Qatar Airways: fast-track to Oneworld Sapphire, Emerald status

By Chris C., September 16 2014
Qatar Airways: fast-track to Oneworld Sapphire, Emerald status

In an effort to poach travellers across from Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways is offering Aussie jetsetters a fast-track to Silver, Gold and Platinum status in its own Privilege Club program.

When flying with Qatar Airways from Australia to Doha and beyond to over 130 destinations, new and existing Privilege Club members can earn 50% more ‘Qpoints’ and ‘Qmiles’ in business and first class until October 31 2014.

If you’re normally stuck in economy, you’ll still earn 25% more Qpoints and Qmiles, so don’t fret.

Qpoints aren’t ‘points’ as we Aussies know it – they’re the Privilege Club equivalent of status credits, and are used solely to determine your frequent flyer tier.

(Earning 50% more Qpoints has the same effect as earning 50% more status credits in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.)

On the other hand, Qmiles can be swapped for free flights and upgrades, much in the same way as Qantas Points.

How it works: frequent flyer perks with Qantas, Qatar, Oneworld

As a member of the global Oneworld airline alliance, Qatar Airways Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers also match up to Oneworld Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, respectively – which puts them on-par with Qantas’ own frequent flyer levels of the same name.

For example, Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum members also have Oneworld Emerald status, and can enjoy many of the same perks as Qantas Platinum flyers such as first class lounge access, priority boarding and an increased baggage allowance when flying with Qantas, Qatar and other Oneworld airlines.

Similarly, Privilege Club Gold members match up to Qantas Gold-level flyers. Both are at the Oneworld Sapphire tier, which gives access to domestic Qantas Clubs, international business class lounges and priority boarding on Qantas international and most other Oneworld flights.

Reaching Silver: Qatar Privilege Club vs Qantas Frequent Flyer

Aussie travellers can take the easy road and credit their Qatar flights to Qantas Frequent Flyer, but as Australian Business Traveller has previously reported, Platinum-grade members wind up earning fewer points between Melbourne and London on Qatar than Melbourne and Perth on Qantas.

Further, with Qantas having slashed status credits on Qatar Airways flights, the 14-hour trek from Melbourne to Doha reels in just 20 status credits down the back of the bus.

That’s the same as what you’d earn on a short hop from Melbourne to Sydney with the Red Roo in economy, which may leave travellers scratching their heads.

Over in Qatar’s Privilege Club, base-level ‘Burgundy’ members flying on midrange business class fares ordinarily earn 50 Qpoints and 12,999 Qmiles on that same Melbourne-Doha flight.

Throw in the 50% bonus and that jumps to 75 Qpoints and 19,498 Qmiles in each direction, which gets you Privilege Club Silver and Oneworld Ruby status from a single trip.

To compare, you’d have to fly Melbourne-Doha-Melbourne in business class twice to earn Qantas Silver status, on top of at least four eligible Qantas or Jetstar flights.

Going for Gold, Platinum: Qatar Privilege Club vs Qantas Frequent Flyer

With Privilege Club, you’ll need to earn either 300 Qpoints to qualify for Gold, or 600 Qpoints to reach Platinum.

Including the 50% bonus, a return trip from Melbourne to London via Doha would gather 255 Qpoints on midrange business class tickets (in the C and D ‘fare buckets’), which sees you earning Gold during the second trip, and Platinum during the third.

Business class flyers can unwind in the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha
Business class flyers can unwind in the new Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha

Over in Qantas Frequent Flyer, it takes 700 status credits to reach Gold for the first time, or 1,400 status credits to land Platinum.

On that same Qatar Airways trip to London, travellers would net 280 status credits in business class from the return journey.

Crunching the numbers, Qantas Gold is yours on the third trip, while a shiny Qantas Platinum card arrives after the fifth trip.

That means that from the exact same flights, you’ll get through the door at the Qantas First Lounge after nearly half as many trips with Privilege Club as you would through Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Without Qatar’s 50% bonus, it takes one more trip to reach both Privilege Club Gold (Oneworld Sapphire) and Privilege Club Platinum (Oneworld Emerald) – but that would still see you with a top-tier Platinum card after four journeys, against five with Qantas.

The fine print

As always, there’s fine print – here’s what you need to know.

Bonus Qpoints and Qmiles are only available to Qatar Airways Privilege Club members residing in Australia, who must begin their eligible journey on Qatar Airways-operated flights from either Melbourne or Perth to Doha.

Passengers who connect to Melbourne or Perth from other Australian cities – including Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide – aren’t eligible for the deal unless the domestic tickets are booked separately from the international flights, as Australia-Doha needs to be the first sector on the itinerary.

Bonus points can be earned on flights from Australia to Doha, then when flying beyond Qatar’s Doha hub, and then again on the full return journey to Australia.

You’ll also need to register for the deal at least 24 hours before you travel. First, head to the Qatar Airways website, join Privilege Club or login with your Privilege Club details, and then visit the ‘My offers’ tab on the dashboard menu where you can register for the promotion.

For travellers who have already progressed to the elite Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers in Privilege Club, bonus Qmiles are calculated on the number of base miles earned on the journey (as would be earned by Burgundy members). In simple English, the usual ‘tier bonus’ is ignored when calculating bonus Qmiles.

There’s no limit to the number of times this offer can be used throughout the promotion period, although members may need to wait until November 30 for the bonus Qpoints and Qmiles to appear in their account.

For further information, to join Privilege Club or to register for the offer, head to the Qatar Airways website.

New to Qatar Airways? Also read:

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Interesting - a oneworld airline poaching from within the alliance.

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 217

Have they been known to status match?.

15 Nov 2012

Total posts 14

Nice picture of the new QR Doha Business Lounge. Seems to be shaped as a "Q"...


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 734

Chris, I found the article a bit confusing esp relating to the following paragraphs:

Further, with Qantas having slashed status credits on Qatar Airways flights, the 14-hour trek from Melbourne to Doha reels in just 20 status credits down the back of the bus. and Over in Qatar’s Privilege Club, base-level ‘Burgundy’ members flying on midrange business class fares ordinarily earn 50 Qpoints and 12,999 Qmiles on that same Melbourne-Doha flight.

In the above you are comparing economy fare QF status credits flying QR crediting to QF with business class fares on QR, earning Qpoints and crediting to QR? Not a fare comparison in my opinion (unless I am missing something?)

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 96

One difference between Qatar and Qantas that is worth noting.  I've never, ever in 20+ years had my wife (or kids) turned away from Qantas First lounge or Business Lounge, or Qantas Club when travelling with Qantas (when I'm in any class of ticket).  Qatar will NOT allow spouse travelling with me into thier Lounges even when  I'm in J class.

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