Buying miles & points strategically can represent a great value, especially for luxury travel. The Qatar Airways Privilege Club program has just launched its latest promotion on purchased miles, and it’s the best offer we’ve seen from the program this year.
Promotion on purchased Qatar Airways Privilege Club miles
Through Friday, December 24, 2021, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is offering a discount on purchased miles. You get a better deal the sooner you buy, as follows:
- Buy miles by December 9, 2021, and receive up to a 40% discount
- Buy miles by December 24, 2021, and receive up to a 30% discount
How much does it cost to buy Qatar Airways miles?
Qatar Airways Privilege Club ordinarily charges 3.0-3.5 cents per purchased mile, with the price getting lower the more miles you buy. That’s before any discounts or bonuses, and there are no further taxes and fees beyond that cost. With the 40% discount, if you maxed out this promotion you’d receive a total of 250,000 miles at a cost of $4,500, which is a rate of 1.8 cents per Qatar Airways mile mile.
How many Qatar Airways miles can you purchase?
Qatar Airways Privilege Club limits members to purchasing 250,000 miles per account per calendar year, before any bonuses. Note that in order to be eligible to purchase miles, you must have earned at least 1,000 miles in your account since enrollment, though that could be through any means (like transferring points from a partner).
If you do buy Qatar Airways miles, it can take up to 72 hours for them to post to your account, but they ordinarily post much faster than that.
Which credit card should you buy Qatar Airways miles with?
Qatar Airways Privilege Club mileage purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending. Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.
In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), which offer 2x miles and have no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be a good option in this case.
Is buying Qatar Airways Privilege Club miles worth it?
While I love flying Qatar Airways, historically the Privilege Club program has been uncompetitive. However, in the past couple of years we’ve seen several positive changes made to the program, the most drastic of which is the significant lowering of redemption rates.
The best deal nowadays is for redemptions directly on Qatar Airways, rather than redemptions on partner airlines. To give some examples of redemption rates (note that these are starting costs, and in some cases awards cost significantly more):
- A one-way US to Doha award costs 35,000 miles in economy or 70,000 miles in business class
- A one-way US to Delhi award costs 40,000 miles in economy or 80,000 miles in business class
- A one-way US to Maldives award costs 42,500 miles in economy or 85,000 miles in business class
- A one-way US to Bangkok award costs 47,500 miles in economy or 95,000 miles in business class
- A one-way US to Auckland award costs 60,000 miles in economy or 120,000 miles in business class
Then again, you can always book Qatar Airways through American AAdvantage, since the program often has promotions on purchased miles. In some cases redemption rates will be cheaper through Privilege Club, while in other cases they’ll be cheaper through AAdvantage.
One awesome Privilege Club sweet spot is the ability to route from the United States to Europe via Doha for a reasonable number of miles. This can be great if you’re traveling to destinations in Europe that may be a bit harder to get to, from Mykonos to Tbilisi to Yerevan.
Even though Qatar Airways is in the oneworld alliance, unfortunately partner redemption rates are uncompetitive. Here’s the distance based award chart:
Just to give some comparisons between American AAdvantage and Qatar Airways Privilege Club rates:
- A one-way American Airlines economy award from New York to Los Angeles would cost 35,000 miles (AAdvantage would charge 12,500 miles)
- A one-way Japan Airlines business class award from New York to Tokyo would cost 150,000 miles (AAdvantage would charge 60,000 miles)
- A one-way Cathay Pacific business class award from Los Angeles to Hong Kong would cost 150,000 miles (AAdvantage would charge 70,000 miles)
I have reason to believe the Privilege Club program will become even more competitive in the future. If a few more tweaks were made I’d be much more invested in the program, but personally I’m not quite there yet.
How much are Qatar Airways miles worth?
Everyone will value mileage currencies differently, but personally I value Qatar Airways miles at 1.1 cents each. I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get more value from Privilege Club than that.
Do Qatar Airways miles expire?
Qatar Airways Privilege Club miles expire after three years of inactivity. However, any mileage earning or redemption activity would reset the expiration of miles, so buying miles would give you a further 36 months.
What other ways can you earn Qatar Airways miles?
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is transfer partners with Citi ThankYou, so there are lots of great Citi credit cards that can potentially earn you Qatar Airways miles. That’s the only major transferable points currency to partner with Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club has launched its latest promotion on purchased miles, which is the best offer from the program so far this year. The program is selling miles for up to 40% off, which is an opportunity to buy miles for 1.8 cents each.
Some Privilege Club members will probably find this to be worthwhile, though personally I won’t be buying miles with this offer. I’d rather acquire Privilege Club miles by transferring them from another points currency. Furthermore, for both Qatar Airways and oneworld redemptions, there are generally better value programs for making bookings.
Does anyone plan on buying Qatar Airways Qmiles with a 40% discount?