Qatar Airways: What Travelers Need to Know

AmEx Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You points can transfer to Qatar Airways' Privilege Club loyalty program.
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Written by Anya Kartashova

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If you want to fly internationally in style, Qatar Airways is a good choice. In 2023, it was awarded best business class in the world and second-best airline overall by Skytrax’s World Airline Awards, meaning you’re likely to have a stellar experience no matter which cabin you’re in.

Here's a look at Qatar Airways, its Privilege Club elite status program and the best ways to earn and redeem Avios for award flights on Qatar.

About Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways, the national airline of Qatar, is based out of Hamad International airport in Doha. The Middle East carrier is a Oneworld alliance member and flies to more than 170 destinations in more than 80 countries, including a dozen destinations in the U.S.:

  • Atlanta.

  • Boston.

  • Chicago-O’Hare.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • Houston-Intercontinental.

  • Los Angeles.

  • Miami.

  • New York-John F. Kennedy.

  • Philadelphia.

  • San Francisco.

  • Seattle.

  • Washington-Dulles.

Qatar Airways fare classes

Qatar Airways offers three cabins of service: economy, business and first. Additionally, each class is divided into “fare families” to give you flexibility when it comes to your travel needs. The more expensive the fare, the more amenities that will be included in the purchase price.

You can make a booking under the following Qatar fare families:

Economy class

  • Lite.

  • Classic.

  • Convenience.

  • Comfort.

This is what’s included in each economy fare type.

Lite

Classic

Convenience

Comfort

Booking class

W.

O, T, Q, N.

S, V, L, M, K.

H, B, Y.

Baggage weight allowance

44 pounds (20 kilograms).

55 pounds (25 kilograms).

66 pounds (30 kilograms).

77 pounds (35 kilograms).

Baggage piece allowance*

One piece, 50 pounds (23 kilograms).

Two pieces, 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each.

Two pieces, 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each.

Two pieces, 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each.

Carry-on bags

One piece, 15 pounds (7 kilograms).

One piece, 15 pounds (7 kilograms).

One piece, 15 pounds (7 kilograms).

One piece, 15 pounds (7 kilograms).

Seat selection

Free at check-in.

Free at check-in.

Free at any time.

Free at any time.

Preferred seat selection

Available for purchase.

Available for purchase.

Available for purchase.

Free.

Avios earning rate

25%.

50%.

75%.

100%.

Refunds

Not available.

Available for a fee.

Available for a fee.

Yes.

Changes

Available for a fee.

Free for one change.

Free for up to two changes.

Yes.

Business class

  • Lite.

  • Classic.

  • Comfort.

  • Elite.

Here’s what’s included in each business fare type.

Lite

Classic

Comfort

Elite

Booking class

P.

R.

I, D.

C, J.

Baggage weight allowance

88 pounds (40 kilograms.

88 pounds (40 kilograms.

88 pounds (40 kilograms.

88 pounds (40 kilograms.

Baggage piece allowance*

Two pieces, 70 pounds (32 kilograms) each.

Two pieces, 70 pounds (32 kilograms) each.

Two pieces, 70 pounds (32 kilograms) each.

Two pieces, 70 pounds (32 kilograms) each.

Carry-on bags

Two pieces, 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total.

Two pieces, 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total.

Two pieces, 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total.

Two pieces, 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total.

Seat selection

Free at check-in.

Free at check-in.

Free at any time.

Free at any time.

Avios earning rate

75%.

125%.

175%.

200%.

Lounge access

Available for a fee.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Refunds

Available for a fee.

Available for a fee.

Available for a fee.

Yes.

Changes

Available for a fee.

Free for one change.

Free for up to two changes.

Yes.

First class

  • Elite.

The following are included in a first class elite fare ticket.

Elite

Booking class

A, F.

Baggage weight allowance

110 pounds (50 kilograms).

Baggage piece allowance*

Two pieces, 70 pounds (32 kilograms) each.

Carry-on bags

Two pieces, 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total.

Seat selection

Free at any time.

Avios earning rate

300%.

Lounge access

Yes.

Refunds

Yes.

Changes

Yes.

Premium customer service

Yes.

*Baggage piece allowance is applicable on flights to and from the Americas and flights from Africa.

Privilege Club (Elite status)

The Privilege Club, Qatar’s loyalty program, has four membership tiers: Burgundy, Silver, Gold and Platinum. You automatically become a Burgundy member once you join the program.

After you sign up and start crediting paid flights to the program, you’ll earn Avios, which you can redeem for Qatar Airways flights as well as flights operated by partners. For example, you can transfer these Avios to British Airways and redeem them through the Executive Club program.

How to earn Privilege Club status

To move up the elite status ladder, you need to earn Qpoints, which you can earn by flying Qatar Airways or any Oneworld member airline.

🤓Nerdy Tip

What's the difference between Qpoints and Avios? QPoints are how you earn elite status, and don't post until you've completed an eligible flight. Meanwhile, Avios can be earned by spending on credit cards, flying, transferring between partners or booking flights (more on this below).

You have a 12-month period to qualify for status — it doesn’t have to be a calendar year. Once you qualify for status, you have another year or two to requalify and keep your status.

Here’s how many Qpoints you need to reach or retain Privilege Club elite status.

Elite status level

Qpoints needed to reach status (within a 12-month period)

Qpoints needed to retain status tier (earned in the 12 months prior to renewal date)

Qpoints needed to retain status tier (earned in the 24 months prior to renewal date)

Burgundy

Entry level.

N/A.

N/A.

Silver

150.

135.

270.

Gold

300.

270.

540.

Platinum

600.

540.

1,080.

The requirements to requalify for status are a bit easier than they are to reach an elite tier initially.

However, you need to earn at least 20% of the required Qpoints by flying on Qatar Airways. Furthermore, at least four flight segments within the last 12 months or at least eight flight segments within the last 24 months must be flown on flights marketed or operated by Qatar. This means you can’t earn Privilege Club status by flying solely with other Oneworld members.

Privilege Club membership tiers

As a Privilege Club program member, you can enjoy the following perks with each status tier.

  • 100% mileage per family member on all flights eligible for earning Avios.

  • 100% mileage per family member on non-air partner transactions.

  • Eligible for Flexi awards.

  • Save 10% on seat selection fees.

  • Pay with Avios at Qatar Duty Free and Oryx Galleria stores.

  • Oneworld Ruby status.

  • 25% tier bonus on eligible Qatar Airways flights.

  • 100% mileage per family member on all flights eligible for earning Avios.

  • Priority stand-by, check-in and boarding.

  • Eligible for Flexi awards.

  • Pay with Avios at Qatar Duty Free and Oryx Galleria stores.

  • Save 20% on seat selection fees.

  • Extra baggage allowance of 33 pounds (15 kilograms) or one additional bag (depending on route).

  • Complimentary lounge access.

  • Oneworld Sapphire status.

  • 75% tier bonus on eligible Qatar Airways flights.

  • 100% mileage per family member on all eligible flights.

  • Priority stand-by, check-in and boarding.

  • Complimentary access to preferred seats.

  • Eligible for Flexi awards.

  • Pay with Avios at Qatar Duty Free and Oryx Galleria stores.

  • Extra baggage allowance of 44 pounds (20 kilograms) or one additional bag (depending on route). 

  • Complimentary lounge access.

  • 40 Qcredits to redeem for seat upgrades, excess baggage and more.

  • Al Maha “meet and assist” service.

  • Discount on online redemptions.

  • Oneworld Emerald status.

  • 100% tier bonus on eligible Qatar Airways flights.

  • 100% mileage per family member on all eligible flights.

  • Priority stand-by, check-in and boarding.

  • Complimentary access to preferred seats.

  • Eligible for Flexi awards.

  • Pay with Avios at Qatar Duty Free and Oryx Galleria stores.

  • Extra baggage allowance of 55 pounds (25 kilograms) or two additional bags (depending on route). 

  • Complimentary lounge access.

  • 60 Qcredits to redeem for upgrades, excess baggage and more.

  • Al Maha “meet and assist” service.

  • Discount on online redemptions.

  • Avios don’t expire.

How to earn Qatar Airways Avios

Privilege Club members earn Avios, which is the same currency shared by Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus and Vueling Club. You can transfer your Avios between all these programs at no cost.

Earn by flying

You can earn Qatar Airways Avios by flying Qatar and its Oneworld partners, such as American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and British Airways, to name a few.

In addition to Oneworld member airlines, you also can earn Avios by flying Qatar’s nonalliance partners, including:

  • Bangkok Airways.

  • JetBlue Airways.

  • LATAM Airlines.

  • Middle East Airlines.

  • Oman Air.

  • RwandAir.

  • S7 Airlines.

  • Virgin Australia.

The mileage earning rates vary depending on the class of service booked, the airline flown and your elite level in the Privilege Club program. To determine how many Avios you’ll earn on a specific flight, use Qatar’s mileage calculator.

Earn by transferring points

There aren’t any co-branded Qatar Airways credit cards available to U.S.-based flyers, but Qatar Privilege Club is a transfer partner of two bank programs: American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. You can transfer both currencies at a ratio of 1:1. Terms apply.

Citibank Strata Premier Card
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
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on Citibank's application

Rates & Fees
American Express® Gold Card
American Express® Gold Card
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on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$95.

$250.

$695.

Earn rate

• 10 ThankYou® points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through the Citi Travel site.

• 3 points per $1 on air travel and other hotel purchases.

• 3 points per $1 on supermarkets.

• 3 points per $1 on gas stations and EV charging stations.

• 3 points per $1 on restaurants.

• 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

• 4 points per $1 at restaurants plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.

• 4 points per $1 at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year).

• 3 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 spent per year.

• 5 points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

Welcome offer

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com.

Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

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If you collect Marriott Bonvoy points, you can transfer them to Privilege Club at a ratio of 3:1, with a bonus of 5,000 Avios for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. This means that 60,000 Bonvoy points convert to 25,000 Qatar Airways Avios when transferred in one go.

It’s also possible to convert World of Hyatt points to Qatar Airways Avios. The points transfer at a rate of 2.5:1, with a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 50,000 World of Hyatt points converted, meaning you’ll end up with 25,000 Avios after transferring 50,000 Hyatt points.

Transfer Avios from Avios-earning partners

It’s possible to transfer Avios among all the loyalty programs that use Avios as their currency: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Vueling Club and Qatar Privilege Club. The first step is to link your Privilege Club account to your British Airways Executive Club account.

Avios transfer at a ratio of 1:1 from either program and don’t have to be transferred in increments of 1,000. You could transfer as few as 1 Avios at a time if you wanted to.

At the moment, Qatar Avios can only be transferred to or from British Airways. If you need to move Iberia Plus Avios to Qatar, for example, you’d need to first transfer them to British Airways, then to Qatar.

Chase British Airways Credit Card
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
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on Chase's website

Iberia Visa Signature® card
Iberia Visa Signature® Card
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on Chase's website

Aer Lingus Visa Signature® card
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
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on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95.

$95.

$95.

Welcome offer

Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

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How to redeem Qatar Airways Avios for maximum value

To redeem Qatar Airways Avios, you must be logged in to your Privilege Club account. The mileage rates depend on the route you fly and the class of service.

When pricing out award flights, make sure to select a standard redemption rate and not a Flexi rate, which requires double the Avios for the same itinerary.

U.S. to Qatar in business class

Business class award flights between Doha and its U.S. destinations start at 70,000 Avios with minimal taxes. Considering these flights last between 12 and nearly 16 hours, it’s a great redemption rate. You might even get lucky and fly one of the aircraft equipped with Qsuites, Qatar’s fancy business class pod.

Economy-class redemption rates on these routes start at 35,000 miles.

U.S. to the Maldives in business class

If you’re dreaming of flying all the way to the Maldives, an archipelago nation in South Asia, and in business class to boot, then Qatar has a great option for you. A one-way flight from the U.S. to the Maldives in the premium cabin will set you back 85,000 Avios. Double that for a round-trip award.

U.S. to India in business class

Another great redemption option is for flights between the U.S. and India.

A one-way flight from the U.S. to Delhi in Qatar’s business class requires 80,000 Avios, which is an excellent redemption rate if you can find it.

Qatar Airways recapped

Qatar Airways and its Privilege Club loyalty program offers a lot of value to points and miles enthusiasts and die-hard loyalists alike. The redemption rates for premium service are quite reasonable, and, because of its membership in the Oneworld alliance and a few transfer partners, Avios aren’t difficult to obtain.

Qatar flies around the world, meaning you can use Avios to fly to many regions in style.

(Top photo courtesy of Qatar Airways)

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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