Qatar Airways has launched a 30% transfer bonus, which runs from now till 10 November 2023 and is applicable to Citibank cards in Singapore.
While it’s not as generous as the 40% transfer bonus we had in June 2022, this presents some excellent opportunities to fly in Business Class between Singapore and Europe for the equivalent of just 53,846-57,692 Citi Miles, or from Singapore to the USA for just 73,076 Citi Miles.
You could also transfer Avios at a 1:1 ratio to British Airways Executive Club and take advantage of some short-haul sweet spots to Kuala Lumpur (an opportunity to try the excellent Qatar Premium Lounge at Changi) or Perth.
Qatar Privilege Club 30% transfer bonus
From 1-10 November 2023, Qatar Privilege Club members will earn an uncapped 30% bonus when converting loyalty points from eligible partners.
While there’s 20 banks participating worldwide, the only eligible partner in Singapore is Citibank. Standard Chartered also offers transfers to Qatar Privilege Club, but it’s not on the featured list this time round.
|🏦 Participating Banks
No registration is required, but your points conversion must be completed by 10 November 2023 to be eligible for the bonus. There will be some lead time involved, so don’t leave it till the last minute. I’d say you should give at least five working days to be safe.
Here’s how many Avios you can expect when transferring Citi Miles or ThankYou Points.
|10,000 Citi Miles
|25,000 TY Points
Do note that the bonus will not be reflected on the Citi portal, since it’s fulfilled by Qatar Airways. You’ll still see the regular rates reflected when you login to make the transfers.
Also, the 30% bonus component will not be credited immediately. Instead, you’ll need to wait 45 days after the campaign’s end date, i.e. by 25 December 2023. The delayed crediting means this promotion won’t be much good to those hoping to use the miles for a November or December getaway.
The terms and conditions for the transfer bonus can be found at the bottom of this page.
What can you redeem with Qatar Privilege Club?
I’ve made no secret of my distrust of Qatar Privilege Club. This is a programme that thinks nothing of unannounced devaluations (and to be fair, revaluations too), or quietly adding back junky award segment fees.
That said, I have to concede that the programme does have some sweet spots, and the absence of fuel surcharges when redeeming Qatar Airways flights via Qatar Privilege Club is also an attractive feature.
As a reminder, here’s how much it’d cost to fly from Singapore to the following destinations via Qatar Airways (Qatar Airways has no award chart; consult the QCalculator for quotes).
|✈️ One-way Business Class Awards
|Qatar Privilege Club
|Athens, Bucharest, Sofia, Thessaloniki
|Barcelona, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich
|Houston, New York
|*Assumes QPC Avios redeemed for Qatar Airways, KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Airlines. Not all destinations served by each carrier.
Award rates between Singapore and Europe are extremely competitive, with Qatar Privilege Club requiring just 70,000-75,000 Avios compared to KrisFlyer’s 103,500 miles (not to mention a wider network of destinations). With a 30% transfer bonus, you’d only need to use 53,846-57,692 Citi Miles to enjoy this redemption.
It’s a bit more marginal for the USA, but keep in mind again that Qatar Airways serves additional destinations that Singapore Airlines does not, such as Boston, Chicago, Miami and Washington DC. With a 30% transfer bonus, you’d only need to use 73,076 Citi Miles to enjoy this redemption.
Closer to home, Qatar Privilege Club also partners with Bangkok Airways, which allows you to redeem tickets on the Singapore to Koh Samui route for just 6,000 miles (or 4,615 Citi Miles under this promotion). Commercial tickets on this route are often expensive due to Bangkok Airway’s monopoly, so there’s potential for great value here.
But even if you have no interest in Qatar Privilege Club, you can spend these Avios via British Airways Executive Club instead. British Airways has some good value short-haul sweet spots as shown in the table below.
|From SIN to
Remember, the prices above are before the 30% bonus; factor that in and the deal is even sweeter.
Your Qatar Privilege Club and British Airways Executive Club Avios will be automatically pooled, and can be spent via either programme without the need to transfer.
Qatar Privilege Club caveats
While Qatar Privilege Club does not impose fuel surcharges on Qatar Airways flights, you will have to pay a non-refundable award segment fee as follows:
|Business & First
|Fee per segment
Since all flights will invariably involve a layover in Doha, a round-trip award redemption from Singapore to Europe would have US$280 of these junk fees tacked on, which can’t be refunded should you cancel the booking!
All this to say: there’s value in Qatar Privilege Club, but you should confirm that there’s award space available on the dates and routes you want (Qatar’s website normally doesn’t let you search with a zero balance, but there is a workaround).
What’s more, you should ensure that it’s regular award space, and not the more expensive Flexi awards, which cost 2x the price. Flexi awards are labelled with “Q2” tags; for example, DOH-SIN prices out at 50,000 Avios normally, but 100,000 Avios for a Flexi award.
Finally, you should book awards as soon as Avios come into your account. Qatar Airways is one place I don’t feel confident holding miles!
When do Qatar Avios expire?
Qatar Privilege Club Avios do not expire, so long as you earn or redeem at least 1 Avios every 36 months. Should you fail to do this, you can revalidate your Avios within one year of the end of the 36-month period by paying a fee.
Qatar Privilege Club Platinum members enjoy non-expiring Avios.
Qatar Airways reviews
In case you’re wondering what the Business Class experience on Qatar Airways is like, here’s a collection of reviews of their cabin products and lounges:
- Review: Qatar Airways B777-300ER Qsuites Business Class
- Review: Qatar Airways B787-9 Business Class
- Review: Qatar Airways A350-900 Non-Qsuites Business Class
- Review: Qatar Al Mourjan Garden Lounge
- Review: Qatar Premium Lounge London Heathrow
- Review: Qatar Premium Arrival Lounge Doha
- Review: Qatar Premium Lounge Singapore
- Qatar Premium Lounge Bangkok
From now till 10 November 2023, Qatar Airways is offering a 30% transfer bonus for Citibank Singapore and other selected partners. This makes Qatar Privilege Club’s existing sweet spots even sweeter, though the catch is that the bonus component will only credit by Christmas.
Because of Qatar Airway’s penchant for unannounced devaluations, I would certainly not be comfortable transferring miles speculatively. Only do so if you have a specific redemption in mind that you can book immediately after converting points.
Remember to give yourself sufficient lead time, since transfers must be completed by 10 November 2023 to qualify.