Qatar Airways Privilege Club has announced it will replace Qmiles and adopt Avios as its new points currency.
Qatar Airways will be adopting Avios as its points currency starting late March, and replacing Qmiles. Currently, the airline’s Privilege Club members earn Qmiles with the program, and the points currency can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and other experiences.
Privilege Club members will now be able to earn Avios when flying with Qatar Airways, OneWorld airline partners, and a number of financial and lifestyle partners.
However despite bidding goodbye to Qmiles, Qatar Airways will hold onto its other loyalty currencies. This includes Qpoints, which track and determine status, and Qcredits, which are earned by the Privilege Club Gold and Platinum members and are used for upgrades, award booking fees, and excess luggage.
What Privilege Club members need to know
- All Privilege Club members’ existing Qmiles balances will change automatically to Avios on a 1:1 ratio basis by late March.
- There will be no change to the expiration date of Qmiles once they convert to Avios.
- Redemption rates will also remain unchanged, a Privilege Club redemption will cost the same number of miles regardless of whether they are Qmiles or Avios.
- There will be more ways to earn and redeem Qatar Airways points, as Avios is a much larger points program than Qatar Airways Privilege Club.
- Avios will be “fully transferable between Privilege Club and British Airways Executive Club,” according to a Qatar Airways Privilege Club spokesperson.
- The process of Qatar Airways Privilege Club members obtaining upgrades on British Airways and Iberia will be simpler.
Avios has a portfolio of partners that stretches to over 200 global brands including American Express, Nectar, Avis Budget Group and Marriott. The collection of the currency is not limited to travel, as it can also be earned from shopping, leisure and financial services.
The currency is owned and managed by IAG Loyalty, so naturally, Avios is the points currency of the International Airlines Group (IAG) carriers. This includes British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling.
Notably, Qatar Airways is the largest shareholder of IAG, which in turn owns each airline that uses Avios as its currency. In early 2020, Qatar Airways announced that it increased its shareholding in IAG, with its shares rising from 21.4% to 25%.
Qatar Airways will be the fifth carrier to have its reward program powered by the currency, will expand Avios’ reach to an additional 35 million frequent flyers worldwide.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker states that the transition from Qmiles to Avios will mark a “ground-breaking new era for Privilege Club”, as it will enable the airline’s loyal members to participate in the “most compelling loyalty network and the largest portfolio of partners in the industry.”
More details will be announced closer to the transition date. For now, travel experts say that individuals with Qmiles or Avios should be optimistic and expect more earning and redemption options will come later this year.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club is the Official Frequent Flyer Programme of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.