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25% bonus on transfer of hotels points to Avios (including your 20k SPG credit card bonus!)

Finally, after a couple of false starts, which I think were errors by the hotel groups, its back.  The BA ‘25% bonus when you transfer your hotel points to British Airways Avios‘ promotion!

It is a very simple promotion, outlined here at ba.com.

Hotel sign

Rule 1:  You must convert your hotel points to Avios (at ba.com, not avios.com) before 15th October.  15th October is the date by which the points must leave your hotel account, not arrive at ba.com

Rule 2:  Only transfers from the following hotel programmes count:

  • Club Carlson
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle
  • Starwood Preferred Guest

LeClub Accorhotels is NOT included, it seems.  However, Accor is offering double Avios in Iberia Plus for stays until 15th October.  It is also possible that existing balances will be doubled – see my other post today.

Rule 3:  There are minimum transfer requirements.  These are generally the same as the lowest possible transfer out of that programme, except for Starwood Preferred Guest.

The rules say that you must transfer 2,500 SPG points to qualify for the bonus.  However, Gold and Platinum SPG members are allowed by SPG to transfer lower amounts (1,500 and 1 respectively).  It is not clear if transferring less than 2,500 means you forfeit the bonus, but I would assume it does.

Rule 4:  Only lump sum transfers of existing points get the bonus.  Points earned directly from stays (ie 500 Avios for a stay at a Hilton property) do not attract the bonus as they would fall under the minimum transfer threshold.

Rule 5:  You can make multiple transfers from multiple programmes and, based on past experience, all will attract the bonus.

So, is this a good deal or not?

Well, if you applied for the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card last month, with the sign-up bonus of 20,000 points, then you’re laughing.  20,000 SPG points normally get you 25,000 Avios points, but you will now receive 31,250!

That is a specific case, though.

However, in general, a 25 per cent bonus is not enough – for any promotion – to make a bad deal a great deal.  50 per cent, yes. 25 per cent is rarely a game changer.

In general, hotel points are best redeemed for hotel stays.  Let’s look at the points needed for a top category redemption, say £250 a night.  The Avios conversion does not include the 25 per cent bonus.

Hilton – 80,000 points = 8,000 Avios

Hyatt – 22,000 points = 5,500 Avios

Marriott – 45,000 points = 12,000 Avios 

IHG Rewards Club – 50,000 points = 10,000 Avios

Carlson – 50,000 points = 5,000 Avios

Starwood – 30,000 points = 35,000 Avios

Apart from Starwood, who have a very good conversion ratio, you are clearly better leaving large stashes of hotel points where they are.

However, for a small amount, it is a different game. A couple of years ago I tidied up some of my small hotel balances by converting a lot to Avios, often topping up first from Amex Membership Rewards, and didn’t regret it. If you will never earn enough for a free room, you might as well convert and a 25 per cent bonus is a good excuse.

The other thing to remember is that the hotel chains convert to many airline programmes, often over 20. You may get a 25 per cent bonus via Avios, but perhaps topping off another account may be more useful? If you had a huge volume of hotel points, you may be able to get enough points from scratch in, say, the American Airlines programme for a tax-free UK to US redemption.  Avios are not always the answer.

Final thought. You can transfer IHG Rewards Club points to someone else for $5 per 1000, Hilton points for $25 per 10,000 and SPG and Carlson points for free if you share an address.  Hyatt points can be pooled if you ring and redeem them immediately.  Perhaps a transfer to a friend who can use a larger total for a hotel room is a better deal than Avios, even with the bonus.

(Remember to follow our ‘Hotel Promos‘ page for the latest offers for all of the major hotel chains.)

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Comments

  1. Dad did not get any emails from amex. I guess this is targetted? Is 20% conversion bonus a good deal for gold? I seem to remember 40 and 50% being mentioned before; was this just for platinum card holders?

  2. Yozza1977 says:

    Just a bit annoyed! On Friday I transferred 37000 Amex MR points to BAEC and 22000 SPG points to BAEC. Today got the 2 emails for bonuses from Amex and SPG! They both only posted today – what are the chances of them using the date they posted, rather than the date of the transfer, to apply the bonuses?

  3. Will SPG Night & Flight package works on this promotion? Thanks:)

  4. Any advice please.

    Thanks to Raffles I got pointed in the direction of the AA (MBNA) offer of 35,000 points bonus for the spend which my wife and I have achieved. We have just over 40,000 AA Points which we planned to use for one way Abu Dhabi to London next year.

    My wife has 27,000 SPG points and I have 41,000 points. We have lots of Aviois at the moment.

    My question is does it make sense to transfer some SPG to AA (instead of BA) to get us each up to 80,000 points to increase our options?

    • It makes some sense, esp as there are no fuel surcharges on AA redemptions except when done on BA or Iberia. However, you don’t need to do it now. Keep them in SPG and retain the flexibility until you need them.

  5. In case anyone is in the same boat as me… I set up SPG Amex and hit the bonus. Also set up SPG account. In order to link them I had to all Amex and asked them to link them for me, as I could see no other way to do it . They did this no bother, but have told me it will take up to 14 days to link the accounts, and the points will be transferred prior to next statement. This should still be in time to get the conversion bonus, but a wee warning to those that expect the points to transfer automatically, that they need to get their accounts linked.

    • I’ve been trying to get my SPG account linked to the SPG Amex for around a month with no success. I’ve no idea what the problem is and no one at amex can tell me what the problem is either. I had a light bulb moment earlier. The existing SPG account has zero points, so I dont care if amex open a new one for me – so long as i can get the points transferred…. I’ve told amex to open a new account, so I will see what happens. Hopefully a new one will open ok without any issues. I’ve been promised a callback in a week with an update. Hopefully it will inform me that the new SPG account has been setup ok and then the points will move

      • I had a similar problem with Amex, they took 2 weeks to set up my new account and then made some mistake on the “City” field on the account address. I created a new account on SPG website and provided the account number to Amex. They linked it up immediately and I could see it working the next working day.

        • Can you explain your comment please : “I could see it working the next working day.”

          What exactly did you do to check it?

          • Amex sent me a letter confirming the spg account has been linked to the card and i could also see SPG as a partner when i logged to my amex account

  6. I tried to turn on cash advance on my new SPG Amex card so I can use it at Amex Currency Exchange to meet my spend target but they said my account needs to be 6 month old! WTF?, I did this with my Amex Plat card without any issues. Anybody else have this problem?

    I guess my other option are the 3V cards, but I have not found them around London.

    • No need to have cash advance enabled… Just make the order online. As long as you order a reasonable amount (IE not 5k a time…) then you won’t have any problems. I have put through £500 of Euros with no issues whatsoever on two different occasions.

  7. Just transferred 25000 SPG points, email says allow 4 weeks for the points to go over to Avois, what’s the reality as worried about missing availability on my redemption booking if it’s going to this long

  8. Has anyone transferred hotel points to BA yet? If so did the 25% bonus hit the account more or less simultaneously, or do they do a sweep and add the bonus points separately at a later date? Any info much appreciated.

  9. I made the mistake,as I’m still accruing points before I cancel the card, of transferring all my points at once, when I should have left enough in to add my new points in order to meet the minimum 2,500 transfer. I now have to decide if it’s worth keeping the card at £6 per monyh, until I have enough points to get the 25% bonus

  10. I’ve had the SPG card since mid July. Despite 8 phone calls, there is still no link setup to my SPG account. Every time I call I spend 10 minutes explaining the situation and they tell me its being looked into or with their back office team. I’m incredubly frustrated !!!

    • Had same problem. Next time you call tell them you want the complaints department. I did that and my points were transferred next day(despite initially being told transfers are only 6 days before statement due date). I have also had numerous apology letters and my full membership refunded.

      • Thanks for the advice BOI. I will bear it in mind when I call next, which will be midweek. Its time to increase the frequency of calls