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Through June 30, 2023, Qatar Airways is offering a 30% transfer bonus on point transfers from dozens of banks. U.S. citizens can take advantage of this promotion by transferring Citi ThankYou Points or HSBC Bank points to Avios.
Qatar Transfer Bonus Key Terms
Qatar Airways is offering a 30% transfer bonus now through June 30, 2023 from the following 28 banks:
However, almost all of these banks are in the Middle East or are limited to members in other countries. For instance, American Express is listed, but the bonus is only available for Amex members in France and India.
For U.S. readers, Citi and HSBC are the only relevant bank partners — as highlighted in Qatar's email to U.S. members:
Citi ThankYou Points generally transfer to Avios at a 1:1 ratio. During this Qatar transfer bonus, you'll get 30% bonus points credited to your Privilege Club account.
Note that Qatar says it may take 45 days after the end of the campaign (meaning August 14, 2023) for the bonus Avios to be posted to your account. The bonus will likely post much quicker, but just a heads up that it may not.
100,000 Bonus Avios Giveaway
Additionally, Qatar is giving 100,000 bonus Avios to 10 members who take advantage of this transfer bonus. Qatar frames this as if it's a sweepstakes:
“You could be one of 10 lucky members to win an additional 100,000 bonus Avios.* The more you reward points you convert, the greater your chances of winning.”
However, if you scroll to the terms and conditions, it's clearly stated that the 10 members who transfer the most Avios during this promotion will be rewarded with the 100k bonus:
“The top 10 members with highest conversion value of base Avios at the end the Campaign Period will be awarded additional 100,000 Avios each on top of the 30% bonus Avios already availed.”
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. 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.
Qatar's Privilege Club has had quite a turbulent past few years. 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 improved its Qmiles expiration policy. Then, in February 2022, Qatar Airways adopted Avios as its award points program. However, it does charge per-segment fees on award bookings, and these can add up quickly.
Qatar Airways is part of the Oneworld Alliance, so your Avios can be used to book a flight on 17 partner airlines. This includes a couple of partners that aren't part of the alliance.
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 U.S. 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 54,000 Citi ThankYou points during the 30% transfer bonus.
A one-way award from the U.S. to the Maldives costs only 42,500 Avios in economy. It costs 85,000 Avios for Qsuite business class. Factoring in the 30% transfer bonus, you'd only need to transfer 33,000 Citi points for economy or 66,000 Citi points for business class to book this award.
Award flights from the U.S. to Bangkok, Thailand cost 47,500 Avios in economy or 95,000 Avios in Qsuite. That would require a transfer of 37k Citi points for economy or 74k Citi points for business class.
The most expensive award we can find is to fly all the way from the U.S. to New Zealand. This costs a total of 60,000 Avios (47k Citi points) in economy or 120,000 Avios (93k Citi points) in business class. For these ultra-long-haul flights, you may do better using Cathay Pacific Asia Miles instead, where awards top out at 90k miles for 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 from the U.S.
Qatar Airways Avios Expiration Policy
Your Qatar Airways Avios expire if you don't have accrual or redemption activity on your account for 36 months. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways that you can earn and redeem Avios to extend your points and validity. We have a full list here. Among the options, transferring points from Citi ThankYou or Marriott Bonvoy will keep your Qatar Avios from expiring.
If you have Qatar Avios expiring soon, taking advantage of this transfer bonus will help extend your Avios. And remember to set up your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account in AwardWallet to get alerts about balance changes and before your Avios expire.
You also can move Avios between your accounts at Qatar, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and British Airways freely and instantly. This can help you avoid expiration and help you redeem with the optimal partner when you're ready to book an award flight.
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 also can use your Avios for any Oneworld Alliance partner, but the Avios partner award chart isn't nearly as good.
The 30% transfer bonus from Citi (or other eligible partners) to Qatar Airways is a nice perk. However, make sure to factor in the potential delay in receiving the bonus Avios. If it actually takes 45 days for the bonus Avios to post, it makes it hard to book anything near-term.
Remember that this Qatar Airways transfer bonus ends June 30, 2023, so be sure to transfer by then if interested.
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