We’ve been talking about Qatar Airways Privilege Club quite a lot recently, since the once-useless programme, which had little value following a stealth devaluation in May 2018, rolled back its award rates to previous levels in November last year. That boosted the program to the top of the list for Singapore – Europe redemptions in the popular Qsuite, with no fuel surcharges.
The airline also changed to an activity-based miles expiry policy last year, making it easier to retain your balance with a simple earning or redemption transaction once every three years.
New member promotion
This month Qatar Airways has launched a new offer, awarding new Privilege Club members with a bonus of 1,000 free Qmiles just for signing up to the programme.
There is no need to book or take a Qatar Airways flight in order to receive the 1,000 Qmiles sign-up bonus, but you’ll also be entitled to an additional 1,000 miles bonus for your first online booking and 500 miles for subsequent online bookings during the promotion period, which runs from now until 30th April 2021.
You can transfer credit card points in Singapore to Qatar Privilege Club from Citi and Standard Chartered credit cards, so it’s relatively easy for most of our readers to achieve redemptions using the programme.
Terms and conditions
Here are the full terms and conditions for this Privilege Club sign-up promotion:
- This offer is applicable only to main members who join to Privilege Club using the promo code JOINPC21
- Enrolment Period: 1 February 2021 – 30 April 2021
- Members who join with the applicable Promo Code will receive 1,000 bonus Qmiles instantly upon successful completion of the enrolment.
- Members who did not quote the Promo Code at the time of enrolment will not receive any bonus Qmiles.
- Existing Privilege Club members are not entitled to participate in this offer and any duplicate accounts will be cancelled by Privilege Club
Qatar redemptions are good value again
As we mentioned above, last year saw the welcome news that Qatar Airways had slashed award rates for members redeeming on its own flights, back to the more reasonable pre-devaluation levels of early 2018.
With no fuel surcharges applied on award tickets, this has elevated the programme to among the best value options for Business Class redemptions in the excellent Qsuite (see our review), especially from Singapore to Europe and back.
Here are some examples.
Business Class redemptions from Singapore
* S$113 if routing via FRA
As you can see, award rates from Singapore have fallen across the board, but it’s Europe flights that get the biggest benefit compared to KrisFlyer, costing 75,000 miles instead of 92,000 miles, with not dissimilar taxes.
Even better, closer cities in Europe like Athens and Sofia are priced at 70,000 miles one-way in Business.
For Singapore to USA flights the saving is less significant at 4,000 miles (95k vs. 99k), though it’s worth noting if you redeem a Business Saver to New York via Frankfurt with SIA the taxes are over S$50 more than using Qatar via Doha, in addition to the extra miles.
Qatar is also serving more cities in the US, including Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C.
Asia Miles is the only other widely held frequent flyer currency for our Singapore readers offering good value redemptions on Qatar Airways, but beware the fuel surcharge!
For example, even though Singapore to London via Doha on Qatar comes in at 70,000 Asia Miles (5,000 less than using Qmiles), S$477 of taxes and fees are payable due to the significant fuel surcharge Qatar Airways passes on to most partners. That significantly outweighs the miles saved.
Even if you’re flying on Qatar Airways without the Qsuite, chances are you’ll secure their flat-bed product with direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration, such as on the Boeing 787 and some Airbus A350s.
These are still a great way to travel. See our full review of the experience between Athens and Doha.
Don’t forget Qatar’s lounges
With attractive redemption rates again, another benefit of flying Qatar Airways is the airline’s own lounges.
While the large facilities you’ll have access to on a Business Class award ticket during transit in Doha are nice, it’s the carrier’s ‘outstation’ Premium Lounges that really shine, including facilities at London Heathrow, Paris, Bangkok and right here in Singapore.
With à la carte dining, spacious shower suites and a martini bar, including a choice of two Champagnes, the new Singapore Lounge even puts SIA’s own First Class facilities to shame.
Qatar Airways offered a much better sign-up promotion last year, with 2,500 Qmiles just for enrolling, plus an additional 5,000 Qmiles and 50 Qpoints (which help you climb the status ladder) when taking any paid Qatar Airways flight before 31st March 2021.
If you weren’t planning to join the programme any time soon it may be better to hold out for an improved offer like that one. Similarly the programme has offered 2,000 Qmiles sign-up bonuses without the need to take a flight earlier in 2020, twice as good as this offer.
If you were planning to sign up though between now and the end of April 2021, it’s worth using this promo code for 1,000 free miles. Even though it may not sound much, this would reduce your effective miles outlay for a Singapore to Athens redemption in Business Class to 69,000 miles.
With taxes of less than S$70 to pay and the Qsuite to look forward to between Singapore and Doha, that’s great value.
Hat-tip to Loyalty Lobby
(Cover Photo: Qatar Airways)