Sweet Spot Sunday: How to book Qatar Qsuites to the Maldives for just 85,000 points
Qatar Qsuites are in the discussion for the best business class seat in the sky. They’ve got fully-enclosed doors, a layout that allows for a couple to turn their adjacent seats into a full-fledged double bed, and even the ability to create a four-seat mega-suite for traveling families.
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Now that Qatar Airways has joined the Avios loyalty program with British Airways, there’s never been an easier way to book Qsuites to aspirational destinations such as the Maldives. Let’s take a look at how to do it.
Why it’s special
Qsuites are a bucket list item on the list of many points and miles collectors. Qatar Airways operates its Qsuites to lots of fun routes around the world, like Cape Town, Bangkok, Tokyo and Paris.
Perhaps the most enticing Qsuites destination is the Maldives. It’s an award traveler’s paradise, with jaw-dropping five-star resorts in every direction — many of which can be reserved for free if you’ve got the right points.
There are two common ways to book Qsuites to the Maldives:
- Via the British Airways site for 105,000 Avios points each way
- Via the American Airlines site for 70,000 miles each way
But the sweetest spot of all is now with Qatar Airways Avios. You can fly from the U.S. to the Maldives in lie-flat Qsuites for 85,000 points each way. The cash price for these flights depends on your route, but never expect to pay less than $6,000 round-trip for your ticket. And one-way flights can sometimes cost more than a round-trip. Expect to get a value of at least 3.5 cents per point for your Qatar Avios — a full 2 cents higher than TPG’s valuation of Avios at 1.5 cents each.
The reason we consider this a better deal than the 70,000-mile American Airlines option is because Qatar Avios are exponentially easier to earn. There are only a handful of ways to quickly earn American Airlines miles — but there are dozens of ways to quickly earn Qatar Airways Avios (as we’ll cover below).
Plus, Qatar’s website allows you to book flights a full month beyond the American Airlines site. So you can scoop up award flights before those using American Airlines miles even get the opportunity.
Related: Review of Qatar Qsuite on a 777-300ER from Doha to New York JFK
How to book this award
Step 1. Log into your Qatar Airways account
You’ll have to sign into your Qatar Airways account to search for available award flights. Might as well get it out of the way immediately.
Step 2. Click on “Spend your Avios”
From the navigation bar at the top, click the “Privilege Club” tab. You’ll see a “Spend” category to the far right of the page. Click “Spend your Avios.”
Step 3. Click “Book Now”
You’re now taken to a page that lists all the ways you can spend your Qatar Avios. The first option is “Book award flights.” That’s the one you want.
Step 4. Enter your travel details
On this page, you can choose whether you want to book flights on Qatar Airways or its partner airlines. If you’re after Qsuites, stay on the “Redeem on Qatar Airways/British Airways” tab.
Qatar flies its Qsuites to a handful of U.S. cities, including:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
Choose one of these airports. If there’s no availability for your desired dates, choose the next most convenient. In my opinion, it’s worth flying to another U.S. airport to catch a flight in Qsuites to your destination.
Step 5. Find seats that aren’t “Flexi awards”
On the results page, you’ll see some awards with a “Q2” flag next to them (representing Flexi awards) and some without. The awards without the Flexi awards flag cost 85,000 Avios in total to reach the Maldives in Qsuites. The awards with the flag cost 170,000 Avios — double the price.
Step 6. Choose your seats and book them
You can consult our ultimate guide to Qatar Qsuites to see which flights offer Qsuites. Just note that Qatar can swap aircraft at will, so even if you’ve done everything right, you may not get a Qsuite.
Per our ultimate guide, flight QR 756 from Atlanta to Doha and flight QR 672 from Doha to Male are theoretically Qsuites. You should be able to tell if your flight is a Qsuite when selecting your seats. Or, you can check ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures) to preview seat maps before you purchase.
Related: Beginner’s guide to finding award space with ExpertFlyer
As long as you select flights without the Q2 flag, your award price should be 85,000 one-way — and often around $200 in taxes and fees.
Spending $200 in taxes isn’t ideal. But for a flight that otherwise costs $6,000+, it’s a nominal fee.
Related: Booking a honeymoon trip to the Maldives on points and miles
How to earn points for this award
There are loads of ways to earn Qatar Airways Avios. That’s because you can transfer British Airways Avios to Qatar at a 1:1 ratio — and British Airways Avios are perhaps the easiest points to earn in all of award travel.
As an example, you can transfer the following flexible points currencies to British Airways, and to Qatar from there:
- American Express Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Capital One miles at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
- Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 transfer ratio.
Likewise, Citi ThankYou points transfer directly to Qatar at a 1:1 transfer ratio, making it the most direct transfer partner.
You’ve got many, many cards to choose from that earn these types of points, such as:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Citi Premier® Card: Earn 60,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening (see rates and fees).
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.
Related: Redeeming Citi ThankYou points for maximum value
Also, you can transfer Aer Lingus and Iberia Avios to British Airways, and then on to Qatar Airways. You can earn Avios from the following cards:
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card: Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card: Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card: Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Related: Is it better to redeem Avios through British Airways or Qatar Airways?
You can fly from the U.S. to the Maldives in arguably the best business class seat in the world — Qatar Qsuites — for just 85,000 Qatar Airways Avios each way. You’ll likely have to pay a couple of hundred dollars in taxes and fees, but it’s well worth the fee for a flight that would otherwise cost many thousands of dollars.