Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold Tier is equivalent to oneworld Sapphire. This means it comes with all the usual perks you get with other oneworld carriers’ equivalent status levels. These include business class lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, priority baggage handling, the ability to pre-book preferred seats for no fee and extra baggage allowance.
It also comes with a couple of extra perks for redeeming Privilege Club’s redeemable miles currency, Qmiles, and when you qualify for Gold Tier you’re also gifted 40 Qcredits, which work a little differently.
Redemption Discount And Improved Award Availability
When redeeming Qmiles as a Gold Tier member, not only do you get a 5% discount on the number of miles required for your award ticket, you also get better award availability than those with no status. The discount in miles required is obviously a fantastic benefit, particularly when it makes the difference between having enough Qmiles for an award ticket and not.
When I first read about the improved award seat availability as a Gold Tier member, I was a little dubious but it turns out that it actually makes a massive difference.
For a little while I had the ability to compare the standard availability and Gold Tier availability when my wife’s account had ticked over to Gold and mine hadn’t yet. Now I can’t as we’re both Gold but when I had the chance I spent a little time comparing the availability on each of our accounts for certain routes and the difference was substantial.
So, not only does Gold Tier status make it cheaper in Qmiles to book award seats, it makes it easier with significantly improved award availability, so Gold Tier offers some great benefits when redeeming miles.
I should point out that the discounted Qmiles levels for Gold Tier members effectively only applies to awards on Qatar Airways operated flights. The reason for this is that the Privilege Club website only shows award availability on Qatar services and the discount only applies to online bookings. Having said that, it’s not much of an issue as I would never redeem Qmiles for a flight on another oneworld carrier on partner airline as the award rates are pretty bad value compared to redeeming them for Qatar services. As an example, a one way flight from Sydney to Doha in business class with Qatar costs 70k Qmiles before the discount, so 66.5k after, whereas a one way flight from Sydney to Singapore on Qantas costs 100k Qmiles. Sydney to Doha is almost twice the flown miles of Sydney to Singapore, so at those rates is a far better deal in my opinion.
When you qualify for Gold Tier status with Privilege Club, one of the benefits you receive is 40 Qcredits (Platinum Tier members receive 60). These can be used for a number of things such as extra luggage, payment of award fees or guest lounge access. As a Gold Tier member, you also get extra luggage anyway, so you’d have to be packing seriously heavily for this to be a good use of your Qcredits. You can also take one guest into the lounge in Doha even when you’re both travelling in economy and on top of that you get 4 additional single use guest passes, so to cash in your Qcredits for guest lounge access probably isn’t going to be worthwhile.
You can also use Qcredits for upgrades on Qatar Airways flights which, in my opinion, is the best use of them.
40 Qcredits is enough to upgrade an economy seat, booked in N class or higher, all the way from Sydney to Istanbul, Athens, Zanzibar or other destinations of a similar distance. 40 Qcredits won’t quite get you into business class all the way from Sydney to Paris or London though, as upgrading between Australia and Western European destinations costs 50 Qcredits per direction.
Earning Gold Tier Status
Reaching Gold Tier status with Qatar Airways requires earning 300 Qpoints in a twelve month period. This would usually take a couple of return trips in business class between Australia and Europe, however Qatar periodically run promotions where you can get double or even triple Qpoints for your flights. Once in a while they even run promotions where you can be gifted Gold Status for flying in a premium cabin into or out of certain destinations. Back in June and July, they ran a promotion that granted instant Gold Tier status for flying into or out of Adelaide in business class, which is how my wife and I earned it.
Privilege Club Offers
If you’re ever looking at booking a flight with Qatar Airways, it’s always definitely worth checking out the ‘Offers’ section on the Privilege Club website prior to ticketing, just to check what promotions they’re running as flying into Adelaide instead of Sydney, for example, might be the difference between getting instant Gold Tier status or not.
When I booked our flights to Europe last year during one of Qatar’s big sales, we managed to get onto a bunch of stackable bonuses. We got double Qmiles, bonus miles for flying into Adelaide, bonus miles for booking online and instant Gold Tier for flying into Adelaide. We flew Bangkok to Munich and then back to Adelaide in business class and the tickets only cost us ~AU$2500 each. From flying that itinerary we earned about 81k Qmiles each and 40 Qcredits, which means that all we’ll need to do is book a one way economy ticket, in N class or above, to Athens and we can upgrade that and then use the 81k Qmiles to book the return flight back to Sydney in business class. Athens to Sydney costs 85k in business class one way but with the 5% discount as Gold Tier members, it makes it 80750 each, meaning we have enough to cover those award seats. The one way ticket should cost roughly AU$1000, which means for a total cash outlay of about AU$3500 we will have managed to get one and three quarter return business class trips to Europe, flying on one of the best business class products in the sky.