Skip to content

Qatar Airways silently reintroduces redemption fees per segment

April 01, 2022
5 min read
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.

In February, we learned that Qatar Airways would soon use Avios as its loyalty currency. Then, in March, Qatar launched Avios transfers and British Airways lowered the price of Qsuite awards. TPG even wrote about why Qatar's switch to Avios is huge news for Citi ThankYou points.

Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG's free daily newsletter.

However, now the good news is souring a bit. On March 31, Qatar Privilege Club silently reintroduced redemption fees per segment on Qatar-operated flights after removing them in 2020. This change was first noticed by LoyaltyLobby.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

To check the redemption fee on an award, you'll need to go through the booking process on Qatar's website until you reach the "trip summary" page and can finally click on "fare breakdown."

(Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

The redemption fee is $35 per segment on Qatar-operated economy flights, as you can see on this economy flight award from Atlanta to Male, Maldives, via Doha, Qatar:

Qatar Avios economy award pricing from Atlanta to Male via Doha. (Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

Further, the redemption fee is $70 per segment on Qatar-operated business flights, as you can see on this business-class award from Atlanta to Male via Doha:

Qatar Avios business-class award pricing from Atlanta to Male via Doha. (Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

Related: Sunny with a few rough spots: Qatar Qsuite on an A350-1000 from Houston to Doha

The redemption fee is 260 Qatari riyals (about $71) per segment on Qatar-operated first-class flights, as you can see on this first-class award on a Cathay Pacific-configured 777-300ER from Doha to Male:

Qatar Avios first-class award pricing from Doha to Male. (Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

And to make matters worse, British Airways is passing on surcharges when you book Qatar-operated flights with British Airways Avios.

When you reach the "Your price quote" page when booking a Qatar-operated award through British Airways, click on the "i" next to "Taxes, fees and carrier charges per person." For a two-segment business-class award from Atlanta to Muscat, Oman, via Doha, I saw the following:

(Screenshot from britishairways.com)

This shows that British Airways passes on Qatar's $70-per-segment redemption fee.

Related: How Qatar Airways' new 787-9 business class compares to Qsuite

You won't need to pay the redemption fee when redeeming Qatar Avios for a British Airways-operated flight, though. For example, here's a look at the Qatar Avios, fees and taxes when booking a British Airways-operated flight from London to Madrid:

Qatar Avios pricing for a British Airways-operated economy award from London to Madrid. (Screenshot from qatarairways.com)

But, if you booked this same flight with British Airways Avios, you'd only need to redeem 11,750 Avios and pay $1.

(Screenshot from britishairways.com)

Although Qatar isn't charging a redemption fee for British Airways flights, you'll still want to avoid using Qatar Avios for these flights.

We couldn't quickly confirm whether Qatar charges a redemption fee for other partner awards. Even though I have enough Qatar Avios to book an American Airlines-operated award, Qatar only gives me the option to request a partner award ticket and then wait for an email.

Related: Watch us fly Qatar Airways 2 different ways: Qsuite business class vs. economy

Bottom line

Overall, the addition of this redemption fee is a negative for anyone who was excited about redeeming Qatar Avios for Qatar-operated flights. Unless you want to originate or terminate in Doha, you'll need four segments on Qatar if you plan to fly with the airline round-trip. You'd need to pay $140 in redemption fees per person in economy (and $280 in redemption fees per person in premium cabins) for a four-segment round-trip itinerary.

Redeeming American Airlines miles for Qsuite awards remains a more compelling option if you can earn enough American Airlines miles. After all, the taxes and fees on Qatar-operated flights booked with American Airlines are still modest. For example, you can redeem 70,000 AAdvantage miles plus $42 to fly from Atlanta to Male via Doha:

Redeeming American Airlines miles for Qatar-operated business class from Atlanta to Male via Doha. (Screenshot from aa.com)

Related: Sweet Spot Sunday: Fly Qatar business from the US to South Africa for 75,000 miles and $16

Featured image by (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.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
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
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
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

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
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

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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.

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
Best starter travel card
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
Go to review

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