Qatar Airways and Visa have announced a new partnership, which should have some implications for Privilege Club members.
Qatar Airways & Visa partnership basics
Qatar Airways Privilege Club has signed a global strategic agreement with Visa, as part of a new 10-year exclusive partnership. While this announcement is pretty vague, it’s claimed that this will enable Privilege Club to enhance and expand its portfolio of co-branded payment initiatives with key financial partners across key markets worldwide.
With this partnership, we can soon expect new products to be unveiled to further augment Qatar Airways Privilege Club’s ambitions. This follows a major development at Qatar Airways earlier this year, whereby Privilege Club now uses Avios as its rewards currency.
Here’s how Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Thierry Antinori, describes this new partnership:
“We are excited to announce our latest partnership with Visa, a leader in the global payments industry. Visa connects our Privilege Club members to the world through their vast relationships and new opportunities for co-branded payment cards.”
“This strategic collaboration is the latest development in our mission to provide an unmatched loyalty programme with the greatest offerings available, complementing other recent initiatives like the adoption of Avios as the new reward currency, refreshing the digital experience and enhancements in products like Cash + Avios.”
What are the practical implications of this?
The initial announcement of this partnership is pretty light on details, which I suppose isn’t surprising. However, the intent here is pretty clear — Qatar Airways plans to launch more co-branded credit cards around the globe in the coming years, and the company will exclusively use Visa as the payment processor, regardless of which bank issues the card (in other words, Qatar Airways isn’t launching any Amex cards).
It’s clear that Qatar Airways is trying to better monetize the Privilege Club program, and adopting Avios as its rewards currency was a big part of that.
While this is likely only a small part of this agreement, I imagine we’ll soon see Qatar Airways launch a co-branded credit card in the United States, issued as a Chase Visa card. This is only logical given that there are already three co-branded Avios cards in the United States — the Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card (review), British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review), and Iberia Visa Signature® Card (review).
While only tangentially related to this announcement, I also expect we’ll see Qatar Airways Privilege Club eventually added as a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner (that’s just speculation on my part — I don’t have any inside knowledge). That would be nice but also fairly inconsequential, given that other Avios currencies are already transfer partners, and you can transfer Avios between accounts.
Qatar Airways and Visa have launched a new 10-year exclusive agreement, whereby we’ll see Privilege Club explore more co-brand opportunities. While we don’t have many details yet, it’s safe to assume that all of these cards will be issued as Visa products, and I also imagine we’ll see a card launch in the United States in the not too distant future — here’s to hoping its lucrative.
It’s cool to see Qatar Airways continue to transform Privilege Club for the better, and I’m excited to see what’s in store next.
What do you make of the new Qatar Airways and Visa partnership?