Which Miles Should You Choose to Earn When Flying Qatar Airways Business Class?

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With the news that Qatar Airways Privilege Club is adopting “Avios” as its currency – plus American Airlines AAdvantage’s changes to elite status qualification – it might be time to revisit the options for earning miles from your Qatar Airways flights.

To keep things simple, however, I will focus on two Business Class fare buckets:

  • P – the new Lite fare that doesn’t include lounge access
  • R – the Classic fare that does include lounge access

The difference in price between ‘P’ and ‘R’ is sometimes not substantial. Besides the lounge access, ‘R’ might also be worthwhile in the cases where you can earn substantially more redeemable / elite qualifying miles…

British Airways Executive Club

Most InsideFlyer UK readers would credit their Qatar Airways flights to British Airways Executive Club for one simple reason – TIER POINTS! Because of the connection in Doha, most Business Class return itineraries between Europe and Asia/Africa will earn you 560 Tier Points – i.e. 4 x 140 TPs.

When it comes to earning Avios, however, you will only pick up:

  • ‘P’ class – 75% of miles flown
  • ‘R’ class – 125% of miles flown

There is no tier bonus at all for Executive Club members with elite status.


Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Under the assumption that you will eventually be able to Combine Your Avios back and forth, Privilege Club might be an option worth considering..

To earn elite status with Privilege Club, you require:

  • 300 QPoints for Gold (i.e. Oneworld Sapphire / BA Silver)
  • 600 QPoints for Platinum (i.e. Oneworld Emerald / BA Gold)

And you will earn:

  • ‘P’ class – 20 QPoints per long-haul flight (approximately)
  • ‘R’ class – 40 QPoints per long-haul flight (approx.)

As a result, reaching elite status with Privilege Club is substantially more difficult. I mention elite status, however, because Privilege Club elite members DO receive a substantial tier bonus when flying on Qatar Airways.

  • Gold members receive an additional 75% of miles flown
  • Platinum members receive an additional 100% of miles flown

When it comes to earning soon-to-be Avios, however, a Privilege Club member without status will only pick up:

  • ‘P’ class – 75% of miles flown
  • ‘R’ class – 125% of miles flown

American Airlines AAdvantage

Due to the new Loyalty Points system, any tier bonuses earned WILL COUNT as Loyalty Points. As a result, AAdvantage elite members flying Qatar Airways in Business Class should pick up a large number of Loyalty Points.

  • 40% bonus for Gold members (i.e. Oneworld Ruby / BA Bronze)
  • 60% bonus for Platinum members (i.e. Oneworld Sapphire / BA Silver)
  • 80% bonus for Platinum Pro members (i.e. Oneworld Emerald / BA Gold)
  • 120% bonus for Executive Platinum members (i.e. Oneworld Emerald / BA Gold)

The standard mileage earning rate is:

  • ‘P’ class – 75% of miles flown
  • ‘R’ class – 100% of miles flown

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Even though I think that Mileage Plan miles are potentially far less valuable than they used to be, you do pick up a ridiculous number of miles from the more expensive Business Class fares…

  • ‘P’ class – 75% of miles flown
  • ‘R’ class – 225% of miles flown

If you enjoy elite status with Mileage Plan, you will pick up even more miles due to your tier bonus…

Bottom Line

If you take one long-haul trip per year on Qatar Airways, I suspect that you would credit those flights to British Airways Executive Club, as you can essentially pick up Silver status from one return trip.

If you fly several times per year on Qatar Airways, however, you might want to consider Privilege Club. Assuming that you can earn Gold or Platinum status, you will earn substantially more soon-to-be Avios. (than by crediting to Executive Club)

It is also easy to salivate over a Europe to Doha to Southeast Asia return trip in ‘R’ class; it could earn you ~30,000 redeemable miles from Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan – more with elite status.

And if you’ve made the leap to AAdvantage because of the new Loyalty Points system, you can again pick up a large tier bonus – meaning far more redeemable miles if you credit those flights to AAdvantage…

As a result, there are no “wrong answers” when deciding which miles to earn when flying Qatar Airways Business Class, just different perspectives…

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