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Sweet Spot Sunday: How to book Qatar Qsuites to the Maldives for just 85,000 points

May 29, 2022
8 min read
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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.

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Why it’s special

Qsuite. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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.

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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.”

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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.

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • 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.

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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.

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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.

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

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

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

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:

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:

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 up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the the first 12 months of account opening.
  • Iberia Visa Signature® Card: Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the the first 12 months of account opening.
  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card: Earn up to 100,000 Avios. Earn 75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening and earn an additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $20,000 in the the first 12 months of account opening.

Related: Is it better to redeem Avios through British Airways or Qatar Airways?

Bottom line

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.

Featured image by Qsuite. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases