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Is it better to redeem Avios through British Airways Executive Club or Qatar Airways Privilege Club?

April 05, 2022
8 min read
Boeing 787-9 business class
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There was great news earlier this month for anyone earning or redeeming Avios: Qatar Airways Privilege Club has now adopted Avios as its mileage currency (replacing Qmiles), and Avios can be transferred between British Airways' Executive Club and Qatar's Privilege Club (among other programs) as many times as you like, in either direction, at a rate of 1:1.

Related: How to transfer your Avios between British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus accounts

You can already redeem Avios via BA for Qatar Airways-operated flights, and BA and Qatar share many of the same airline partners as they are both members of the Oneworld alliance. However, having two different programs using the same transferable currency allows you to maximize your travel by choosing the right program to redeem your Avios with.

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So which program should you choose, and when? There's plenty to learn about Privilege Club so let's look at some of the most popular Avios flight redemptions to determine which program you should choose.

Remember, with Avios transfers available at a 1:1 rate in any direction, so you are not locked into one program — you can use Executive Club one day, Privilege Club the next and then switch back and forth as often as you like.

Domestic flights on American Airlines

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Redeeming Avios for short-haul flights on American Airlines has long been popular due to the low amount of Avios and low fees and taxes required. BA generally charges fewer Avios than American does in its AAdvantage program, and for short, last-minute hops within the U.S., this can be excellent value.

Now that you can use Avios to fly American via either Executive Club or Privilege Club, here are the prices, per person, one-way in American Airlines economy:

RouteAvios required via BA Executive ClubAvios required via Qatar Privilege Club
New York to Boston7,500 + $5.6012,500 + $5.60
New York to Miami 9,000 + $5.6020,000 + $5.60
Seattle to San Francisco (on Alaska Airlines)9,000 + $5.6015,000 + $5.60
San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth11,000 + $5.6020,000 + $5.60
Los Angeles to Boston13,000 + $5.6035,000 + $5.60

As you can see, you'll get a better deal booking U.S. domestic flights with British Airways. It's also worth noting that it's not currently possible to book these tickets online with Qatar Airways.

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Short-haul flights on British Airways

One of the best-value uses of your Avios is via British Airways for its short-haul Reward Flight Saver redemptions to and from Europe and North Africa. Flights start from just 4,750 Avios and $23 in total fees, taxes and surcharges. This is one of the lowest redemption rates of any airline loyalty program and is a great offer I use regularly.

Here's a comparison of how many Avios you will need to redeem for a one-way, peak-date flight on British Airways in Euro Traveller, redeemed through either Executive Club or Privilege Club.

RouteAvios required via BA Executive ClubAvios required via Qatar Privilege Club
London to Amsterdam5,250 + $22.959,250 + $45.99
Edinburgh, Scotland, to Barcelona12,500 + $45.8921,750 + $60.82
London to Rome8,250 + $22.9512,750 + $45.99
London to Athens10,750 + $22.9515,250 + $45.99

In each of these examples, you should redeem your Avios through the British Airways Executive Club rather than Qatar Airways Privilege Club, as fewer Avios and lower fees and taxes are required.

Long-haul Club World flights on British Airways

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

If you have a Travel Together voucher to redeem, you should choose Executive Club as you cannot redeem it via Privilege Club (even if you are choosing British Airways-operated flights). When you do not have a Travel Together voucher to redeem, let's compare the Avios cost in BA's Club World/Club Suite business class one-way per person on popular routes:

RouteAvios required via BA Executive ClubAvios required via Qatar Privilege Club
London to Dubai60,000 + $605.8760,000 + $605.87
London to New York50,000 + $713.1350,000 + $713.13
London to San Francisco75,000 + $713.1375,000 + $713.13
Newcastle, England, to Cape Town75,000 + $803.2175,000 + $803.21

For British Airways-operated long-haul flights, the Avios and fees, taxes and surcharges are the same regardless of whether you redeem via BA or Qatar. It's worth noting that the peak and off-peak calendars appear to be slightly different between the two programs, so if your dates are peak dates in one program, you should check the other. You may save some Avios in the process.

Related: Suite refresh: A review of British Airways’ Club Suite on the refurbished 777, New York to London

Qatar Airways-operated flights

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Qatar Airways has what is widely regarded to be the world's best business-class product in its award-winning Qsuite. Even in economy, it is a world-class airline. Usually, airlines will charge fewer points and miles for their own flights than those operated by partner airlines, so how does Privilege Club compare to Executive Club for flights operated by Qatar Airways from the U.S.?

Here are the prices for a one-way flight, per person on any date.

RouteAvios required via BA Executive ClubAvios required via Qatar Privilege Club
New York to Doha in business class70,000 + $101.8570,000 + $73.35
New York to Doha in economy35,000 + $66.8535,000 + $62.35
New York (via Doha) to Delhi in business class96,000 + $ 20680,000 + $201.50
New York (via Doha) to Delhi in economy48,000 + $13640,000 + $131.50
New York (via Doha) to Bangkok in business class 95,000 + $207.40 95,000 + $202.90
New York (via Doha) to Bangkok in economy47,500 + $137.4047,500 + $132.90
Los Angeles (via Doha) to Dubai in economy42,000 + $ 137.4037,500 + $132.90
Edinburgh (via Doha) to Tokyo (NRT) in business class103,000 + $440.4280,000 + $440.42
Paris (CDG) (via Doha) to Bali (DPS) in economy51,500 + $170.0340,000 + $175.49

Where you have a connecting itinerary flying Qatar Airways the fees, taxes and surcharges should be roughly the same, but you often need fewer Avios when you redeem through Privilege Club instead of Executive Club. This is because British Airways charges per segment.

Related: Comparing the inflight experience on Emirates, Etihad and Qatar during the pandemic

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

Bottom line

If you redeem your Avios for short-haul American Airlines or British Airways flights, you'll get a better deal redeeming through BA's Executive Club. For long-haul BA flights in premium cabins, it's generally the same amount of Avios and fees, taxes and surcharges for both programs, though do check if one program has dates as off-peak (rather than peak) to save some Avios.

For Qatar Airways-operated flights, the taxes, fees and surcharges will be roughly the same regardless of the program you redeem with. However, you'll pay fewer Avios on connecting tickets when you book with Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

There's still plenty more to learn about this great new Avios partnership option — stay tuned to TPG to learn more.

Featured image by Boeing 787-9 business class. (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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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees