3. Qatar Airways flys all across Asia from its Doha base and a lot of those routes earn 140 Tier Points too – flying from Europe to Asia on a cheap Qatar Airways Business Class fare can therefore net you up to 560 Tier Points (just 40 short of Silver status).
  4. No other oneworld airline offers the combination of large tier point hauls and cheap Business Class fares on a regular basis.

So How Do You Make Sure You Maximise Tier Points On Qatar Airways?

Simple…make sure you book segments that are over 2,000 miles in distance. This way your flight to Doha will earn you 140 Tier Points and your flight from Doha to Asia will earn you another 140 – that’s 280 Tier Points one-way or 560 Tier Points roundtrip.

Here’s what that looks like in practice.

Maximise BA Tier Points On Qatar Airways

The blue circle represents a 2,000 mile radius around Doha so:

  • Flying to Doha in Business Class from anywhere outside of that circle will earn you 140 Tier Points
  • Flying from Doha to anywhere outside that circle will earn you 140 Tier Points too.

If you’re originating in Europe and looking to maximise your Tier Point haul you should avoid booking Qatar Airways flights originating in the south eastern section of Europe.

Sofia, Bulgaria couldn’t be closer to the edge of the 2,000 mile radius…..

Maximise BA Tier Points On Qatar Airways

…and it just scrapes in a the 140 point level:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Athens, on the other hand, falls just inside the 2,000 mile radius….

Maximise BA Tier Points On Qatar Airways

…and, despite being only 160 miles closer to Doha than Sofia, this route only earns 40 Tier Points (I have no idea why it’s not 80)

a screenshot of a computer

The good news is that the vast majority of European airports out of which Qatar Airways flys (and that often offer good Business Class fares) are outside the 2,000 mile radius.

For flights out of Doha you have to be a bit more careful.

We often see great fares to cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Goa but, as this map shows, they all fall inside the 2,000 mile radius from Doha…..

a map of the world

….and the Doha – Mumbai/Goa/New Delhi segments will each only earn 40 Tier Points.

Essentially, if it’s Tier Points you’re after, you’d be leaving 100 of them on the table (in each direction) if you chose to book a Qatar Airways Business Class flight to those destinations.

Fortunately there are a lot of very popular destinations that this leaves you with and which will all earn you the full 140 points. Destinations like….

  • Sri Lanka
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea

One last word of advice – if you’re thinking of booking a Qatar Airways Business Class deal make sure you read the TFM guide Qatar Airways Business Class cabins and seats – some are a lot better than others so you should know what you’re paying for.

Bottom Line

I’m not suggesting you should book your trips based purely on how many Tier Points you’re going to earn – visiting somewhere you really want to see should always be the priority – but what I am suggesting is that you should be aware of how your choice of routes can and will affect the tier points you earn.

If you’re looking to earn BA status and you’re just looking to experience a great Business Class cabin then booking with Qatar Airways is a good way to go…just make sure you book the right routes to maximise your Tier Point earnings.


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