Deals Oneworld Other FFPs Qatar Airways

Flash sale: Buy Qatar Airways Qmiles from 2 cents each

For 2 days only, get a 50% discount when you top-up your Qatar Airways Qmiles balance from as little as 5,000 miles, but you must have earned in the past to be eligible.

Qatar Airways is offering a 50% discount when you buy or gift its Qmiles, giving you the opportunity to top up your balance in this newly revalued frequent flyer programme from just 1.5 US cents per mile (around 2 Singapore cents per mile).

You can buy up to 250,000 Qmiles per calendar year, which is also the purchase limit during this bonus promotion.

The good thing about this promotion is that the 50% discount kicks in at only 5,000 Qmiles purchased, which is great if you just need a small top-up.

Here’s how the cost of Qmiles looks under this 50% discount offer:

Miles purchased Usual
Cost per mile
Discounted
Cost per mile
1,000 – 4,000 3.50 US ¢ 3.50 US ¢
(no discount)
5,000 – 10,000 3.50 US ¢ 1.75 US ¢
11,000 – 25,000 3.30 US ¢ 1.65 US ¢
26,000 – 250,000 3.00 US ¢ 1.50 US ¢

For purchases of 5,000 miles or more, this 50% discount means you’re effectively getting a 100% bonus (twice as many miles per dollar spent).

Notice how the price banding leads to the strange situation where buying 25,000 miles is actually more expensive than buying 26,000 or 27,000 miles!

You must have earned Qmiles already

One snag with buying Qmiles is that you must have earned at least 1,000 Qmiles since you joined the programme in order to be eligible to buy.

This includes miles earning from previous credit card points to Qmiles transfers, or crediting paid Qatar Airways or oneworld flights to the programme.

Luckily I have earned Qmiles in the past and so despite only having a balance of 500 miles in my account (from what exactly I can’t remember!), I am eligible to buy in this promotion.

Deadline: 16th December 2020

You’ll have to act fast if you want to take advantage of this offer, which closes at 11.59pm on Tuesday 15th December 2020 in Qatar, which is 4.59am on Wednesday 16th December 2020 Singapore time.

That gives you just under two days to buy, and we would recommend doing so by tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

  Buy Qatar Airways Qmiles

Qatar will still be selling its Qmiles at a discount from 16th December – 29th December 2020, however this will be at 30% off not 50% off (i.e. from 2.1 US cents or 2.8 Singapore cents each, a far less attractive proposition).

Qmiles are valuable again

Last month Qatar Airways cut its award rates, bringing redemption prices on its flights back to pre-May 2018 levels (when an unannounced and significant devaluation occurred).

With no fuel surcharges passed on to its own members redeeming Qatar Airways flights since 2015, this is now among the cheapest redemption options from Singapore to Europe in Business Class, with the excellent Qsuite also on offer.

The Qatar Airways Qsuite. (Photo: Airbus)

Here are some example redemption options using the programme, showing miles rates and taxes payable for redeeming on Qatar Airways flights one-way from Singapore using Qmiles, against some other programmes.

Qatar Business Class redemption from Singapore
FFP Doha London Athens New York
QRtrans 50k
+S$58
75k
+S$68
70k
+S$68
95k
+S$91
AM Logo trans 61k
+S$422
70k
+S$482
70k
+S$482
90k
+S$605
AVIOStrans 62k
+S$422
124k
+S$482
84k
+S$482
170.25k
+S$605
QFFtrans 75k
+S$422
119.2k
+S$482
90k
+S$482
159k
+S$605
MHtrans 82k
+S$422
131k
+S$482
131k
+S$482
165k
+S$605

As you can see even though you’ll pay slightly less to fly in Business Class from Singapore to London on Qatar Airways using Asia Miles, the fuel surcharge payable through that programme significantly increases the cash outlay to nearly S$500, compared to just S$70 using Privilege Club Qmiles.

Unfortunately Qatar’s partner award chart, for redemptions on oneworld carriers like Qantas, Cathay Pacific and British Airways, remains relatively poor value. For example, Singapore to Hong Kong in Business Class on Cathay will set you back a whopping 50,000 Qmiles + S$55!

For comparison, Asia Miles is charging 25,000 miles in Business Class on that route, with Avios coming in even cheaper at 22,000 miles.

Using Qmiles to redeem partner awards is poor value. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Qatar also passes on fuel surcharges (where they are applied) when you redeem Qmiles on partner airlines, so it’s altogether a poor deal and therefore these miles are really best used on Qatar Airways flights themselves.

Qmiles don’t expire

As we reported in July this year, your Qatar Qmiles will no longer expire, provided you earn or redeem at least one mile every three years.

Buying miles, if you are eligible, also resets the clock and keeps your entire Qmiles stash safe for another three years.

That welcome change replaced a former three-year fixed validity policy, not too dissimilar to KrisFlyer’s.

Terms and conditions

Full terms and conditions for this offer are as follows:

The Promotion provides an eligible member with the opportunity to earn a discount on Qmiles purchased during the promotion period from 00.01 GMT +3 on 14 December 2020 to 23.59 GMT+3 on 15 December 2020.

This offer is available only for transactions made on the Buy Qmiles and Gift Qmiles store on qatarairways.com via the Points Platform only and when a minimum of 5,000 Qmiles are purchased and cannot be applied in combination with another offer that may be available on the Buy or Gift product.

Qmiles bought or gifted through this Offer will count towards the maximum limit of 250,000 Qmiles allowed in a calendar year. 

  • Price includes all applicable fees.
  • Purchased or transferred Qmiles are not refundable and will be posted within 72 hours.
  • Qmiles purchased or transferred do not count towards qualification for any increased or improved status in the Privilege Club programme.
  • All standard Privilege Club programme terms and conditions apply.
  • Qatar Airways reserves the right to change the pricing and terms of the Buy, Gift and Transfer option at any time.
  • Members can buy, gift or transfer up to 250,000 Qmiles per calendar year. 
  • To buy or gift, prices start from US$35 and go as low as US$30 for every block of 1,000 Qmiles.
  • To transfer, prices start from  US$15 and go as low as US$13 for every block of 1,000 Qmiles
  • The price depends on the number of Qmiles bought or purchased in a transaction.
  • Members must have earned a minimum of 1,000 Qmiles since enrolment to purchase additional Qmiles.
  • Members must have a minimum balance of 1,000 Qmiles to gift Qmiles. 

Which card to use

If you are going to buy in this promotion, and assuming like most of our readers you are based in Singapore, you’ll want to achieve the maximum number of credit card miles for the purchase itself when buying Qmiles.

The transaction happens in US dollars (i.e. non-SGD) and is processed by points.com.

Pointsdotcom

You can earn the most extra miles for the purchase transaction by using one of the following Singapore issued credit cards if you can:

Card Miles per S$1 Notes
Citi Rewards MC 2019Citi Rewards Visa / MasterCard
(see our review)
4.0 4 mpd on all online spend in a statement period, capped at S$1,000 per card.
Card.pngDBS WWMC*
(see our review)
4.0* 4 mpd on all online spend in a calendar month, capped at S$2,000.
Card.pngUOB Visa Signature
(see our review)
4.0 4 mpd on all overseas spend of at least S$1,000 in a statement period, capped at S$2,000.
image_standard-chartered-visa-infinite@2x02.pngStandard Chartered Visa Infinite
(see our review)
3.0 For non-SGD spend, provided total card spend (any currency) is S$2,000 or greater in the same statement cycle.
UOB-PRVI-MC.pngUOB PRVI Miles (see our review) 2.4 All non-SGD spend.
Card.jpgOCBC Voyage Visa
(see our review)
2.2 All non-SGD spend.
Card2019.pngCiti PremierMiles (see our review) 2.0 All non-SGD spend.
Card2019.pngCiti Prestige (see our review) 2.0 All non-SGD spend.

* Note: Our readers have reported that using the DBS WWMC card via points.com does not automatically award the higher 4 mpd earn rate. You must usually appeal and claim the bonus miles later.

Summary

2 Singapore cents per mile is a competitive rate to pick up Qatar Airways Qmiles now that the programme has been ‘revalued’, especially for small top-ups to reach a redemption threshold.

For example you might want to transfer 70,000 Citi Miles into Qmiles, then top up the extra 5,000 Qmiles needed by paying US$87.50, rather than add another 10,000-mile block from your credit card points, in order to have the perfect number of miles to fly the Qsuite to London.

(Photo: Qatar Airways)

For a full redemption from zero balance, it also gives you the opportunity to fly in Business Class from Singapore to Athens, for example, for the equivalent of S$1,400 (not amazing, but not awful either).

This is the second time this year Qatar has offered a discount when buying its miles, so if you’re not able to participate (having not earned Qmiles in the past) it might be an idea to start interacting with the programme a little by earning miles in order to be eligible next time round.

A word of warning though – given Qatar’s previous no-notice devaluation, we would only recommend buying miles if you have a specific redemption in mind to book in the near future. This is not a frequent flyer programme to trust with a large miles balance in your account.

  Buy Qatar Airways Qmiles

Links on Mainly Miles may pay us an affiliate commission.

(Cover Photo: Qatar Airways)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: