Qatar Airways Privilege Club guide: all you need to know

Take your Qatar Airways travel to the next level through its excellent frequent flyer program.

By Staff Writers, April 9 2024
Qatar Airways Privilege Club guide: all you need to know

With Oneworld benefits, a flourishing points currency, plus a host of priority perks at airports across the globe, Qatar Airways Privilege Club is a solid choice for frequent flyers looking to have their loyalty rewarded.

Not only that, but it delivers a rather unique proposition for Australian travellers as both a Qantas partner via Oneworld and a Virgin Australia one too, meaning no matter which of these carriers you fly, you’ll still receive some shiny status perks. 

 

What is Qatar Airways Privilege Club?

Privilege Club is Qatar Airways’ frequent flyer program, through which members can earn and spend Avios – the same currency as British Airways’ Executive Club – and enjoy a range of exclusive benefits in the air and on the ground.

With Qatar Airways a paid-up member of Oneworld alliance, Privilege Club cardholders can earn miles in Australian skies with Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and of course, Qatar Airways itself.

Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance.
Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance.

Add to that list American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines when jetting abroad within the Oneworld family, plus LATAM, jetBlue, Middle East Airlines, Bangkok Airways, S7 Airlines, Oman Air and Virgin Australia.

How to join Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Like most frequent flyer programs, Privilege Club is free to join – just visit the Qatar Airways website to sign-up, and remember to attach your frequent flyer number to your reservation when you next travel with Qatar or its partners.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club status tiers

Members begin at the entry-level Burgundy tier before making their way through Silver, Gold and Platinum as they notch up ‘Qpoints’. Think of these as status credits.

Qpoints can be picked up whenever flying Qatar Airways or its Oneworld partners including Qantas, American, British Airways or Cathay Pacific, as well as with the program’s non-Oneworld partners such as Virgin Australia.

Qpoint requirements to step up the Privilege Club ladder are as follows: 

  • Burgundy to Silver - 150 Qpoints within any 12-month period
  • Silver to Gold - 300 Qpoints within any 12- month period
  • Gold to Platinum - 600 Qpoints within any 12-month period

And to retain your Privilege Club status, you will need: 

  • Silver - 135 Qpoints within last 12 months or 270 Qpoints within last 24 months prior to renewal date
  • Gold - 270 Qpoints within last 12 months or 540 Qpoints within last 24 months prior to renewal date
  • Platinum - 540 Qpoints within last 12 months or 1,080 Qpoints within last 24 months prior to renewal date
Members can rise from Burgundy to Silver, Gold and Platinum status.
Members can rise from Burgundy to Silver, Gold and Platinum status.

Additionally, as a Privilege Club member you’ll be able to rack up Avios – this is your reward currency, like points or miles – whenever you fly the above airlines, in addition to earning them on the ground through spending at over 100 partners worldwide.

If you’ll be joined in the air by family members, you can also pool their Avios – although not status-earning Qpoints – to your Privilege Club account.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Burgundy

Burgundy, while a nice colour, doesn’t really deliver much as a Privilege Club status tier.

You get priority standby (waitlist) at airports and a 10% discount on seat selection, plus 100% of the Avios earned by pooling family members whenever they take an eligible flight or spend money with a non-air partner… and that’s about it.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver

After earning 150 Qpoints in any 12-month period you’ll jump up from Burgundy to Silver, and in future years only need 135 Qpoints in the same period or 270 Qpoints over any 24-month window to retain your Silver card.

That comes with an Avios bonus of 25% whenever travelling on a Qatar Airways flight with a QR flight number (an ‘operated and marketed flight’), and the ability to utilise the Privilege Club priority check-in counters in Doha. 

As a nice side benefit, you can also bypass the regular queue and access business class check-in desks in other airports, irrespective of your cabin of travel.

Qatar Airways' lauded Qsuites business class.
Qatar Airways' lauded Qsuites business class.

Add to that business class lounge access in most airports whenever travelling on Qatar, two guest passes per year for the lounge at Doha Hamad International Airport, priority boarding and an extra 15kg of baggage allowance – or one extra piece – on Qatar flights.

You’ll also be given priority over Burgundy and non-members when stuck on stand-by or waitlist, and will receive 100% Avios when pooling from your family’s accounts.

Through Qatar’s Oneworld membership, Privilege Club Silver members enjoy Oneworld Ruby status granting alliance-wide priority check-in privileges, plus access to preferred or pre-reserved seating – usually a little closer towards the front of the cabin.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold

Earn 300 Qpoints in 12 months and you’ll ascend to Privilege Club Gold – and step up to Oneworld Sapphire in the process.

That brings with it alliance-wide priority boarding, baggage handling and access to the business class lounges of Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific, in addition to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs when travelling on a Oneworld airline. 

Onboard service is consistently high no matter your loyalty tier.
Onboard service is consistently high no matter your loyalty tier.

You can also bring a guest into those and other Oneworld lounges, as well as Qatar’s Doha Gold Frequent Flyer Lounge without needing numbered guest passes as you would at Silver – but you’ll receive four of these anyway to use for extra guests throughout the year.

(In Doha and London, Qatar uses separate lounges for frequent flyers travelling in economy – so head to the Qatar Frequent Flyer Lounge in London or the Qatar Gold Lounge in Doha rather than the Al Mourjan Lounge, which is exclusively for business class.)

Gold members also collect 75% more Avios on Qatar Airways flights and can pack an additional 20kg into their checked baggage or bring along an extra suitcase.

There’s also a free ‘meet and greet’ for Gold frequent flyers arriving at, departing from or transiting through Hamad International if requested at least 24 hours beforehand.

Al Maha Services meet and greet is open to Gold members and above.
Al Maha Services meet and greet is open to Gold members and above.

Add to that 40 ‘Qcredits’ each year, which can be swapped for upgrades from most economy fares to business class, to pay for changes to your booking, or even a guest lounge pass.

Finally, Gold members can also nab a confirmed economy seat on an already-full Qatar Airways flight when booking within 48 hours of departure.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum

Reel in 600 Qpoints in a year and a shiny Privilege Club Platinum card is yours for the taking, along with Oneworld Emerald status.

That also comes with 60 Qcredits each year – enough for a free one-way business class upgrade from Melbourne to London – and a 100% Avios bonus on Qatar Airways flights.

You’ll also have access to Oneworld first class check-in worldwide, with the exception of Doha where you’ll use the same counter as Silver and Gold Privilege Club members.

Not only that, you’ll also have entry to first and business class lounges across Oneworld, including the Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne

As for lounge acces in Doha, the airport is home to a dedicated Platinum Frequent Flyer lounge, which welcomes Platinum members in economy. However, if you’re a Platinum member flying business class on Qatar Airways, you’ll gain entry into the vastly-superior Al Safwa First Lounge. 

Enjoy access to Qantas' Sydney First Class Lounge.
Enjoy access to Qantas' Sydney First Class Lounge.

When flying with Qatar you’ll be able to bring in two guests at no charge – or one when travelling with another Oneworld airline – and also receive five single-use guest passes to redeem when travelling through Doha.

You can also lug along an extra 25kg of checked baggage or one extra suitcase on most Oneworld flights (with the exception of British Airways’ ‘hand baggage only’ fares).

Earning Privilege Club Avios and Qpoints with Qatar Airways

The number of Avios and Qpoints earned is based on the fare class, distance flown and status level. The more you spend, the more Avios and Qpoints you’ll stand to earn.

Case in point, a single return trip from Melbourne to Doha pulls in 11,142 Avios and 76 Qpoints on Business Lite fare, 29,712 Avois and 192 Qpoints on a Business Elite ticket.

It’s a similar story on Doha-London flights: 4,866 Avios and 40 Qpoints up for grabs on the cheapest business fares, or 12,976 Avios and 80 Qpoints on Business Elite.

Earning Privilege Club Avios and Qpoints with partner airlines

Privilege Club members flying Qantas and other partners can also pocket Avios. However, they earn them at a different and usually less-favourable rate than flying Qatar Airways.

Using the previous Doha-London example, flying British Airways instead of Qatar would earn 4,055 Avios and 30 Qpoints in business – with all fare classes earning at the same rate.

Visit the Qatar Airways My Calculator to see how many Avios and Qpoints you’ll earn across various routes and partners. 

Earning Privilege Club Avios on the ground

Privilege Club members can also earn Avios on the ground by booking hotel stays and by transferring points from aligned hotel loyalty programs such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Accor Live Limitless, Shangri-la Circle and World of Hyatt.

Car rentals are a points-earning avenue too, thanks to partnerships across Europcar, Hertz, Avis, Budget, to name a handful.

Buying Qpoints to retain or upgrade your status tier

In a notable deviation from most frequent flyer programs, Privilege Club actually allows you to purchase Qpoints if you don’t have enough to upgrade or renew your status tier, with some limitations, naturally.

For starters, there’s a limit on how many Q Points you can purchase, dictated by both your current status and intent. If you’re looking to retain your current tier, you can purchase a maximum of:

  • 40 Qpoints for Silver
  • 80 Qpoints for Gold
  • 150 Qpoints for Platinum

If it’s a shiny tier upgrade you’re chasing, you can purchase Qpoints to a limit of:

  • 40 Qpoints at Burgundy (no minimum balance requirement)
  • 80 Qpoints at Silver (minimum balance requirement 100)
  • 150 Qpoints at Gold (minimum balance requirement 200)

Qpoints can be purchased once in 36 months at a cost of US$25 (AUD$38) per Qpoint.

How do I spend and redeem Qatar Airways Avios?

Avios can be used for reward flights and upgrades to business and first class with Qatar, as well as QR’s long line of partners including Qantas and Cathay Pacific.

A one-way Qatar Airways flight from Melbourne to Doha can be yours for 35,000 Avios in economy or 70,000 in business class during off-peak times (the airline’s Qcalcualtor conveniently lists peak and off-peak) versus 94,500 for a peak travel date.

If you’ve already booked economy to Doha, 37,000 Avios can get you a business upgrade from the most flexible tickets, or 73,500 miles from the cheapest (and ergo least flexible).

The best ways to spend Qatar Airways Avios

As savvy travellers know, frequent flyer miles offer great value when used for reward flights and upgrades, but this drops off considerably when redeemed for activities on the ground.

With this in mind, some of the best ways of redeeming Qatar Airways Avios include business class and first class travel on both Qatar Airways and its partner airlines.

Thanks to its adoption of the Avios rewards currency – also used by British Airways and Iberia – you can easily consolidate Avios from multiple airline programs into a single larger pool.

This streamlines the process of using those Avios for reward or redemption bookings with Qatar Airways or any of the aforementioned Oneworld carriers.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use Qatar Airways Avios to upgrade on other airlines?

As a rule, Qatar Airways Avios can only be used for upgrades on flights marketed and operated by Qatar Airways.

However, with Qatar Airways using the same currency as British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, you can transfer your Avios to any of these airlines – with no fee or transfer limits – and redeem them for a complimentary upgrade.

Do Qatar Airways Avios expire?

Qatar Airways Avios you earn are valid for at least three years, and expire twice per year if there’s no activity within your account: that’s on June 30 and December 31, excluding Platinum members whose Avios remain valid for as long as they maintain Platinum status.

For example, if you earn 10,000 Avios in April 2024 and an extra 15,000 in September, those 10,000 miles would expire on June 30, 2025, and the 15,000 on December 31, 2025.

However, every time you earn or redeem an Avios, your balance will be valid for a further 36 months. You may also extend or revalidate expired Avios by a further 12 months at a fee of US$0.015 per Avios.

Do you earn Qatar Airways Avios if you upgrade?

No, Avios and Qpoints earned with Qatar Airways will always be based on the original booking class, not the upgraded one. 

Can you transfer Avios to another Privilege Club member? 

Yes. You may transfer Avios from one Privilege Club account to another at a cost of US$15 per block of 1,000 Avios – up to a total of 250,000 Avios per calendar year.

Can I claim missing Avios from Qatar Airways flights?

Yes, it’s easy to claim missing Avios from a Qatar Airways flight. Claiming Avios from partner flights, on the other hand, is a little more complicated but can still be done. This guide shows you how to lodge a missing Avios claim.

10 Nov 2013

Total posts 14

Unlike the Al Mourjan lounge, I find the Business Class Lounge a disappointment.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1519

I eager to try Qatar business class but have not done so yet because Qatar release zero business seats into classic award. However few my relatives used Qatar with paying tickets and Qatar seems to be very and I mean very greedy. They charge quite a bit of money to choose seat in economy, their seat allocation at time of check in does not work in all locations and they offer to upgrade from economy to business for $540USD for 5 hours flight on A320 with mediocre business recliners and without lounge access!!! FWIW Finnair offer me upgrade for $500AUD on 12 hour flight with proper lie-flat seats and BA offer me upgrade from LHR to SYD from business to first for $300AUD. Both above mentioned upgrade was proper upgrade with all perks included and I than managed to visit Concorde room (was not impressed, BTW, but still). Also I purchased for my relatives access to lounge in Doha where they have 14 or so ours layover. There where two ladies with a toddler, upgrade states that they can use lounge for 2 hours. So once one and tree quarter of hour passed lounge attendant popped up from nowhere and force them to leave lounge. In the middle of the night where lounge was empty. Total disgrace.

I still like to try their business, but up until not I am not impressed with Qatar. At all.

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 69

Superb in the air...shambles on the ground. Sydney check-in team/supervisor, arrogant and unpleasant.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2017

Total posts 52

I agree with most of the previous commentary. Great in the air, not so great on the ground except for the lounge at Heathrow which in my opinion is pretty special.


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