Qatar Airways’ Silly Platinum Status “Improvement”

Filed Under: Qatar

Oh Qatar Airways…

While I love Qatar Airways’ onboard product, I find their Privilege Club loyalty program to be subpar. There’s very little redeeming about the program, which to me seems like such a missed opportunity.

It’s not only underwhelming compared to loyalty programs globally, but in particular is weaker than Emirates Skywards and Etihad Guest (of course there’s the blockade, but a lot of people use the Gulf carriers to connect between regions, and couldn’t care less whether they were connecting in Qatar or the UAE — hence why a loyalty program can be so valuable).

So I was very excited when I saw today that Qatar Airways announced that their “Platinum just became more special.” That’s their top tier status, so I figured maybe they actually introduced some useful perks to the status, because it’s quite literally one of the most useless top tier statuses out there in terms of published benefits.

Qatar Airways’ big announcement? They’re introducing a new Platinum card that’s heavier. Qatar Airways’ VP of Loyalty & CRM even makes a video about it, and it’s almost like something out of The Onion. Here’s part of what he says:

“Our Platinum members give us a lot of feedback, and they should. They want a card that represents the value and weight that we give to their loyalty.

We have found one of the heaviest cards that you’ll find anywhere in the world.

The first heaviest card is from a US bank that requires one million dollars in assets, so I think this is the best value heavy card you’re going to find. My team is constantly trying to make the benefits of our program match the beauty of this card.”

Here’s the video:

I’ll be the first to admit that perhaps in Qatar they place more value on precious metals than in some other places. But the feedback you’ve been getting from your Platinum members is really that they want a heavier card? Not that they want better benefits?

They’re introducing a new card but aren’t changing up any of the benefits, other than to say that they’re “constantly trying to make the benefits of [their] program match the beauty of this card” (in which case all I can say is “try harder”).

I’ll admit that the card looks really snazzy. However:

  • Elite cards are more useless than in the past, as most things become electronic; I don’t carry around my elite cards most of the time anyway, and very rarely use them
  • There used to be some novelty to heavy or metal cards, but nowadays so many credit cards are made of those materials, and at that point it just bogs down your wallet

C’mon Qatar Airways, let’s see some real elite benefits added, and not just a heavy card!

  1. QR must think we’re children…”our miles and upgrade credits are pretty much useless, our oneworld emerald lounge at our hub is a dump, and our customer service is pretty much non-existent…but hey here’s “literally” a shiny object to distract you from all that.”

  2. The metal card for many is a disadvantage. It weighs down your wallet, and there’s nothing worse than behind the douchebag in the checkout line that lets his metal card clank down on the counter because he thinks it’s cool. CSR will even replace your metal card with a plastic one if you call and ask

  3. Silly? It might look but for sure in Qatar, UAE and neighbours it achieves objective. Golden, Centurion, white truffles, Petrossians, Hennessy are duties there, no options…
    Speaking about silly things, do you usually take 24 CC to wherever you go? Are they ordered in alphabetical order and kept in one wallet???
    I wrote this and remembered my grandma with ALL the shopping tickets of 1 or 2 years round he he

  4. What a joke, how many times you actually hand out your ffp card. How many times it is faster using digital ffp cards or boarding pass. QR app isn’t bad at all.

    With precious metals comes precious responsibility.
    The two metal card worthwhile in my wallet is the ‘old’ palladium and Centurion.

    I hate the Chase metal cards, too common that it’s too expensive to make it heavy enough. It’s like a wanna be card that can’t.

  5. Next year it will be cut back to half of its weight. ‘Cost cutting’ they’ll say. Classic Qatar move.

  6. Wait, is that card literally made out of platinum? In that case, there’s value to it if you accidentally can’t access cash or credit. Just take that puppy to a pawn shop! Platinum trades around $800 an ounce.

    And no, this isn’t a serious comment in case anyone is wondering.

  7. As former QR Platinum until April 2019, I never received any card during my platinum membership year…
    Requested it one time during my membership. Nothing received.

    It’s just laughable

  8. A really cool card would be one that is made out of the metal skin of a scraped aircraft like one of those luggage tag, I have a few of them from a retired Cathay 747 and they are insanely cool (at least that’s what I’d like to think how it looks on my bag). If you want to make a metal card at least make it interesting or different. Missed opportunity.

  9. I am also silver members of Qatar airways. I love Qatar airways the loyalty program or Qatar airways the best in the world. And also better then skyward
    Muhammad shabab Butt qadri. Pakistan

  10. Don’t worry, QRPC will promise it, but then it simply won’t be delivered … I’ve been waiting 8-months for my QRPC-Gold card to arrive, still no sign of it despite reminding them (and being promised it), and by the time it comes it will have expired, which is just classic-QRPC delivery. Such a shame, the way they let down the parent-airline, who are still good where it counts, in the air !

  11. Nah don’t need them to improve their loyalty program, just need them to stay in oneworld. They are an easy way to earn qualifying miles, dollars, sectors, credits or whatever other OW airlines calls them.

  12. This is what you get when revenue managers hijack loyalty programs. I was high tier QRPC but the program has become so bad I have dropped it.
    My Qatar flights I credit to PG as I have some use for PG miles to eg Maldives.

    Anyway I mostly stopped flying Qatar; within OW they were about the only airline worth flying (with some credit to Finnair and LAN), and these stupid program ‘enhancements’ made me conclude this is no longer an airline I wish to pay. The final drop was bunch of miles they deducted through their cumbersome redemption process, for a ticket I never received.

  13. I concur with ron, since spring 2018 “enhancements” of their program (read overnight 50% devaluation of Qmiles without warning and added fees everywhere), Qatar Airways shot itself in the foot. Making fool of your most faithful customers is a bad decision in any business.

  14. The funny part is, that I got gold status for over 2 years and didn’t receive my ff-card at all until today… but hey let’s make a new card for these 15 customers

  15. You really have to get your mind around understanding the Qataris way of thinking to make sense of this.

  16. I found this idea silly, too. This does not add value, might look nice for the first sight, but it was a hype 3-5 years ago, not any more. And also not practical.
    I used to be a proud + loyal member of Privilege Club, but realized that the way I was acknowledged as a Gold / Platinum member was … a joke.
    Compare the benefits to e.g. LH Senator. (Where I otherwise also have headaches with their program.)
    Senator lounges are way better than the lounges you would find in Doha – except for of course the Al Sawfa and Al Mourjan flagship lounges that you can only enter if you have a paid (not upgraded) First / Business class ticket. Joke.
    And now they come with this… Wow… It will look fancy in my Apple Wallet – ahhm, NOT.

    Majority of their elite passengers are not from the GCC (just take the blockade into consideration); so the comments that say “this will be very well accepted in the region” may be valid for a handful of their elite members…

    QR: Please try even harder. Thanks.

  17. The nicest “Heavy card” I have received was the Lifetime Platinum Metal card, no expiration date, together with the cool presentation box, etc. The best was that it conferred the full weight of SPG’s top tier benefits and respect.

    It’s really a shame that SPG is a memory. I loved that program.

  18. i am gold member and i donthave the plastic card i am happy whith Qatar. themetalic card is a oke they never deliver is advertisig guys

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