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. 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.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards