American Express Adds Qatar Airways As New Membership Rewards Transfer Partner

American Express has added a new Membership Rewards transfer partner: Qatar Airways Privilege Club. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and generally post instantly.

Qatar Airways massively increased the cost of its awards in 2018, and then in 2020 they quietly backtracked. Since then they’ve been on a roll to really add value to their frequent flyer program and make it competitive.

They’ve even made Avios their loyalty currency, with full one-to-one transfers (for instance) to British Airways meaning that the worst you’ll do with Qatar’s program is get the same value as BA’s program.

That means – since American Express points already transferred to other Avios currencies – that you could already move your Membership Rewards to Qatar via another program (provided those program accounts were active).

Qatar Airways miles are great for booking Qatar Airways QSuites business class at reasonable redemption pricing. Last month they improved partner redemption pricing, generally matching what BA charges and cutting their own prices by as much as 60%.

In addition to Qatar and oneworld flights, the Privilege Club program also allows redemption on Virgin Australia (where pricing will often be better than through Air Canada or United); LATAM (while LATAM left oneworld, Qatar Airways still owns a stake in the carrier); Middle East Airlines; Oman Air (Doha – Muscat only); RwandAir; and Bangkok Airways. These may be relatively niche for some readers but really valuable for booking around Thailand, South America, the Mideast, Australia and Africa. You’ll generally call for most partner redemptions.

Meanwhile American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners are now:

  • Star Alliance: Air Canada, ANA, Avianca, Singapore
  • oneworld: British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Qantas, Qatar Airways
  • SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Air France KLM, Delta, Virgin Atlantic
  • Non-alliance: Aer Lingus, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, JetBlue
  • Hotels: Choice, Hilton, Marriott

The Qatar Airways Privilege Club program is excellent. American Express customers already had access to it through other Avios programs, but this is simpler and faster.

(HT: Ryan Smith)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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