Qatar Airways Privilege Club Loyalty Program Review

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Loyalty Program Review

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Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

Qatar offers several co-branded credit cards, but the best way to earn Qmiles is by spending on a transferable point credit card.

Qatar Airways partners with 3 of the 5 transferable point partners, making nearly any redemption within reach. More on this below.

Qatar Airways Credit Cards

It’s true that Qatar offers a few credit cards through different financial partners, however, it makes more sense to focus on its U.S. point-earning partners.

The reason why is because you can land larger welcome bonuses and earn more on your spend with these partners relative to spending on the Qatar credit cards.

Citibank Credit Cards

Earning Citi ThankYou points can prove to be challenging for a few reasons.

It’s primarily because Citibank simply doesn’t have that many ThankYou point earning credit cards.

With programs like Amex and Chase offering business and personal credit card products, the only Citibank cards that you want to focus on are personal credit cards.

It’s not all doom and gloom with Citibank though and here’s why. Citibank offers transfer bonuses to some of its airline partners, many of whom are unique, further increasing the value of the points that you earn.

The bank’s current lineup includes four ThankYou point earning credit cards, one that’s only for students, and a fifth card that requires a product change from an existing Citibank card. More information about the cards can be found here:

Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One ended 2018 strong by revamping its award program to compete against the heavyweights Amex and Chase.

This is great news for consumers because it opened up a fifth transferable point program, a fourth by a U.S. bank.

What’s interesting with Capital One is that its business credit cards count against the Chase 5/24 number. If you’re not familiar with the 5/24 rule, we have a post covering it in detail here.

With a combination of business and personal credit cards from Capital One, you have the opportunity to earn more Capital One points.

If you’re interested in these products, more information about the cards can be found on the tables below.

Recommended Miles-Earning Capital One Cards (Personal)

Recommended Miles-Earning Capital One Cards (Business)

Marriott Credit Cards

Closing out our list of transferable point programs, we have an old faithful in Marriott.

For those not familiar with Marriott’s point structure, read closely because it’s unique. For every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer to most airline partners, you’ll receive a 5,000-point bonus in the form of airline miles.

The transfer ratio of Marriott points to most airlines is 3:1, so 60,000 Marriott points become 25,000 Qatar Airways miles with the 5,000-point bonus (60,000 / 3 = 20,000 + 5,000 = 25,000).

Recommended Marriott Cards

Other Hotel Partner Credit Cards

You might be wondering if there are other hotel partners like Marriott which provide you with the opportunity to transfer points for miles.

Unfortunately, brands like Hilton and Hyatt typically have horrendous transfer ratios to airlines and thus yield bad value. We don’t recommend these types of transfers for that reason.

If you’re either in a bind or are looking to top off an airline account, that’d be the only reason to transfer points from a hotel program to Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways Overview

Qatar Airways operates its main hub near other heavyweight airlines Emirates and Etihad, who also have hubs nearby.

The main airport for Qatar Airways is located in Doha and offers a number of non-stop flights to the U.S.

Joining the likes of American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and British Airways, Qatar is a member of the Oneworld Alliance. This means that Qmiles can be redeemed to fly on any of the other airline partners in the alliance.

Practically speaking, redeeming Qmiles isn’t difficult, but the amount of miles required is high. Instead, consider an option like redeeming American Airlines miles to fly in Qatar business class.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the name of the frequent flyer program that proves valuable add-ons if you fly the airline or on Oneworld flights with regularity.

Elite status in the Privilege Club program is awarded when you earn a certain number of Qpoints. These points are credited based on the flight distance, the airline you’re flying, and the fare class.

Privilege Club frequent flyers earn Qmiles on each flight in addition to the Qpoints earned based on their elite status.

Qpoints can be redeemed for award flights and also for upgrades, online shopping, excess baggage, and hotel stays.

Bottom Line: In short, elite members in the Privilege Club have the opportunity to receive value for both Qatar and Oneworld Alliance partner flights, especially at the upper elite tier level. 

Joining Privilege Club

As with most frequent flyer programs, Privilege Club membership is free. Those interest to join simply need to complete this application.

After acceptance into the program, members receive the ability to earn and redeem Qmiles through the Privilege Club.

How to Sign in to Your Privilege Club Account

The email address and password that you used to create an account is all that you’ll need to log-in to your Privilege Club account.

Qatar Airways login screen
Qatar Airways login screen. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

Hot Tip: Qatar shows the number of miles required for its own award flights, but you’ll need Qmiles in your account to search for award space. For partner flights, we recommend searching for award space elsewhere. 

Viewing Your Account Activity

Reviewing your mileage activity is easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Click My Activities under My Account 

Points Expiration

The language Qatar uses to explain its Qmiles expiration is hard to follow so let’s explain this by way of an example.

If Qmiles are earned between January and June 2019, the miles will expire June 30, 2022. If Qmiles are earned between July and December 2019, the miles will expire December 31, 2022.

Members with Platinum status have the benefit of their miles not expiring as long as their Platinum membership is retained.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Program

Privilege Club Elite Status

Qatar Airways elite tiers
Qatar Airways elite tiers. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

The Privilege Club program has four elite tiers that require loyalty members to earn a certain number of Qpoints to reach each tier.

As a member moves up to higher tiers, additional benefits, like lounge access and increased baggage allowance, are awarded.

Keep in mind that higher elite tiers include all of the benefits of the below tiers.

Privilege Club 

Burgundy: Privilege Club’s lowest elite level provides members with these benefits:

  • Priority stand-by

Silver: One of two middle elite tiers where members have these perks:

  • 25% bonus miles
  • Priority check-in
  • Excess baggage allowance
  • Lounge access
  • 2 guest lounge passes at Hamad International Airport
  • Priority Boarding
  • Travel Coordinator
  • Preferred seats

Gold: The second middle elite tier that comes with the following benefits:

  • 75% bonus miles
  • 40 Qcredits to be used towards award upgrades or excess baggage fees
  • Additional excess baggage allowance
  • Lounge access, plus 1 guest
  • 4 guest lounge passes at Hamad International Airport
  • Al Maha lounge access and guest pass at Hamad International Airport
  • 5% discount for online redemptions
  • Award fee waivers

Platinum: The highest elite tier in the program offers members these perks:

  • 100% bonus miles
  • 60 Qcredits to be used towards award upgrades and excess baggage fees
  • No mileage expiration
  • Additional excess baggage allowance
  • 5 guest lounge passes at Hamad International Airport
  • Al Maha lounge access and 2 guest passes at Hamad International Airport

Head to the Privilege Club website for the full list of elite benefits.

Bottom Line: Qatar rewards members who earn top tier status. This can be valuable if you regularly fly Qatar or Oneworld Airline partners. 

Value of Privilege Club Elite Status

The list of benefits at the Platinum tier is interesting, particularly because Qmiles don’t expire and members receive a number of lounge benefits for themselves and guests.

Gold and Platinum elite status can make sense for some flyers, but it’s best to ask yourself if the benefits offered are of value for your situation.

For those who conclude that Qatar elite status is valuable, focus your efforts on the Gold and Platinum elite tiers for the lounge and bonus mileage benefits.

Bottom Line: Privilege Club focuses on mileage bonuses, lounge access, and no mileage expiration (Platinum) as the benefits for its most frequent flyer members. 

Earning Privilege Club Elite Status

Qatar Airways elite status qualification
Qatar Airways elite status qualification. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

Privilege Club makes it straightforward in terms of how to qualify or re-qualify for elite status in the program.

The chart above notes the points required to earn status in an elite tier. Note that you’ll need fewer Qpoints to re-qualify than you did to earn that status originally.

For example, if you earned Platinum status via 600 Qpoints in year 1, you’d need to earn 540 Qpoints in year 2 to retain that status.

It’s also important to note that members also need to earn at least 20% of the required Qpoints or fly 4 sectors (within 12 months before retaining status) or 8 sectors (within 24 months prior to retaining status) on flights either marketed or operated by Qatar Airways.

Citibank, Capital One, and Marriott are Qatar’s credit card partners. However, none of these partners, or Qatar’s co-branded credit card partners, allow you to earn elite status via credit card spend.

Bottom Line: Elite status in the Privilege Club program has to be earned the hard way — by flying with Qatar and/or its partner airlines. 

How to Earn Qatar Airways Qmiles

The Privilege Club program partners with three transferable point programs making it extremely easy to earn Qmiles.

For frequent flyers transferring points to Qatar, Capital One should be your first choice as it has the quickest transfer time, relative to Citibank and Marriott.

Earning Miles Through Flying

Qatar uses an easy formula on the Qmiles Earn Chart page in order to calculate the number of miles that you earn when flying.

To calculate the Qmiles for a flight, multiply the flight distance (use Great Circle Mapper) by the Qmiles Accrual shown in the chart.

For those with elite status, add in the Tier Bonus by multiplying the flight distance by the tier bonus percentage.

Oneworld member airlines
Oneworld member airlines. Image courtesy of oneworld.com.

Partner flights must be marketed as a Qatar flight for you to earn Qmiles. If the flight is a Qatar marketed flight, use the Accrual Rates shown on the Qmiles Earn Chart page.

Privilege Club members have access not only to Oneworld partner flights, but also to Qatar’s four additional airline partners: Bangkok Airways, GOL, MEA, and Royal Air Maroc.

Check out Qatar’s Partner Airline page for more info on all of its airline partners.

Earn Miles With Credit Cards

By focusing your credit card spend on the right credit card, earning Qatar miles is easy. Earning points this way can open up a ton of award opportunities.

With Capital One’s revamped program, consider its personal and business credit cards in addition to those offered by Citibank and Marriott.

For Marriott credit cards, the points you transfer to Qatar Airways receive a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points that you transfer.

Earning Bonus Miles in Other Ways

Privilege Club members should be set via credit cards, however, there are always opportunities to earn more miles.

Qatar’s FacebookTwitter, and offers page can be great places to keep in mind for discount or miles-earning promotions.

Outside of social media and its offers page, Qatar has partners like hotels and rental car companies that allow you to earn miles with your stays and rentals.

Hot Tip: If you add your airline loyalty program to other services, you typically won’t also earn status points with these franchises. For example, this partnership acts as a sort of alliance between the airline and car rental agency.

How to Redeem Qatar Airways Privilege Club Qmiles

Privilege Club offers a handful of ways to redeem Qatar Airways miles. Using miles for award flights will yield the best value.

Qatar keeps it simple with its redemptions by only having two award charts — one when flying on a Qatar flight and one when flying on a partner airline flight.

The Qatar Qcalculator is the first chart we’ll check out.

After running the calculator, you’ll notice the pricing functions like a zone chart. This means that a Qatar flight in business class from Los Angeles or Atlanta to Doha requires the same number of miles.

Qatar Qcalculator
The Qatar Qcalculator used to determine the number of Qmiles required. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

The next chart to review is the partner airline award chart. Qatar is a Oneworld Alliance member and also has airline partnerships outside of Oneworld. What you should know is that all partner pricing is the same and is shown in the chart below. 

Unlike the Qcalulator, the partner award chart is distance based. So use Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distance of your flight(s), and then refer to the chart below to see the number of miles required.

Qatar Airways partner award chart.
Qatar Airways partner award chart. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com.

Qatar isn’t a program that gets a ton of love for sweet spots. However, that doesn’t mean you should completely give up on the program — especially if you can easily earn Qmiles or fly the airline regularly.

With that said, two decent values in the partner award chart to consider are as follows:

  • 70,000+ one-way American Airlines business class to Europe
  • 70,000+ one-way Iberia business class to Europe

Hot Tip: Qatar doesn’t have a plethora of sweet spots, but if you’re interested in seeing your options, we have an entire post on the best ways to redeem Qatar Qmiles

Oneworld Alliance and Other Partner Awards

Qatar keeps it simple, compared to some award programs, by having an award chart for Qatar flights and a separate award chart for all of its airline partner flights.

For an easy reference guide, check out the partner award chart to see what Qatar requires for your specific route.

Booking Online

British Airways and Qantas will be your go-to sites to search for Oneworld award availability. Each has its pros and cons, but you’ll be on the right track with either one.

Attempting to book award flights through the Qatar website can be a frustrating process. The reason is because you need to have Qmiles in your account to search for award space.

When searching for both Qatar and partner airline award space, the website will re-direct members to a new login page every time, forcing the member to the start the process over again.

If the miles are in your account, you’ll be able to search for and book award space. If not, call Qatar at 800-988-6128 and ask them to search for award space.

As a general rule, when searching for award flights keep these things mind:

  • Search the British Airways or Qantas websites for Oneworld flights
  • Use the Delta or Flying Blue websites for SkyTeam flights
  • Search the United or Aeroplan website for Star Alliance flights

Hot Tip: Consider using Expert Flyer if the airline you’re looking for doesn’t appear when conducting award searches using the methods above. 


Featured Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock

FAQ

What is the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program? Is it worth it? What are the benefits?

Privilege Club is the frequent flyer program of Qatar Airways. The program is free to join and allows members to earn miles and elite status, as well as redeem miles for an award flight.

You can qualify for elite status by earning the required number of Qpoints for each tier.

Elite benefits in the Privilege Club are on par with what you would find at major airlines around the world. That is to say, Qatar takes care of its elite members, particularly at the top.

Qatar is a Oneworld Alliance member with airlines like American Airlines and Cathay Pacific. This means that Qatar Qmiles can be redeemed to fly on Qatar Airways and partner airline flights.

In Privilege Club, who are the partners? Can I transfer miles to them?

Travel partners are a part of the Privilege Club program, and this provides members with the opportunity to earn or redeem Qmiles for a variety of things.

Qmiles can be earned from car rentals, credit card spending, flights, and hotels.

Award flights, lounge access, and upgrades are additional options that members can use their miles for if they choose.

Members can redeem Qmiles for Qatar or partner airline flights, however, transferring Qmiles to an airline partner is not allowed.

What is the Qatar Airways Privilege Club login?

Log in here to access your Privilege Club account.

Where can I sign up for Privilege Club?

Complete this application to sign up for a Privilege Club account.

What is my Privilege Club number?

You can find your Privilege Club number by signing in to your account, looking on your membership card, or through a variety of marketing emails they send to you.

If you can’t find it there, try using the “forgot my password” tool to reset your account so you can get in. Alternatively, try calling the customer service desk to find your number.

When do miles post in Privilege Club?

Members should expect Qmiles to post in your account within 7 days after your date of travel.

When do Privilege Club miles expire?

If Qmiles are earned between January and June 2019, the miles will expire June 30, 2022. If Qmiles are earned between July and December 2019, the miles will expire December 31, 2022.

Members with Platinum status have the benefit of their miles not expiring as long as their Platinum membership is retained.

When does Privilege Club status expire?

Privilege Club status is valid for 12 months after you earn that status.

Is there a Qatar Airways credit card?

Yes, however, we recommend focusing your spend on credit cards that earn points which are transferable to Qatar Airways as these credit cards often have a higher point-earning potential.

Can you hold an award flight with Qatar Airways?

Qatar Airways doesn’t allow members to hold an award flight.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Michael grew up in Mobile, AL and took his first international trip to the Caribbean in 2013. From then on, he was hooked. After that trip, Michael has continued traveling both domestically and internationally —primarily with constant travel companion wife, Ashlee, who runs her own travel/style and contracts blog.

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1 comment

  1. Michael McHugh · February 26, 2019 · Reply

    Thanks Lombok! We appreciate it.

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