Qatar launches Avios transfers, British Airways lowers the price of Qsuite awards

Mar 22, 2022

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Qatar Airways has officially implemented Avios as its new frequent flyer point program, replacing Qmiles.

Avios is the frequent flyer currency used by British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, Aer Lingus Aer Club and Vueling Club. As of this morning, Qatar’s Privilege Club members can link their account to their British Airways account and transfer Avios between the two. Right now, it isn’t possible to transfer Avios from other programs directly to Qatar.

Related: Get 2,500 free Avios by signing up for Qatar Privilege Club and even more when you use Cash + Avios

In addition to this change, British Airways has lowered the award price of Qatar Qsuite business class redemptions — including the taxes and fees on those tickets. These redemptions are now in-line with booking through Qatar Privilege Club, which has historically offered a better deal on Qsuites awards. This positive change was first reported by Thrifty Traveler.

Let’s take a closer look at how to transfer Avios between accounts and what this means for you.

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In This Post

How to link your Qatar and British Airways accounts and transfer Avios

If you hold frequent flyer memberships with Qatar and British Airways, you can link your accounts here.

When I logged into my Qatar Privilege Club account, I was prompted to link my British Airways Executive Club account to my Qatar account.

Linking Qatar and BA
(Screenshot courtesy of qatarairways.com)

After selecting “Link account with British Airways Executive Club,” I was asked to log into my BA account.

Linking Qatar and BA
(Screenshot courtesy of qatarairways.com)

With another click, I had linked my British Airways and Qatar accounts and could see my balance in each.

Then, you can transfer your Avios between accounts by clicking the “Combine Avios” button. The next page will ask which account you’d like to transfer to and from, and how many Avios you’d like to transfer. You can confirm your transfer by clicking the “Move my Avios” button. In our testing, transfers from British Airways to Qatar and vice-versa processed instantly.

Note that you can also link your British Airways and Qatar Airways accounts on the “Combine my Avios” tab on the British Airways website.

Transferring Qatar and BA

What this means for you

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

 

Overall, we view Qatar joining the Avios currency to be a favourable development.

With numerous partners and a plethora of sweet spots, Avios points are some of the more valuable points out there. Additionally, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy to British Airways, and from there, you could transfer the points to Qatar.

As discussed, British Airways has reduced taxes and fees when booking Qsuite business class, bringing its rates in line with what’s available when booking with Qatar Airways. Considering the sky high fuel surcharges British Airways charge on long-haul redemptions, this is excellent news for Avios collectors.

Related: Why are the fees, taxes and surcharges on Avios redemptions so high?

Let’s have a look at the difference on the London to Doha route, which both British Airways and Qatar Airways fly. On the direct British Airways service from Gatwick, you can expect to pay 60,000 Avios plus £335.63 as a peak date redemption.

British Airways LGW-DOH Club World pricing. Screenshot from BritishAirways.com

Normally selecting a partner airline to redeem Avios through your Executive Club will cost you equal to or at least the same number of Avios as a British Airways operated flight, remembering that all partner airline dates are peak, so there is no off-peak dates. However the great news for British travellers with these changes is that now Qatar Airways Qsuite flights from Heathrow to Doha are much cheaper, in both Avios, and fees, taxes and surcharges than British Airways, and you’re getting a much better product.

Related: Approaching perfection: A review of Qatar Airways’ Qsuite business class on the 777-300ER, Doha to JFK

Qatar Airways LHR-DOH QSuite pricing. Screenshot from BritishAirways.com

Bottom line

With Qatar Airways shifting to Avios as its loyalty currency, you can now transfer your rewards between Qatar Airways and British Airways. And along with this new functionality, British Airways has significantly lowered both the award rate and surcharges on Qsuite redemptions, bringing its rates roughly in line with those of Qatar Privilege Club. This is great news for anyone with Avios, as it opens up a new, cheaper way to redeem points for one of the world’s best business-class products.

We’ll monitor these changes and keep you posted on additional updates as we receive them. Additionally, TPG has reached out to Qatar Airways for more information on what this means for the future of Privilege Club.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Ben Smithson

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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