Qatar Airways Adds Cash Fee for Redeeming Your Miles

May 21, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Qatar Airways is going to start charging you to redeem your Qmiles. That’s right, the airline is getting set to start charging you a cash fee, varying in price based on cabin, for any award booking made with your miles.

Beginning May 27, 2018, Qatar will start charging booking fees for both Qatar and partner airline awards. The charge is a minimum of $25 but can reach as much as $75 per ticket, based on fare class. More specifically, you’ll be charged $25, $50 or $75 for economy, business or first, respectively. The currency is the equivalent of the country where the award ticket is issued.

This new booking fee is in addition to the typical fees associated with booking award flights. For example, you’ll still have to pay fuel surcharges and taxes. What’s puzzling about this new fee is that Privilege Club members are essentially being penalized for redeeming their Qmiles, further reducing the value of the currency altogether. According to TPG’s most recent valuations, Qmiles are worth 1.1 cents apiece — the only airline with miles worth less is Spirit (0.4 cents apiece).

Qatar seems to be doing away with good parts of its Qmiles program — already the least appealing of the Middle Eastern three carriers. In February, the carrier made it so members who upgraded to a premium cabin using Qmiles or Qpoints can’t receive baggage and lounge access benefits of the upgraded cabin.

While the Privilege Club program isn’t all that rewarding — especially now that it will charge you for redeeming your miles — Qatar still does offer some great onboard products that are bookable using other currencies. For example, the carrier’s premium Qsuite business class product. Instead of using Qmiles to redeem for a seat, which can actually be transferred from Citi ThankYou Points, your best bets would be to book using JAL Mileage Bank miles, American Airlines AAdvantage miles or Cathay Pacific Asia miles. Alternatively, you could use Qantas points, British Airways Avios or Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles. Check out this post for how you can search and book Qsuite with miles.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

Featured image  by Qatar Airways / YouTub.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.