In a development that’s come out of nowhere, Qatar Privilege Club will be changing its rewards currency from Qmiles to Avios.
Avios, for the uninitiated, is the rewards currency of British Airways Executive Club, AerClub, Iberis Plus and Vueling Club.
The transition from Qmiles to Avios marks a ground-breaking new era for Privilege Club, enabling our loyal members to participate in the most compelling loyalty network and the largest portfolio of partners in the industry.
As the World’s Best Airline, Qatar Airways continues to redefine loyalty through the adoption of exciting digital innovations to create unique world-class experiences for our members.
We look forward to revealing more details of this exciting change over the coming weeks, as we explore even more ways to reward our valued members both on and off the ground
-Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker
Incidentally, Qatar Airways is the largest shareholder in International Airlines Group, which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club to adopt Avios
By the end of March (the actual date has yet to be announced), all Qmiles in a member’s account will be converted to Avios on a 1:1 basis. In other words, if you had 30,000 Qmiles now, you’ll have 30,000 Avios after.
Qatar has assured members that the number of Avios required to book an award ticket or use Cash + Avios for Qatar Airways flights will not change. There will also be no change in the expiration date with the transition to Avios; the new Avios will reflect the same expiry date as previously held Qmiles.
Qpoints, which are accrued to earn elite status with Qatar Privilege Club, will not be affected. Neither will Qcredits, a reward benefit for Gold and Platinum members to redeem perks like upgrades and extra baggage.
What are the implications?
There’s an FAQ about the move to Avios, but it doesn’t cover a lot. Will there be a mechanism to move Avios from Qatar Privilege Club to British Airways Executive Club and vice versa? If so, that would be a great way for British Airways Executive Club members to redeem award flights on Qatar Airways, since Qatar Privilege Club does not impose fuel surcharges for awards redeemed through its own programme.
Qatar Privilege Club also has other partnerships that British Airways does not, such as with Accor Live Limitless and Grab, so two-way transfers would also allow British Airways Executive Club members to take advantage of these opportunities.
But there’s also benefits in the other direction, since Qatar Privilege Club members will be able to redeem Avios for upgrades on British Airways and Iberia, ahead of oneworld launching alliance-wide upgrades later in 2022.
Then there’s questions around earning status. Would it make more sense to credit flights to Qatar Privilege Club for Qpoints, then transfer the Avios to Executive Club?
So many questions at the moment, and not a whole lot of answers.
Get up to 7,500 bonus Qmiles with Qatar Privilege Club
|Join Qatar Privilege Club|
From now till 31 March 2022, new Qatar Airways Privilege Club members who join with the promo code FLYQR3 will receive 2,500 Qmiles instantly.
They can earn a further 5,000 Qmiles by taking a paid Qatar Airways flight by 30 September 2022.
Even if you have no intention of taking that flight, it’s a free 2,500 Qmiles, which will become 2,500 Avios (assuming Qatar and British Airways come up with a system that lets you move points across both programmes, which seems likely).
Qatar Privilege Club will be dropping Qmiles in favour of Avios by the end of March, with all Qmiles converted into Avios on a 1:1 basis.
This certainly has the potential to open up a lot of new redemption opportunities for both Qatar Privilege Club and British Airways Executive Club members, though we’ll need to wait for the full details to know who are the winners and losers in this scenario.
(HT: Head for Points)