Qantas frequent flyer points: what you'll earn on Qatar Airways

By Chris Chamberlin, October 30 2013
Qantas frequent flyer points: what you'll earn on Qatar Airways

Today marks Qatar Airways’ initiation into the oneworld alliance, providing Qantas frequent flyers with another opportunity to earn points and status credits for travel to the Middle East and beyond.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the earning rates for Qantas Points on Qatar flights are abysmally low, while the usual ‘cabin bonus’ of extra points for travelling in business or first class is absent altogether.

This makes Qatar Airways the first Qantas partner not to offer a cabin bonus, and in concert with the low point-earning rates these shortcomings will undoubtedly steer some travellers towards flights within the Qantas/Emirates network.

Earning Qantas Points on Qatar flights

The airline’s earning table leaves much to be desired for frequent flyers – as it stands, the already-low Malaysia Airlines table looks incredibly generous by comparison.

Surprisingly, even a fully flexible business class ticket won’t accrue one point per mile – and if you’re travelling in economy, you’ll perhaps be more excited about the status credits than the number of points earned.

Qantas frequent flyers can now earn points for travel on QR-coded flights at the following rates:

Transferring this into a real life scenario, let’s compare flying from Melbourne to London on both Qantas and Qatar.

On a Qantas flight (including codeshares such as Emirates), a Platinum-grade Qantas frequent flyer would earn 26,290 points for a one way journey in business class (QF9 via Dubai).

But when travelling with Qatar Airways via Doha, the haul would be roughly 8,015 points - less than one third of your haul on the Flying Kangaroo.

It gets even worse if you're in economy. The same Platinum frequent flyers on Qantas would earn 21,032 points, while the yield on Qatar plummets to a miserable 2,672 points. That's right: almost one-tenth the number of points!

To put this in perspective: you could earn more points flying with Qantas from Melbourne to Perth than you'd earn jetting from Melbourne to London on oneworld’s latest member airline!

How to book a Qantas points-earning fare on Qatar

Travellers need to be diligent when making bookings with Qatar if any frequent flyer points and status credits are to be desired.

For Australian flights, Qatar offers the choice of four main fare types: ‘promotion fare’, ‘economy restricted’, ‘economy semi-flexible’ and ‘economy flexible’, as seen below:

Given that not all economy fares qualify for Qantas points and status credits, it’s worth noting that only the ‘economy flexible’ and ‘economy semi-flexible’ types generally book into eligible fare classes – corresponding to Y, B and H, K & M, respectively.

While some ‘economy restricted’ fares will book into the earning L and V fare classes, this fare type also houses the N and S ‘buckets’ under its umbrella, which we discovered during a dummy booking… fortunately though, the airline’s website provides the opportunity to review the booking class before proceeding:

Confused by all of the letters? Review our expert tips for working with booking classes and ‘fare buckets’.

Welcome bonus

To welcome Qatar into the oneworld alliance, all existing member airlines will be offering double points or miles on Qatar Airways flights between 15 November and 31 January, although this excludes flights taken between 20 December and 5 January – the peak Christmas/New Year travel season.

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

21 Feb 2012

Total posts 40

No talk of Status?

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Good question. The linked Qantas page tells us, informatively, that:

"Status credits are earned on all eligible booking classes"

which could mean several things.

As for points though, it looks like under most circumstances you'll earn more Qantas points by using your Qantas Amex card to buy your Qatar tickets than you will by actually flying on Qatar.

Qantas is a pretty awful program; if I have to fly oneworld I credit it to AA. For what it's worth, AA's earn rates on Qatar metal are significantly better:

Hi spentan,

This article was focused mainly on earning frequent flyer points, as David's article covered the bulk of the partnership details.

As Hugo has indicated, "status credits are earned on all eligible booking classes", which means that if your booking class is included within the earning table, you'll earn status credits in addition to points.

If your booking class is not included in the table, you will earn neither points nor status credits, though you will still have access to any applicable status benefits (included lounges and priority handling) when travelling on such fares.

Note that status credits aren't subject to the percentage-based recalculations, so in that regard, it's 'business as usual' – as you would find when flying the same distance on any oneworld airline in an earning fare class.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 197

Wow, worse than the earn on MH..

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 182

Park your QR earnings with either BA or AA and you could get a lot more than peanuts.


How did you get the 8,015 figure for QR? My calculations is as follows:

Carrier1st Leg2nd LegDeduction (25% off base miles)QF Cabin Bonus (50% extra)QF OW Emerald Bonus (100% extra)Total
Carrier1st Leg2nd LegDeduction (Not Applicable)AA Cabin Bonus (25% extra)AA OW Emerald Bonus (100% extra)Total

Have I missed something?

ooops I forgot this site doesn't do tables...


Hi TheRealBabushka,

Your calculation, while hard to follow without the table, appears to be based on an assumption that cabin and status bonuses apply on QR-coded flights when crediting to Qantas, which isn't the case.

As you've shown, the earning rates for Qatar flights may be entirely different if crediting to AAdvantage, though I didn't mention the AA earning rates in the article – a choice on my part to keep things focused on what Qatar's membership means for Qantas Frequent Flyer members.

For Melbourne to London via Doha, I used to calculate a rough distance between the ports.

As such, it calculated Melbourne-Doha as 7,427 miles, and Doha-London Heathrow as 3,259 miles.

Totalling ~10,687 miles (when decimals places are included), at a 75% earn rate, Qantas frequent flyers would earn roughly 8,015 points in business, and at 25%, 2,671.75 points in economy (rounded up to 2,672 in the article).

There's no improvement to the earning rates by way of cabin or status bonuses, as these don't apply on QR-coded flights.

Hi Chris. Thanks for the response!

I agree on the 8,015 figure (inclusive of the 25% reduction). The assumption in story is the pax being a QFF Plat (Emerald). Wouldn't that earn them a 100% status bonus?

True there is no Cabin Bonus component but there still is a Status Bonus element isn't there? Or have I got it wrong?

OMG! You're right! There is no status bonus across the board for QFF

"...If you are a Platinum, Gold or Silver Frequent Flyer, you'll earn extra points (your Status bonus) when you fly on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, British Airways (for travel until 30 March 2013) and American Airlines® flights"

Oh wow! Good grief! Why do people stick with QFF???


19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Hugo is right. The smart tactic is to credit QF and other OneWorld travel to AAdvantage. If you lack status with AA you can do the platinum status challenge which gives you a 100% bonus on OneWorld flights to get you kick started (matches to QFF Gold but with better bonus earn).

Not only is the earn rate better than as Qf FF (with the exception of some short  sectors) the redemption rate  blows QF out of the water. The icing on the cake is the lack of fuel surcharges on AA flights. Not to mention the ability to purchase points at reasonable cost (e.g. promos of 50% extra points, thus 90,000 pts for USD1650, enough for a one way first class Aus-Europe).

The lack of parity between QF and the new OneWorld members is desparate stuff by QF, putting it increasingly out of step with other major alliance players, presumably in an attempt to bolster its boutique operations.

Frequent flyers should really be looking way outside the QF (and VA) fold to maxmimise their return on points, etc...the hopeless point earn on Qatar via QF FF may be a motivator to some to spread their frequent flyer wings!

Sure, being able to redeem onto Emirates with QF points is nice, but there's always Qatar and Etihad redemptions through AA and on some routes on Emirates through Alaska Airlines (e.g. Asia/ME-USA).

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 531

That's disappointing... I guess I'll stick to QF/EK rather than trying Qatar then.

Anyone know if it is Qatar or QF that have decided on the low points earn? If it's QF then maybe it's a smart move to keep people on the QF/EK partnership.


19 Jun 2013

Total posts 52

It's lousy, I agree. Biz earning 75% only? Wow, that's tough. But having said that, in view of the QF/EK "partnership",  what would you expect?

I find it quite interesting that AUSBT is reporting exclusively on the earning rates for QFF, when it would appear from the comments below that there is an ever growing number of people using this site, who have made the switch to a more competitive FF programme.

I'm not knocking this news story or the writers. Merely pointing out that there is wider audience out there, who despite being domiciled in Australia have exercised their freedom of choice in the Australian aviation market.

Maybe more news features targeted to this segment of the market?

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Also without intending to knocking the AusBT team, yes, I agree Babushka.

For those who have diversified this would be great.

But also, for those who have yet to diversify their frequent flyer strategy, it would could provide invaluable insights.

A case in point per the above - join AAdvantage and the 100% status bonus applies extensively if not right across the OneWorld carriers from their Platinum (=QF Gold).

By example, one way first MEL-LHR on 12 November:

  • QF - 192,000 pts and >$500 fees/fuel surcharges
  • AA - 80,000 pts and around $100 fees surcharges

The $400 saved could purchase more than enough AA points for a one way domestic business class in Australia - use this wisely (e.g. CNS-PER, etc) to get up to $2,000 or more value.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

I was cintemplating switching to AA. Am flying them in F at the moment and would have probably been able to become exec Plat with a challenge, however, AA did not offer this for QFF. They tend to only offer these challenges for their American competitors. Will be flying QR i F from LHR to DOH on Nov 7th. Very disappointed with the earn rate as well as with the fact that the double points promo only kicks in as of November 15th?!?!? Really time to switch to a different FF program, even if they don't offer challenges....

KG, the challenge is open to anyone! The Platinum Challenge will fastrack you to OW Sapphire. The miles you earn in that process goes towards your Exec Plat count. But I suggest you embark on this from 1 Jan 2014. Aadavantage accrual year is the calendar year. I've heard there is an Exec Plat challenge but it's not advertised. No harm giving them a ring. Ring the US to be put through to the Aadvanatage customer service in Dallas. The Fiji call centre staff are lovely but they're not very familiar with the programme.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

I am only interested in Exec Plat TRB. Want OW Emerald status and not Sapphire. I did call AA in the USA but no dice. Wanted to do it now as I am on AA stock flying AUH-JFK (operated by EY) - SFO and LAS-DFW-LGA, JFK-LHR-DOH (operted by QR). Most under AA flightnumber so would have earned a good chunk of mileage as all is in F class.

I'm not quite sure I'm following you. Are you wanting a status match to Exec Plat?

A status match is not = an AA challenge.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

I was willing to do a challenge as I am flying AA a lot and would easily made around 60K status miles if not more, however AA does not offer Ecxec Plat challenges, at least not for FF from other programs than DL, UA and US. 

Why would you want immediate Exec Plat status when you can benefit from OW Emerald status on the basis of your QFF Plat status in the interim whilst you work towards Exec Plat from Plat having done the Plat Challenge? There is no difference in rates of accrual between Exec Plat and Plat. The only big difference is access to First Class lounges, systemwide upgrades and complimentary upgrades on domestic US flights. Since you can already use First Class lounges while your QFF Plat is still valid and you're flying in premium cabins already (hence not requiring the upgrades) there is no material difference between a status match to a Exec Plat and working your way up from AA plat.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

As I would have to juggle my fligths, ensuring I keep QFF Plat status long enough until I have accrued enough mileage to become AA Ex Plat. If I switch I want to cut off QF completely and focus on one program. Also, those systemwide upgrades are the gem of ExPlat as well as the complimentary upgrades in the USA (yes I know, you get them as Plat depending on the upgrade list). Anyway, not a big deal, sticking with QF for a bit longer and will review my travel planning for the future to see what FF program suits my needs best.

Absolutely! Get a calendar an excel spreadsheet going! Timing and cut off is key! Good luck!!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

I think that if AUSBT would venture into the whole world of FF programs it will become too much too handle, better to focus on Asia-Pacific and do a great job, rather than focus on the whole world and do a half a**ed job.

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

KG, there is a glaring opportunity for AusBT to look at how the non-Australian FF schemes would apply to Australians!

There is a fair swag of websites already catering particularly for US and Europe based FFs and the existing Australian blogs are mainly focused on QF and VA, particularly QF.

That QF continues to undermine the value of its own scheme, particularly over the last few months, accentuates the case for Australian FFs to consider innovative alternatives.

Personally, I've been way too over-invested in QF, having become intent on maintaining Platinum ("take care of the status credits and the points will look after themselves"), but the value of a diversified approach is so compelling that I realise that I'll be around 4 times better off by deploying a smarter strategy and may have to look beyond the "nice to have" of Platinum and make do with my lifetime gold status.

Looking beyond QF also opens things up - was just looking at a holiday in the Maldives and realised I can get there for $1500 return on SQ, including flights on the SQ A380 SYD-SIN, by buying Avianca points when on offer.

The money I'd save by not paying QF fuel surcharges on reemption tickets alone would fund couple of business class trips a year.

My Amex MR points can go to Malaysia instead of QF and get me 250% more value on busines class to Europe.


19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

PS that's SYD-MLE in business for $1500


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

SQ in C as you cannot combine C and F awards on aa single itinerary with Lifemiles ;)


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

PLATY, I am aware of the FF programs such as Enrich, Avianca, US Airways, AA etc that can get you very cheap trips, however, I don't think this is the territory of AUSBT. They tend to report on (business) travel and not on maximizing points value, tricks on how to get cheap points by transfers, buying outright etc etc. This is really more the domain of blogs of individuals. The example you gave of Avianca Lifemiles is very true but it is all quite tricky. You have to wait til you can buy miles with discount, Aianca has been known to devaluate without notice, their availability is not half as good as the UA inventory, you can only book in a single class etc etc. Buying points is always speculative as it is rare there is a points promo on when you need the points for a flight. Availability is another tricky point, you have to be flexible. Anyway, I see your point and agree that besides QF there are way better mileage programs for Austraian FF, but I can see why AUSB does not want to delve into the points game too much as well.

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Sure, KG, at the end of the day it's up to the gang at AusBT where they want to put their focus....and yes, information on alternatives is available elsewhere if you dig around (albeit rarely from an Australian pespective). 

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