Qatar Airways has been running a number of sign-up promotions for new customers joining its Privilege Club frequent flyer programme lately, after running an aggressive status match campaign last year for top-tier KrisFlyer members and those of several other competing carriers including Emirates.
It’s been the programme’s recent developments that have been the most interest for our readers though, with Qmiles no longer expiring provided you have some earning or redemption activity at least once every three years, and a reversal of the infamous 2018 devaluation, bringing back attractive fuel surcharge-free award rates like Singapore to Europe for 70,000 miles + S$68 in the Qsuite (Business Class).
New member promotion
Last month we wrote about how Qatar Airways was running one of its less attractive sign-up offers for new Privilege Club members, with 1,000 bonus Qmiles on offer.
The good news is there’s actually a better deal out there if you’re new to the programme, offering at least 2,500 free Qmiles just for signing up by 30th April 2021, plus an additional 5,000 Qmiles and 50 Qpoints (which help you climb the status ladder) when taking any paid Qatar Airways flight between now and 30th June 2021.
Join Qatar Airways Privilege Club using promo code OAT3SMQ121 and receive 2,500 bonus Qmiles right away. When you take your first flight as a Privilege Club member, fast-track your tier status with 50 bonus Qpoints, you’ll enjoy 5,000 bonus Qmiles too.Qatar Airways
In terms of status, the 50 bonus Qpoints for those taking a paid flight before the end of June will get you one-third of the way towards the airline’s Silver tier (not counting the regular Qpoints you’ll accrue for a cash fare).
It’s Gold or Platinum you really want though, for access to oneworld Business Class or First Class lounges when flying on one of the alliance’s flights, even in Economy Class.
You’ll be credited immediately upon joining with the first 2,500 Qmiles, which don’t require any flight activity, plus the potential 5,000 additional miles for taking a paid flight before the end of June. These will all be valid for at least 3 years under Qatar’s activity-based miles expiry policy.
You can transfer credit card points in Singapore to Privilege Club from Citi and Standard Chartered credit cards, so it’s relatively easy for most of our readers to top up their balance to achieve a redemption.
Terms and conditions
Here are the full terms and conditions for this Privilege Club sign-up promotion:
- This offer is only applicable to main members who join Privilege Club using the promo code OAT3SMQ121
- Enrolment Period: 01 February 2021 – 31 April 2021 (we assume they mean 30 April 2021)
- Travel Period: 01 February 2021 – 30 June 2021
- Members who join with the applicable Promo Code will receive 2,500 bonus Qmiles at the time of enrolment.
- Members who did not quote the Promo Code at the time of enrolment will not receive the bonus Qmiles.
- First flight bonus of 5,000 Qmiles and 50 Qpoints will be credited to the membership account within 30 days of the first flight activity with Qatar Airways during the promotion period.
- Members need to ensure to quote their Privilege Club number at the time of booking or check-in so the Qmiles and Qpoints can be credited after the first flight travelled.
- In case of retro claims, 5,000 bonus Qmiles and 50 Qpoints will be awarded based if the member’s travel is within the offer period.
- Offer is applicable only for flights operated and marketed by Qatar Airways.
- Travel on Award tickets is not eligible for Bonus Qmiles and Qpoints.
- Existing Privilege Club members are not entitled to participate in this offer and any duplicate accounts will be cancelled by Privilege Club.
- Members need to earn 150 Qpoints to be upgraded to Silver tier
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 higher than using Qatar via Doha, in addition to the extra miles.
Qatar is also serving more cities in the US than SIA, 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 in 2019.
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.
Even if you won’t be taking a paid Qatar Airways flight between now and 30th June 2021, the basic 2,500 Qmiles bonus for all new members would reduce your effective miles outlay for a Singapore to Athens redemption in Business Class to 67,500 Qmiles.
With taxes of less than S$70 to pay and the Qsuite to look forward to between Singapore and Doha, that’s fantastic value.
Decent bonuses like this simply to join a frequent flyer programme are quite rare, so this is certainly a good time to sign up for the Qatar Airways Privilege Club scheme, even if you don’t think you’ll use it.
Hat-tip to Loyalty Lobby
(Cover Photo: Qatar Airways)