Hilton and Accor – two hotel schemes where you earn more Avios with Iberia Plus than with BA

If you collect Avios points via your hotel stays, there are two hotel schemes which let you earn in Iberia Plus and British Airways, but where Iberia Plus is more lucrative.

The origins of this date back to when British Airways and Iberia had their own totally separate loyalty currencies.  It made no difference if one scheme got a better deal than the other because you could not switch your points over.  Since Avios became the currency for both schemes in 2011, most of these arbitrages have gone – but a couple still remain.

Here are the two chains you need to remember:

Hilton Group (Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria, DoubleTree, Hampton etc)

You need to be a member of Hilton HHonors to collect Avios from your stays.  You need to set your Hilton account to ‘Hilton HHonors points + airline miles’, which will give you 10 Hilton HHonors points per $1 plus some miles.  The alternative earning option is to take 15 Hilton HHonors points per $1 and no miles.

When you choose to earn some Avios, as you can check here, you earn:

In British Airways Executive Club – 1 Avios per $1 spent

In Iberia Plus – 15 Avios per $10 spent

Subject to a small rounding error to get you to the nearest $10, you are 50% better off crediting your stay to Iberia Plus and moving your Avios points to avios.com or British Airways Executive Club using ‘Combine My Avios’.

(Note that Hilton caps the number of Iberia Plus Avios you can earn at 1,000 Avios points per stay as I discussed in this article.  The BA cap is 10,000 Avios.  If you are planning a stay costing more than $650 you should bear this in mind.)

You can beat both of these rates by crediting your stays to Virgin Atlantic and earning 2 miles per £1, but that is a different article!

Hilton Venice

Le Club Accorhotels (Novotel, Sofitel, Mercure, Ibis, M Gallery etc)

The arbitrage here only works when converting Le Club points into Avios points.

The rate into British Airways Executive Club is 2:1 from Le Club. The rate into Iberia Plus is 1:1! You therefore receive twice as many Avios points by converting your Accorhotels points into Iberia.

It is also easier to convert your points to Iberia Plus Avios points.  The minimum conversion if you send them to BA is 4,000 Accor points whilst the minimum Iberia conversion is just 3,000 points.

Details of Accor’s airline conversion rates can be found here.

But beware of promotions!

Before you unilaterally decide to send all of your Hilton and Accor points to Iberia, remember to account for promotions.  Hilton runs a lot of special promotions with British Airways Executive Club – it does very little with Iberia.

The current Hilton offer, which runs until April 30th, gives you 1500 bonus Avios on your next stay and 2000 bonus Avios on your 2nd stay after registering.  Unless you are spending a huge amount in the hotel, this will make the BA earning option (1 per $1) more lucrative overall than Iberia’s 15 per $10.

The other thing to remember about Iberia Plus is that your account needs to be open for 90 days before you can move your points across to British Airways.  If you need the Avios points immediately and you do not already have an Iberia account, you would need to send them to BA and take the hit for the difference.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Hi Rob – you might want to amend the Iberia earning rate, everyone will be rushing to open an Iberia account (if not already open!) 15 Avios per $10…

    Seriously though, I am having so many problems with missed stays just doing points and points I daren’t change my earning profile just yet.

    Keep up the good work – cheers

  2. You say ‘Unless you are spending a huge amount in the hotel, this will make the BA earning option (1 per $1) more lucrative overall than Iberia’s 15 per $10.’ – but given that the cap is 1,000 Avios for Iberia, presumably you’d be taking BA Avios anyway, if spending a large amount!!

  3. Moonman says:

    I’ve got around 800 orphaned points with accor about to expire. any easy routes to get them out? Or failing that any way to stop them expiring?

  4. Hi Rob

    I just received the council tax bill. I can pay with VISA or MasterCard. Which card should I apply for to pay the bill? I’m thinking about the hilton VISA?

    • It depends on the council (some do not accept them), but 3V/pay.com cards should be available soon avoiding the credit card surcharge and can be bought on Amex to get Avios or other points.
      Hilton only needs £750 spend (although I find I have managed to spend 930) so two of them perhaps? And probably some more to pay.
      I shall pay monthly using 3V. I did this last year netting about 13,000 Avios from Tesco (plus FuelSave) plus credit card benefits.

      • I managed to pay my first couple of months with 3V last year, then they stopped being accepted, despite my council saying they hadn’t changed anything. The lack of availability at the moment is a pain for online bill paying.

    • Raffles says:

      Hilton is the easy option, knocking the £750 on the head in one go.

  5. czechoslovakia says:

    Hi,
    Got a £1100 DoubleTree stay coming up, which I`ve set to convert to LH Miles&More and with the double miles promo. Haven`t seen this “avios cap” info anywhere, does it apply to all airline partner programs, anyone know? Nowt about a cap on the Miles&More website. TIA

    • czechoslovakia says:

      Cancel that, found it Robs link.
      “However, tucked away in the terms and conditions of the Hilton HHonors programme is this paragraph:

      Members may only accrue up to 10,000 airline miles per stay (or the equivalent currency of the airline Marketing Partner), except with respect to Home2 Suites by Hilton which limits accrual to 100 airlines miles per stay (or the equivalent currency of the airline Marketing Partner) and except with respect to the following airline carriers: Aeromexico – up to 20,000 kilometers; AIR MILES Canada – up to 1,000 reward miles; El Al Israel Airlines – up to 250 airline Points; Iberia – up to 1,000 airline Points; LAN – up to 20,000 kilometers; Virgin Atlantic Airways – up to 20,000 miles; and Air New Zealand- up to 30,000 Airpoints dollars.”

  6. Sounds right. Its the Hilton status which is the dead spot for me, Gold too much effort these days and Silver worthless though I seem to rustle up the 4 stays needed :). Hilton points are so-so, even with the double points promos vs hotels.com and their easy to use 10 nights get-one nearly free. But hotels.com also gives a 8% or so cash-back.
    Spot on with Accor, its the only hotel scheme which makes sense to me AND fits with my travel pattern … just about to earn my way into Platinum, albeit with little expectation that that means too much. I’ve certainly had some decent service as a Gold in some Vienna properties.