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Qatar Airways is running a promotion to buy Qmiles with up to a 30% discount. This deal runs through December 24, 2021. With this promotion, members can buy miles for 2.1¢ each. That's not the best price in the world. So, is it worth it? Let's look at some examples.
A Note on Buying Qmiles
Buying points isn't usually the best way to accumulate any award currency—Qmiles or otherwise. It's much better to earn points and miles through everyday purchases, credit card welcome bonuses, and traveling. However, there are at least a couple of scenarios where buying points can make sense.
First, if your balance is just short of booking that next great redemption, buying points can be the fastest solution. Considering award availability can change in a second, waiting around for points to post may mean the difference between snagging an award and not.
Second, it's often possible to save money by buying points for an award redemption instead of paying the cash fare. Below, we'll look at some examples of this.
Key Terms of the Deal to Buy Qmiles
- Buy or Gift Qmiles and receive up to a 30% discount.
- Promotion expires at 23:59 GMT+3 on December 24, 2021 (3:59pm EST in the US) .
- You can buy Qmiles in increments of 1,000.
- Pricing is tiered: the more you buy, the lower the price.
- The maximum number of Qmiles a member can purchase in a year is 250,000.
- Purchases of Qmiles are not refundable.
- Miles will be deposited in the member's account within 72 hours.
- Purchased miles do not count toward status or tier qualifications.
- Members must have at least 1,000 miles in their account to gift Qmiles during the sale.
- Only members with at least 1,000 Qmiles of earning activity in the past can buy miles.
That last 2 rules are important. If you don't have the necessary account history, you will see this error message:
With this promotion, you can buy Qmiles with up to a 30% discount. Pricing is as follows:
- 4,000 Qmiles or less — no discount
- 5,000 to 10,000 Qmiles — 10% discount
- 11,000 to 49,000 Qmiles — 20% discount
- 50,000 or more Qmiles — 30% discount
With a 30% discount, this brings the price per mile down to 2.1¢.
The Value of Qatar Airways Qmiles
For economy awards, typical redemption values are around 1.1-1.5¢ each. For long-haul premium redemptions, Qmiles can be worth approximately 3¢ each.
This doesn't mean that you'll always get this much value from every Qmiles redemption option. In fact, many redemptions with Qatar Airways Privilege Club can be downright bad redemptions. However, the value can be found when you know where to look.
Buy Qmiles and Save
Qatar Airways Privilege Club calculates award charges by distance. They recently improved numerous redemption costs, which you can read about here. The program also dropped its “award flight fee”, making the cash portion of redemptions more economical.
Let's take a look at a couple of scenarios where you could save money if you buy Qmiles, instead of paying cash for a ticket.
Chicago to Male, Maldives in Qatar Qsuites
- Mileage Rate: 85,000 Qmiles
- Typical Cash Price: $2,524
- Redemption Rate: 2.92 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 70,000 Qmiles (at 2.1¢ per mile): $1,785
Doha, Qatar to Muscat, Oman in Qatar First Class
This option would allow you to check out the famous Al Safwa First Class Lounge in the Doha airport!
- Mileage Rate: 21,000 Qmiles
- Typical Cash Price: $1,010
- Redemption Rate: 4.8 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 70,000 Qmiles (at 2.1¢ per mile): $441
Miami to São Paulo in American Airlines Flagship First Class
- Mileage Rate: 150,000 Qmiles
- Typical Cash Price: $5,600
- Redemption Rate: 3.7 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 150,000 Qmiles (at 2.1¢ per mile): $3,150
Los Angeles to Sydney in Business Class with a Free Stopover in Doha
- Mileage Rate: 120,000 Qmiles
- Typical Cash Price: $4,558
- Redemption Rate: 3.75 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 34,000 Qmiles (at 2.1¢ per mile): $2,520
For other redemption ideas, you can check the Qmiles calculator to see how many miles you need.
Buy Qmiles with the Right Card to Maximize Your Earnings
Like many loyalty programs, Qatar Airways Privilege Club partners with Points.com to process Qmiles purchases. This means buying Qmiles will (unfortunately) not qualify for any ‘travel' bonus category on cards that offer one.
With that in mind, the best card to use will fit into one of two categories:
- A card that offers a great return on everyday purchases
- A card on which you're currently completing a minimum spending requirement
Here are some of our favorite cards for everyday purchases:
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- Discover it® Miles
Other Ways to Earn Qatar Qmiles
If you aren't in a rush, there are other (less expensive) ways to add to your Qmiles stash.
Qatar Airways Transfer Parters
You can transfer points from the following:
- Citi ThankYou Points transfer to Qatar at a 1:1 ratio (transfers take 1-2 days)
- Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to Qatar at a 3:1 ratio, plus a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred (transfers take 1–4 days)
- Accor Live Limitless points transfer to Qatar at a 2:1 ratio
- Hilton Honors points transfer to Qmiles at a 10:1 transfer ratio
- World of Hyatt points transfer to Qatar at a 5:2 transfer ratio — with a better rate for transfers of 50k+ points
Consequently, any card earning these types of points can — in effect — earn Qatar Airways Qmiles. Even better, if you collect more than one, you can simply pool them together.
Qatar Airways currently offers a promotion for Privilege Club members to buy Qmiles with up to a 30% discount. We saw a promotion with a 40% discount not long ago, so this isn't the best price. When or if that will return is anyone's guess.
2.1¢ per mile isn't the best price, and Privilege Club is a bit of a dark horse in this hobby. However, for some redemptions, this deal could make sense — especially given the easier access to Qatar's famous Qsuites when booking through its own program.
Would you buy Qmiles for 2.1¢ each?
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