Best Ways to Use Qatar Airways Miles for Maximum Value


Flying on Qatar: Qatar does not publish an official award chart, but they do offer a “Mileage Calculator.” Qatar did an unpublished devaluation in May 2018, which destroyed the value proposition of using Qatar points on Qatar flights. If you want to fly on Qatar, use American Airlines points.

  • For roundtrip business class, you would pay the following rates from the United States: Doha (203,000), Europe (287,000), Northern Africa (325,000), Southern Africa (325,000), India (263,000), Singapore (338,000), Tokyo (377,000), and Australia (406,000).

Flying on Partners: A distance-based award chart is below.  You can book on Qatar’s OneWorld partners, which are American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines. You can also book on GOL, MEA, and Royal Air Maroc. 

  • The only good value I see is flying over 12,000 miles for 200,000 points in business class. You could fly on Cathay Pacific from New York to New Zealand/Australia/South Africa via Hong Kong to maximize this chart. However, you can book the same award for only 140,000 Alaska Airlines points. 

96 Hour Rule- Qatar requires 96 hours to confirm award tickets and upgrades through their website. Qatar does not allow direct online bookings, rather you submit a request online and Qatar has to manually review it and book the award. Award space can change daily, so this can be a little bit a pain. 

Fees: Award booking fee ($25 for economy; $50 for business class, and $75 for first class), Award within 7 days ($25), award within the same day ($50), phone booking fee ($25), change or cancellation that is more than 24 hours before departure ($25), and change or cancellation that is between 3 and 24 hours before departure ($100).

Fuel Surcharges: Qatar does not pass on fuel surcharges for awards using their own points. (If you use British Airways points to book on Qatar you will pay Qatar’s own fuel surcharges. Luckily, American Airlines does not charge fuel surcharges for Qatar).

Routing Rules: No stopovers or open-jaws.

Searching Award Space: You are required to have enough points in your account in order to search award space. Therefore, find OneWorld award space on and call to verify that award space before you transfer any points. Their phone number is 1-800-988-6128 and ask them to look for “X” fare class for economy awards seats and “U” fare class for business and first class award seats.

Promotions: Qatar regularly offers promotions either earning or redeeming points. 

Award Restriction: Award seats are not available on Qatar’s A380 to or from London. 

Sweet Spots: Qatar devalued their award program, so there is no longer any good awards left using Qatar points. For example, Los Angeles to Tokyo on American Airlines would require only 50,000 Etihad points versus 120,000 Qatar points. Therefore, stay away from this points program.  

Partner Award Chart

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