HomeAirline LoyaltyQatar Airways Privilege ClubNew: Spend Avios on experiences with Qatar Airways (shows, concerts, sporting events,...

New: Spend Avios on experiences with Qatar Airways (shows, concerts, sporting events, etc…)

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Marriott Bonvoy and a few other programs have been giving allowing members to spend their points/miles on experiences (tickets to concerts, sporting events, etc…) for some time, and now Qatar Airways has joined in with the unveiling of its ‘Privilege Club Collection’.

Qatar Airways describes this as ‘a new platform for members to access exclusive experiences’ and promises that the Privilege Club Collection will allow member to ‘enjoy access to some of the biggest events in global sports, entertainment, lifestyle and culture using their Avios’.

As is the case with ‘Marriott Bonvoy Moments’, for example, the Privilege Club Collection allows you bid against other members for access to whatever event you’re interested in attending and in some cases, members can simply buy access to the event for a set number of Avios.

At the time of writing, there are a total of just 24 experiences showing on the Privilege Club Collection site spread across 7 categories:

  • The O2 Arena in London
  • Barclays Center in New York
  • Qatar Executive
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • United Rugby Championship
  • Paris Saint-Germain
  • FC Internazionale Milano

Unsurprisingly, the list that the Collection is opening up with is heavy with venues/teams that already have a close relationship with Qatar Airways, but we should expect the number of events that are offered to expand as the Collection matures.

Still, VIP tickets to see John Mayer the O2 Arena (with a 3-course meal included), suitebox tickets to the Nets, and pitchside seats to games at PSG and Inter are already among the auctions that are live, and they look like the kinds of events that will be attractive to quite a few people.

At the time of writing, all the items/events on the Privilege Club Collection site are being offered via auction (there don’t yet appear to be any items that you can buy outright) and none of the auctions have closed, so it’s not possible to say how many Avios will be needed to walk away with a win (clearly, the less desirable lots will go for fewer Avios than the more desirable ones).

We can see, however, that bidding for some auctions starts as low as 5,000 Avios (e.g. 2 suitebox tickets to watch the Nets and 2 general admission tickets to a PSG game), and that bidding can increase the cost of tickets quite quickly (2 VIP tickets to Inter v Juventus is already up to 71,000 Avios and the auction only started very recently).

Quick thoughts

Personally, I’m quite interested to see what the Qatar Executive experiences will be and how much they’ll end up costing – an auction for a ‘curated afternoon tea on-board a private jet’ is the only thing showing in that category right now and the bidding hasn’t yet gone live – but I have a worrying feeling that Joanna will want to spend our Avios on tickets to one of the shows at the Barclays Center or at the O2 and I’m guessing that I’ll be outvoted once mini-Joanna finds out about this 🙂

As far as I know, this is the only program that allows members to use Avios to purchase access to the kinds of experiences that the Privilege Club Collection is offering (BA doesn’t have such a program and if Iberia Plus does, it’s a well-kept secret), and that makes the Privilege Club Collection interesting.

Another thing that makes it interesting is the fact that out of all the loyalty currencies that can be used to purchase experiences, Avios is almost certainly the easiest to earn.

Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Qatar Airways and (from March) Finnair, all issue Avios, and Avios can be earned (directly or indirectly) from spending made on credit cards issued by Amex, Chase, Citi, and Capital One, so anyone who wants to bid on these auctions has a wide range of sources from which to build up a sizeable Avios balance.

That’s very good news and it means that what the Privilege Club Collection is offering should be accessible to a lot of people.

Bottom line

The Qatar Airways Privilege Club has launched the Privilege Club Collection and by doing so, has joined the growing list of loyalty programs that give members the chance to spend their currency on curated experiences rather than on what the currency was originally designed to buy.

Right now, the number of events showing on the Privilege Club Collection site is limited but given time I expect the number events on offer to grow significantly and for this to turn into one of the bigger points/miles sites that offers members access to concerts, sporting events, and shows.

What do you think? Would you spend your Avios balance on tickets to a concert or sporting event?

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