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Free elite status, in-flight Wi-Fi and more: Why you'll want to join Qatar Airways' new membership program for students

Nov. 17, 2020
5 min read
Qatar A380 Economy
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As business travel remains largely suppressed, travel companies are targeting more leisure travelers to drive demand. More specifically, many companies are betting on millennials and Gen Z to spearhead post-pandemic recovery. Among them: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways has just introduced a new membership program exclusively for students. Dubbed Student Club, the new program offers students a number of benefits, ranging from special fares to excess baggage allowance, greater ticket flexibility, complimentary high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi, free elite status as a graduation gift and more.

Despite Qatar Airways being based in the Middle East, the program is available to students worldwide and is free to join. Here's everything you need to know about Qatar Airways' Student Club.

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How to join Qatar Airways Student Club

Student Club is available to students around the world free of charge. The only major requirements are that you must be pursuing a higher education degree and be between ages 18 and 30. It operates as a subset of Qatar Airways' Privilege Club loyalty program, so you'll still get Qmiles as usual if you join.

Joining is very easy and is done through Qatar Airways' website. Heck, you could even sign in using a social media account — very millennial and Gen Z friendly. You'll just need to provide your college or university's name, location, expected graduation date and a photo of your student ID or joining letter. The maximum duration for membership in the program is seven years.

Related: How to travel as a college student

Qatar Airways Student Club benefits

As a member of the Qatar Airways Student Club, you'll enjoy a number of exclusive benefits that will help you save money and make your travel experiences more enjoyable. For starters, you'll get access to special fares on flights. You'll get a 10% promo code off your first trip, 15% off your second and 20% off your third. Plus, student fares offer increased flexibility, including one free date change per ticket.

Student Club members save more with every booking. (Photo by Daniel Ross/The Points Guy)

Once it's time to travel, base-level members will get to bring an additional 10 kgs (22 lbs) or one more piece of checked baggage, depending on the route. Then, onboard, you'll get complimentary access to Qatar Airways' high-speed Super Wi-Fi (as long as you booked your flight directly through the airline).

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Related: Credit cards that offer free and discounted inflight Wi-Fi

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of the program comes when you graduate. As a "graduation gift," you'll get a Privilege Club tier upgrade so long as you've flown at least one paid round-trip journey per year as a Student Club member. So, if you don't already have status with the airline, you'll get free Silver elite status, unlocking perks like excess baggage allowance and lounge access. If you're already a top-tier Platinum member, your status will be extended for another year.

The airline says that it's also planning to introduce family benefits for when relatives come to visit you. Details are limited, but it seems that Student Club members will be able to designated flight companions to receive savings on airfare. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to earn 5,000 Qmiles for referring friends to Student Club.

Enjoy lounge access with free Qatar Airways elite status. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Other benefits available to students

Qatar Airways joins a number of other airlines that are already marketing to younger travelers. For instance, now through at least Dec. 31, United MileagePlus members between the ages of 18 and 22 can save up to 10% on flights booked through United's mobile app. As of earlier this year, miles no longer expire for American Airlines AAdvantage members under 21. Additionally, airlines like Air Canada and Lufthansa have loyalty programs just for kids.

Related: Best credit cards for college students

Bottom line

Qatar Airways' new Student Club program offers valuable benefits and is free to join, so there’s no reason not to take advantage. Although most perks are for travel on Qatar Airways, the free elite status could get you benefits on partner airlines like American Airlines and British Airways. As travel companies shift their marketing strategies, it's likely we'll see more airlines introduce special perks for young travelers in the coming months.

Featured image by Qatar A380 economy class (Photo courtesy of Daniel Ross / The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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    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.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023