Is it better to redeem Avios through British Airways Executive Club or Qatar Airways Privilege Club?

Mar 29, 2022

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There was great news earlier this month for anyone earning or redeeming Avios — Qatar Airways Privilege Club has now adopted Avios as their mileage currency (replacing Qmiles), and Avios can be transferred between BA’s Executive Club and Qatar’s Privilege Club (among other programmes) as many times as you like, in either direction at a rate of 1:1.

Related: How to transfer your Avios between British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus accounts

Though you can already redeem Avios via BA for Qatar Airways operated flights, and BA and Qatar share many of the same airline partners as they are both members of the oneworld alliance. Having two different programmes using the same transferable currency opens up all sorts of opportunities to maximise your travel by choosing the right programme to redeem your Avios with.

So which programme should you choose, and when? There’s plenty to learn about Privilege Club so let’s look at some of the most popular Avios flight redemptions to determine which programme you should choose.

Remember, with Avios transfers available at 1:1 rate in any direction you are not locked into one programme — you can use Executive Club one day, Privilege Club the next and then switch back and forth as often as you like.

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In This Post

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

Short-haul flights on British Airways

One of the best value uses of your Avios is via British Airways for their short-haul Reward Flight Saver redemptions to and from Europe and North Africa. Flights start from just 4,750 Avios and £17.50 in total fees, taxes and surcharges. This is one of the lowest redemption rates of any airline loyalty programme in the world and is a great offer I use regularly.

Here’s a comparison of how many Avios you will need to redeem for a one-way, peak date flight flying British Airways in Euro Traveller, redeemed through either Executive Club or Privilege Club.

Route Avios required via BA Executive Club Avios required via Qatar Privilege Club
London (LHR) to Amsterdam (AMS) 5,250 + £17.50 9,250 + £35.07
Edinburgh (EDI) to Barcelona (BCN) 12,500 + £35.00 21,750 + £46.38
London to Rome (FCO) 8,250 + £17.50 12,750 + £35.07
London to Athens (ATH) 10,750 + £17.50 15,250 + £35.07

In each of these examples, you should redeem your Avios through British Airways Executive Club rather than Qatar Airways Privilege Club as both the Avios and fees and taxes will be cheaper.

Long-haul club world flights on British Airways

If you have a Companion Voucher to redeem you should choose Executive Club as you cannot redeem a Companion Voucher via Privilege Club (even if you are choosing British Airways operated flights). Where you do not have a Companion Voucher to redeem let’s compare the Avios cost in BA’s Club World/Club Suite business class one way per person on popular routes:

Route Avios required via BA Executive Club Avios required via Qatar Privilege Club
London to Dubai (DXB) 60,000 + £462.06 60,000 + £462.06
London to New York (JFK) 50,000 + £543.86  50,000 + £543.86 
London to San Francisco (SFO) 75,000 + £543.86 75,000 + £543.86
Newcastle to Cape Town (CPT) 75,000 + £612.56 75,000 + £612.56
Glasgow to Singapore (GLA) 105,000 Avios + £609.15 105,000 + £609.15

For British Airways operated flights, the Avios and fees, taxes and surcharges are the same regardless of whether you redeem via BA or Qatar. It’s worth noting the peak and off-peak calendars appear to be slightly different between the two programmes, so if your dates are peak dates in one programme you should check the other programme. While you won’t save any fees, taxes or surcharges you may save some Avios.

Related: Suite refresh: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the refurbished 777, New York to London

Qatar Airways operated flights

Qatar Airways has what is widely regarded to be the world’s best business class product in their award-winning Qsuites. Even in economy, they are a world-class airline. Usually, airlines will charge fewer points and miles for their own flights than those operated by partner airlines, so how does Privilege Club compare to Executive Club for flights operated by Qatar Airways?

Here are the prices for a one-way flight, per person on any date.

Route Avios required via BA Executive Club Avios required via Qatar Privilege Club
Manchester to Doha (DOH) in business class 43,000 + £268.58 43,000 + £268.58
London (via Doha) to Bangkok (BKK) in economy 37,500 + £221.66 37,500 + £221.66
Edinburgh (via Doha) to Tokyo (NRT) in business class 103,000 + £335.95 80,000 + £335.95
Paris (CDG) (via Doha) to Bali (DPS) in economy 51,500 + £129.70 40,000 + £133.86
Dublin (DUB) (via Doha) to Brisbane (BNE) in business class 113,000 + £170 90,000 + £170

 

Where you have a connecting itinerary flying Qatar Airways the fees, taxes and surcharges should be roughly the same but you may need much less Avios redeeming through Privilege Club than Executive Club.

Related: Emirates vs Etihad vs Qatar: Which A380 economy class is the best in the Middle East?

Qatar Airways Qsuite. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Domestic flights on American Airlines

Redeeming Avios for short-haul flights on American Airlines has long been popular due to the low Avios and fees and taxes required. BA generally charge fewer Avios than American do in their Advantage programme, and for short, last minute hops within the U.S. this can be excellent value.

Now that you can use Avios to fly American via either Executive Club, or Privilege Club, here are the prices, per person, oneway in American Airlines economy

Route Avios required via BA Executive Club Avios required via Qatar Privilege Club
New York (NYC) to Boston (BOS) 7,500 + £4.30 12,500 Avios + £4.30
New York to Miami (MIA) 9,000 + £4.30 20,000 + £4.30
Seattle (SEA) to San Francisco (SFO) (on Alaska Airlines) 9,000 + £4.30 15,000 + £4.30
San Francisco to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) 11,000 + £4.30 20,000 + £4.30
Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston  13,000 + £4.30 35,000 + £4.30

Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy

Bottom line

If you are redeeming your Avios for short-haul British Airways flights you’ll get a better deal redeeming through BA’s Executive Club due to their great Reward Flight Saver offer. For long-haul BA flights in premium cabins, it’s generally the same Avios and fees, taxes and surcharges for both programmes though do check if one programme has dates as off-peak (rather than peak) to save some Avios.

For Qatar Airways operated flights, the fees, taxes and surcharges will generally be the same regardless of the programme you redeem through but you may find that connecting itineraries (especially those outside of London) require far fewer Avios through Privilege Club.

There’s still plenty more to learn about this great new Avios partnership option — stay tuned to TPG to learn more.

Featured image by Zach Griff / The Points Guy

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