Qatar Airways: What Travelers Need to Know
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Qatar Airways is a global airline that flies to 160 destinations, with its main hub at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. The airline is a member of the Oneworld alliance. Its frequent flyer program is called Privilege Club, and when you fly on Qatar Airways or partners, you earn QMiles, which can be redeemed for award flights, upgrades and more.
Here’s what a points collector needs to know before booking their first Qatar Airways flight.
About Qatar Airways
Here’s a quick overview of a few key features of Qatar Airways and Privilege Club.
Fare types. While Qatar’s award-winning business class cabins, known as the Qsuites, are the most well-known, the airline also offers various economy options (economy saver, economy value or economy flex) and first class cabins on flights.
Main U.S. routes. Qatar flies regularly to U.S. airports including in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Points currency and loyalty program. Qmiles are the reward miles earned when you or your nominated family members travel with Qatar Airways, Oneworld airlines or over 100 global partners. Each flight with Qatar Airways or any Oneworld member airline also earns Qpoints, which count toward elite status in the airline’s Privilege Club. Qmiles can be redeemed for future award flights, while Qpoints count toward elite status on Qatar Airways.
How to earn Qatar Airways Qmiles
There are many ways to earn Qmiles, including by flying, spending money with Qatar's business partners (like car rental companies) and transferring points from other rewards programs. Qatar’s Privilege Club allows members to nominate family members to pool miles with so that awards can be earned faster.
Earn Qmiles by flying
Privilege Club members will earn miles for flights on Qatar Airways, Oneworld member airlines, GOL, Middle East Airlines, LATAM Airlines and Bangkok Airways. The number of miles earned for flights is based on the fare class, distance flown and elite status level of the member.
Be sure to check out rolling flight booking bonus offers to take advantage of additional opportunities to boost Qmiles earnings.
Earn by spending on transfer partners’ credit cards
Qatar Airways doesn’t have a co-branded credit card with any U.S. financial partners, but that doesn’t stop you from earning Qmiles from the following transfer partners:
Transfer Citi ThankYou points in 1,000 point increments to the Qatar Privilege Club at a rate of 1:1.
The following credit cards earn ThankYou points that can be transferred to Qatar:
» Learn more: The best Citi ThankYou partners — and ones to avoid
The transfer ratio of Marriott Bonvoy points to Qmiles is 3:1, but you’ll receive a 5,000 point transfer bonus when transferring 60,000 Bonvoy points. That means 60,000 Bonvoy points will get 25,000 Qmiles.
Here’s a list of Marriott credit cards that could be used to earn points, which you could then transfer to Qatar Privilege Club:
World of Hyatt
The transfer ratio of World of Hyatt Points to Qmiles is 2.5:1, which means you can convert 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,000 Qmiles. And if you convert 50,000 points or more, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus Qmiles.
World of Hyatt Points can be earned on the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Other ways to earn Qmiles:
Qatar Airways travel packages. Earn 1 Qmile for every $1.37 spent.
Buy Qmiles. Qatar Privilege Club Members can buy up to 250,000 Qmiles per year in blocks of 1,000 Qmiles.
Hotel partners. Members earn points for stays through more than 30 partner hotels, including Kempinski, Hilton, Booking.com and Shangri-La hotels and resorts.
How to redeem Qatar Airways Qmiles for maximum value
Qatar Airways doesn’t publish an award chart for using Qmiles on Qatar Airways flights; instead, you have to enter the desired cabin, along with the route you wish to fly into the Qcalculator to see what your award redemption options and prices are. This can be inconvenient when you’re trying to plan trips and assess options.
But the partner airline award chart is very detailed. This same chart applies to all eligible partner flights. Prices are based on class and distance.
On Qatar flights
Redeem Qmiles for a Qatar Airways flight. Here are a few more helpful things to know:
You can book during busy periods (popular bookings) in exchange for doubling Qmiles. Keep in mind that this devalues Qmiles by 50%.
You can spend Qmiles + cash on bookings. This is helpful when you don’t have enough Qmiles in your account for the ideal flight.
You can also pamper yourself by redeeming Qmiles for an upgrade to business or first class on the airline, rather than paying for the full ticket with them.
Redeem your Qmiles for excess baggage on Qatar Airways flights for yourself or your companions. These are called Excess Baggage Awards, and they can come in handy if you’ve collected a lot of souvenirs along the way.
On partner flights
You’re better off redeeming Qmiles for partner airline awards. The Oneworld alliance currently has 14 full airline members:
Royal Air Maroc.
You can also redeem miles for flights with Qatar’s non-Oneworld partner airlines, including Bangkok Airways, LATAM Airlines, GOL and Middle East Airlines.
If possible, avoid earning Qmiles in the first place by crediting your miles earnings on paid Qatar flights to partner airlines like American Airlines and British Airways.
Other ways to redeem Qmiles
Gift Qmiles to friends and family. This comes with a fee.
Redeem for hotel stays. Qmiles can be transferred to Accor for redemption.
Redeem for shopping. Shop online and pick up or purchase in-store at Hamad International Airport.
Qatar Airways elite status program: Privilege Club
To earn elite status with Qatar Airways, you need to collect a minimum number of tier qualifying points — Qpoints — on paid flights. Qpoints are earned for any flights with Qatar Airways or with any Oneworld member airline. The number of Qpoints earned depends on the airline, travel sector and booking class.
How to earn status
Elite status levels are determined by the number of Qpoints a member earns within any 12-month period. The more Qpoints you earn, the higher the membership tier in Privilege Club.
Elite status level
Qpoints required within any 12 month period
Qpoints required to renew (earned 12 months prior to renewal date)
Qpoints required to renew (earned 24 months prior to renewal date)
In addition to the Qpoint requirements outlined above, members are expected to have earned at least 20% of their Qpoints on Qatar Airways marketed or operated flights. Alternatively, members can have flown four segments (within 12 months before retention) or eight segments (within 24 months before retention) on these same flights to qualify for status upgrades.
Privileges Club member levels
New members automatically join at the Burgundy level. Here’s how the benefits shake out at the different membership levels:
Qatar Airways for points collectors
Qatar Airways has truly made a name for itself with its luxurious QSuites business class cabin. You can fly on the airline from the U.S. to a multitude of destinations around the world in economy, business or first class. Frequent flyers would be wise to join the Qatar points earning program, Privilege Club, where you can earn Qmiles to redeem for future flights (including flights on partner airlines from Oneworld and beyond), as well as Qpoints to level-up elite status.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card