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Through June 30, 2022, Qatar Airways is offering up to a 40% transfer bonus on point transfers from dozens of banks. U.S. citizens can take advantage of this promotion by transferring Citi ThankYou Points to Avios.
Qatar Transfer Bonus Key Terms
Qatar Airways has 30 banks from which you can transfer points to Avios with up to a 40% transfer bonus now through June 30, 2022. However, almost all of these banks are in the Middle East. Citi is the only relevant bank partner for U.S. readers.
Citi ThankYou points generally transfer to Avios at a 1:1 ratio. If you transfer reward points equivalent of up to 20,000 Avios, you'll get 20% bonus points credited to your Privilege Club account. If you transfer rewards points equivalent to over 20,000 Avios, you'll get 40% bonus points. Qatar notes that it may take 30-60 days after completing the transfer for the bonus to be posted.
Etihad ran a similar promotion, but the only relevant transfer partner for U.S. citizens was Marriott Bonvoy. Unfortunately, transferring Marriott Bonvoy points doesn't qualify for the Avios 20% transfer bonus. Only Avios transferred from a Qatar Airways bank partner are eligible for this promotion.
Overview of the Qatar Avios Program
Avios, the miles used by Qatar Airways, are a worthy investment — especially if you want to fly Qatar Qsuite. After devaluing Qmiles in 2018, Qatar Airways lowered its award rates by up to 49% at the end of 2020. The airline also dropped its reward flights fee, and Qmiles expired after 36 months of inactivity. Then in February 2022, Qatar Airways adopted Avios as its award points program.
Qatar Airways is part of the Oneworld Alliance, so your Avios can be used to book a flight on 17 partner airlines — including a couple of partners that aren't part of the alliance. Qatar Airways flies to over 150 destinations in nearly 100 countries, including several airports in the U.S. Thus, you likely have plenty of ways to use Avios.
Considering Qatar Airways took home the award for Best Airline of the Year in 2021, this bonus could be advantageous for anyone eager to see what the buzz is about.
Qatar Avios Sweet Spots
Using Avios for award flights is rather straightforward. You'll pay 35,000 Avios to fly in economy from any origin airport in the US to Doha, Qatar. From there, you will need to use another 7,500 to 25,000 Avios to your final destination — depending on the distance. If you prefer to fly business class, the amount of Avios you need is doubled. Qatar doesn't currently operate first class to the U.S., but first-class awards would cost triple the economy fare.
To get 70,000 Avios for a Qsuite award to Doha, you'll only need to transfer 50,000 Citi ThankYou points during the 40% transfer bonus.
Flying to the Maldives costs only 42,500 Avios from any airport in the US for economy or 85,000 Avios for Qsuite. Factoring in the 40% transfer bonus, you'd only need to transfer 31,000 Citi points for economy or 61,000 Citi points for business class to book this award.
Award fights from the U.S. to Bangkok, Thailand — a country that's fully opened to travelers — costs 47,500 Avios in economy or 95,000 Avios in Qsuite.
The most expensive award we can find is to fly all the way from the U.S. to New Zealand for a total of 60,000 Avios in economy or 120,000 Avios in business class.
Or, stick within the Middle East — such as a short trip beyond Doha to Dubai — for a total of 37,500 Avios in economy or 75,000 Avios in business class.
Building up your Qatar Airways Avios balance is certainly not a bad idea, especially if you're planning some long-haul flights to the Middle East or beyond. You can also use your Avios for any Oneworld Alliance partner, but the Avios partner award chart isn't nearly as good.
The 40% transfer bonus from Citi to Qatar Airways is a nice perk. However, make sure to factor in the potential delay in receiving the bonus miles. If it actually takes 30-60 days to post, it makes it hard to book anything near-term.
Remember that this Qatar Airways transfer bonus ends June 30, 2022. So, be sure to transfer by then if interested.
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