6 Best Ways to Redeem Qatar Qmiles for Max Value

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class - Flat Bed

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The Qatar Airways Privilege Club program is not one that receives much attention, especially after a massive devaluation.

As you’ll see below, the airline requires quite a few miles for most redemptions and passes on fuel charges to customers, which can be expensive.

With that said, there’s still value to be found — especially when the revenue cost of a flight is high. This is especially true for partners, which has a relatively unscathed partner award chart.

The Best Ways To Boost Your Qatar Qmiles 

Qatar Qmiles can be transferred from Citi Thank You Rewards at a rate of 1:1, from Capital One at a 2:1.5 rate, or from Marriott at a transfer rate of 3:1.

Recommended Citi Cards

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500 toward travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi regularly stay at hotels.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Business)

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business - This no annual fee card earns unlimited 1.5x miles per dollar on every purchase and has a 20,000 mile sign up bonus [worth $200 in travel] after meeting the minimum spend of $3,000 within the first 3 months. Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business - Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles worth up to $2,000 to spend on travel. Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Marriott Transfers

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to Qatar at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Qatar Qmiles bonus.

The 6 Best Ways to Redeem Qatar Qmiles 

With an understanding of some of the ways to earn Qmiles, below you will find the best ways to use them.

When you are calculating the number of miles required for a flight, it’s important to note Qatar uses both a mileage calculator and partner award chart, both of which are shown below.

Hot Tip: Don’t miss our dedicated article on The Best Ways to Earn Qatar Airways Qmiles!

1. Fly American Airlines U.S. to Europe: 70,000+ Miles in Business Class, One-Way

american airlines business class 777
Use Qmiles to fly American Airlines business class! Image courtesy of aa.com.

American Airlines offers a number of nonstop flights from the U.S. to cities in Europe.

With 70,000-120,000 Qmiles, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Europe. Booking an economy award also provides value, with 35,000-60,000 Qmiles required for a one-way flight.

American Airlines flies the following non-stop routes to Europe that you can book with Qmiles. The bolded cities are routes that offer business class:

  • New York (JFK) – Barcelona (BCN), London (LHR), Madrid (MAD), Milan (MXP), Paris (CDG)
  • Chicago (ORD) – London
  • Miami (MIA) – Barcelona, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris 
  • Dallas (DFW) – London, Madrid, Paris 

Taxes and fees for a one-way business class flight vary from $93-$323.

Need help booking an award flight? See our best ways to book American Airlines business class.

Bottom Line: While 70,000-120,000 miles for a one-way business class flight is much higher than I would recommend paying, if you have Qmiles, the revenue flight cost on your dates of travel are high, and there’s award space, then you can receive outstanding value. 

2. Fly Cathay Pacific North America to Asia: 225,000+ Miles in First Class, One-Way

Cathay Pacific 777 first class cabin
Cathay Pacific 777 first class is phenomenal. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Cathay Pacific flies from 8 North American cities to Hong Kong, which makes finding award space much easier.

Hot Tip: Check out our detailed guide on Cathay Pacific’s direct routes from the U.S. You can use the information here to plan your award flights efficiently.

With 225,000-255,000 Qmiles, you can book a one-way first class flight from the U.S. to Hong Kong. Booking an economy or business class award ticket will likely not result in much value for your points.

If you do end up booking economy or business class, you will need 75,000-85,000 Qmiles for economy or 100,000-150,000 Qmiles for business class.

Nonstop Cathay Pacific flights to Hong Kong (HKG) that can booked with Qmiles include: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD)Los Angeles (LAX)New York (JFK)San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Vancouver (YVR), and Washington D.C. (IAD).

(Again, the bolded cities are routes that offer first class.)

Taxes and fees for a one-way first class flight vary from $251-$274.

Need help booking an award flight? See our best ways to book Cathay Pacific first class.

Bottom Line: I only recommend using the number of miles required for first class if 1) you already have Qmiles, and 2) you are intent on flying first class. 

3. Fly Japan Airlines North America to Asia: 180,000+ Miles in First Class, One-Way

Japan Airlines First Class Seat
The Japan Airlines First Class seats feature an an amazing 33 inches in width! Image Credit: Stephen Au

Japan Airlines flies from nearly as many U.S. destinations as Cathay Pacific — 7 compared to 8.

With 180,000-225,000 Qmiles, you can book a one-way first class flight from the U.S. to Japan. Similar to Cathay Pacific, economy and business class award tickets typically do not yield much value.

If you need an economy or business class flight, Qatar requires 50,000-75,000 Qmiles for economy or 100,000-150,000 Qmiles for business class.

Nonstop Japan Airlines flights to Tokyo (NRT) that can be booked with Qmiles include: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN), and Vancouver (YVR).

Additional Japan Airlines nonstop flights that can be booked with Qmiles include New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND). The bolded cities are routes that offer first class.

Taxes and fees for a one-way first class flight are around $351.

Need help booking an award flight? See our best ways to book Japan Airlines first class.

Bottom Line: As with Cathay Pacific, I only recommend using this many miles to fly first class if you already have the Qmiles and are dead set on flying first. 

4. Fly Finnair U.S. to Finland: 100,000 Miles in Business Class, One-Way

Finnair Airbus A350 Business Class Empty Cabin. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Finnair currently offers 1 nonstop flight from the U.S. to Finland out of JFK.

With 100,000 Qmiles, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Finland. Economy flights also represent good value at 50,000 Qmiles for a one-way flight.

Starting in March, you’ll be able to book Finnair flights from both New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Helsinki (HEL).

Taxes and fees for a one-way economy flight are around $188, and around $531 for business class.

Bottom Line: Fuel surcharges are steep on Finnair business class flights at $531 each way. It’s important to take this into account when you are determining the value you’re getting for your points and miles. 

5. Fly Iberia U.S. to Spain: 70,000+ Miles in Business Class, One-Way

Iberia Business Class
Fly Iberia business class to Spain! Image Credit: Stefan Krasowski.

Iberia flies from 5 U.S. cities to Spain; you can book these nonstops to Madrid (MAD) with Qmiles: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK).

With 70,000-120,000 Qmiles, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Madrid. You can also receive respectable value by booking an economy flight at 35,000-60,000 Qmiles one-way.

Taxes and fees for a one-way economy flight are around $188, and business class fees are around $531.

Bottom Line: Boston to Madrid requires the least number of Qmiles for both economy and business class at 35,000 and 75,000 miles one-way, respectively. 

6. Fly Qatar U.S. to Doha: 101,500+ Miles in Business Class, One-Way

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class - Front Cabin Mid Flight
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class – Front Cabin Mid Flight. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Qatar doesn’t make it cheap to fly in its premium cabin from the U.S. to its Middle East hub.

With 101,500-108,500 Qmiles, you can book a one-way business class flight from the U.S. to Doha. Economy award redemptions typically do not offer value since you can usually find affordable economy flights.

However, if economy flights are expensive on your dates of travel and you would prefer to use miles, you’re looking at 50,750-54,250 Qmiles for a one-way economy flight.

Non-stop Qatar flights to Doha (DOH) that can be booked with Qmiles include: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), and Washington (IAD).

Taxes and fees for a one-way economy flight are around $270, and fees for a business class flight are around $643.

Bottom Line: Qatar passes on fuel surcharges for its own and partner airline flights. It’s important to take into account the steep fuel charges on Qatar business class flights since this affects the value of the points and miles you are redeeming. 

Booking Award Flights With Qatar

The main Qatar Airways Privilege Club page outlines the membership tiers, how to earn both Qpoints and Qmiles, how to redeem Qmiles, and more.

If you have a question not answered in this article, you’ll likely find it answered in the Privilege Club section.

Using Your Qatar Qmiles 

Privilege Club is the frequent flyer program of Qatar Airways, and Qmiles are the miles you earn by flying on Qatar or its partner airlines flights.

Qatar is a member of the Oneworld alliance, and the airline also has partnerships with airlines outside of the Oneworld alliance.

Oneworld Qatar Airline Partners

Oneworld Partners
American Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
LATAM Airlines

Hot Tip: For more information about using Qatar’s Oneworld partners, check our our guide to the best ways to search for award availability in the Oneworld Alliance.

Non-Alliance Qatar Airline Partners

Non-Alliance Partners
GOLMEA
Royal Air MarocBangkok Airways

Qatar Qmiles Award Chart

Qatar uses a mileage calculator when flying on its own flights, and this functions as a distance-based award chart.

Flights from the Eastern U.S. to Doha price out at one rate, while flights from the Central and Western U.S. to Doha price out at another rate.

There is a separate award chart when flying Qatar’s partner airlines, which include the Oneworld alliance. The partner award chart is distance-based, so it’s helpful to use Great Circle Mapper to calculate the distance of your itinerary. Awards are priced per segment, which means you cannot get extraordinary value at the 12,001 – Above distance bracket, unfortunately.

Qatar Airways Partner Award Chart
Qatar Airways partner award chart. Image courtesy of qatarairways.com

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

What makes the Qatar program frustrating is the booking process. Based on research and from personal experience using the Privilege Club search engine, you need to have Qmiles in your account to search for award space.

When I attempted to search for both Qatar and partner airline award space, the website redirected me to a new login page every time, which made me start the process over again.

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

Award Redemption Rules

Qatar has several rules that are important to know before making an award booking:

  • Qmiles are valid for 3 years and will expire in the 6-month period in which the points were earned. For example, points earned between January and June 2018 will expire June 30, 2021.
  • Qpoints are earned for the purpose of your elite tier status.
  • Qmiles are the miles earned that can be used to book award flights.
  • Qmiles can be purchased in blocks of 1,000 Qmiles starting at $35.
  • Qatar imposes an award booking fee of $25 for economy, $50 for business class, and $75 for first class per flight.
  • First class award flights on the A380 service to/from London and Doha are not available.
  • Business or first class award flights are not available for infants (<2 years).
  • Award flights for infants on partner airline flights are not allowed.
  • Open jaws are permitted, but stopovers are not permitted.

Conclusion

Personally, the Qatar Airways Privilege Club program isn’t one I’m running to for my next redemption.

Their combination of expensive redemptions, difficulty searching for and booking award space, and fuel surcharges have me checking out better options.

However, the program does provide value if you already have Qmiles and/or you’re looking to experience the incredible product offered by Qatar!


FAQ

How can I earn miles on Qatar?

You can earn Qmiles for flights on Qatar and its partner airlines by booking trips with its hotel and car rental partners, and/or using credit cards that earn points that can be transferred to Qatar.

Is it possible to earn Qatar Qmiles by using credit cards?

Qatar does not currently offer co-branded credit cards that earn Qmiles for U.S.-based travelers.

What are Qmiles worth?

You should be able to find redemption values greater than 5 cents per mile, particularly for premium cabin award flights.

When I was searching for economy award space, I was able to find 2-5 cents per mile in value.

Are Qmiles refundable?

The date for expiring Qmiles can be extended for a non-refundable fee. After the miles are extended, the miles will be valid for an additional 12 months.

If your Qmiles have already expired, you may extend the expiration date for a non-refundable fee. Revalidated Qmiles will be valid for an additional 12 months.

When do Qmiles expire?

Qmiles are valid for 3 years and will expire in the 6-month period in which the miles were earned. For example, miles earned between January and June 2018 will expire June 30, 2021.

Is Qatar part of American Airlines?

Qatar is not part of American Airlines, but both airlines are part of the Oneworld alliance.

The alliance means you can redeem your Qatar miles for flights on American Airlines and your American Airlines miles for flights on Qatar.

While you can use miles from one airline to fly another airline, it’s not possible to combine miles between the 2 programs.

How much does it cost to buy Qmiles?

You can buy up to 60,000 Qmiles in 1 calendar year for your own account. You can also buy up to 60,000 Qmiles in 1 calendar year as a gift for another Privilege Club member.

You must have earned at least of 3,000 Qmiles since you enrolled in a new account to purchase additional Qmiles.

Qmiles can be purchased in blocks of 1,000 starting at $35, and prices drop as low as $30 depending on the number of Qmiles you purchase.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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12 comments

  1. Some of the information here is no longer correct. Let me summarise:

    – you cannot check award space availability for partners online or by phone. You can only request availability after which you will have to wait 2 days to get an answer.
    – you cannot book or check award space availability by phone, or do anything by phone for that matter. I’ve tried, but I’m not from the US (I am from Europe).
    – when you finally do get an answer the answer will always be ‘no available space’. At least for me and i’ve made 20+ requests for different routes and airlines, mostly short flights of max 2 hours. Note these were always partner awards, not QA itself.
    – the value per mile is nowhere near 5 cents (I wish..). Example: a oneway from amsterdam to bangkok in economy will cost you about 56000 miles. I value this at about 300 USD. So the value per mile is closer to 0.5 cent per mile. And I’m not even including the surcharges here which are 50 USD (for booking 2 segments) and fuel surcharges.

    Unfortunately the huge devaluation of qatar made the whole program useless. The best value you can get now is convert any points you have to accor points (haven’t tried this myself). Partner awards seemingly get ok value but they are unbookable. Qatar awards are ridiculously expensive, both in miles and surcharges.

    Take my advice and stay very far away from this rewards program. And for me personally I will never fly qatar again as they really screwed me bad with this (unannounced) devaluation. It’s a shame because I do like their product but this is no way to treat frequent flyers.

    • Michael McHugh · October 17, 2018 · Reply

      Hi Stef

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention as I was not aware Qatar doesn’t allow you to book partners online or by phone.

      Just to confirm, you called 800-988-6128, requested availability for a Qatar partner multiple times, and each time Qatar stated ‘no available space’?

  2. UpgradeME · January 8, 2019 · Reply

    Without a doubt the most frustrating airline award booking experience of my life has been with Qatar. They will do NOTHING via the telephone. Agents will simply refuse to help you. EVERYTHING must be done by EMAILING THEM! How insane is that? An award ticket is not bookable on their website. Period! You must send them an email and await a response, which may take several days. Then they will simply say yes or no, most often No. It’s infuriating. Then you just try again. The website is a total joke. Might be the least user-friendly travel site since Amtrak. Just need to blow through my miles and be done with Qatar. And you know, frankly, their reputation for some magical experience in the sky, is not really true anymore. So many others far exceed Q’s “product”.

  3. I’ve been a PC member for 3 years now, became Silver, and never experienced any free J upgrade ever since. Unlike in Skywards, I got upgraded to J more than 3x in my first 3 years of flying with EK. And it continued after the 3rd year. I only left Skywards because QR flights are cheaper than EK.

    • Michael McHugh · April 20, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Skye

      Thanks for this info that will help others who are in similar position with QR and EK.

  4. Vitaly Shtulman · May 19, 2019 · Reply

    Please help me make the right decision before the flight on Qatar Airways. I can either enter my AA program number on my reservation or the Qatar PC number. I am flying from MIA to SIN and back from HKG to MIA. It’s a long hall and I would like to get the most value out of a frequent flyer program. Based on the article above, I started thinking that I should not credit this flight to my Qatar PC membership and instead enter my AA number on the reservation and earn AA miles. Not sure if it’s possible to enter both and double-dip… Please advise.

    • Stephen Au · May 21, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Vitaly,

      In general, you’re better off crediting all your flights to American Airlines if traveling with the oneworld alliance. Thanks for reading.

  5. All I can say about QR is that they do recognize Oneworld Emeralds better than most other Oneworld airlines. I am AA Emerald and they always recognize my status and record my meal choices, preferred spirits etc. A few times I have been upgraded to first (business) from economy on Middle Eastern regional flights without asking.

  6. Annamalai · October 19, 2019 · Reply

    I agree with a few previous comments. I have a huge amount of miles with Qatar and for last 2 years no way of spending them. After so many emails, still no tickets available. That’s the simple standard answer from them after waiting for 2 days. Much frustrations and bad service. I will not fly with Qatar again. Please stay away from Qatar or just assume that you will not get any benefit and fly them anyway. From miles point – ” The most worst airline in the world “. I can provide a free tagline if Qatar needs one – “Come and enjoy our frustration”.

    • Hi Anna,

      You might not be using your Qatar miles properly. If you plan accordingly and book at the right times, you can pretty much book anything you want. If you want personalized consulting on how to use your miles and also how to continue building up miles, please e-mail me at stephen@upgradedpoints.com. For as little as $97/month, we can help you get $50,000+ in annual value worth of points and travel.

  7. hello,
    I’m pretty new to miles, newer used them, flying a lot, always get good deals anywhere,
    but some friends convinced me,
    so I saw this phrase

    stephen@upgradedpoints.com. For as little as $97/month, we can help you get $50,000+ in annual value worth of points and travel.

    well I’m interested
    Thanks

    • Hi Hans,

      You can send me an e-mail if you’re interested in learning about how to earn points and miles extremely quickly. We’ll then help you book your first class tickets. This is all included in our services.

      Thanks for reading.

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