Is a 35% bonus on hotel point transfers to Avios a good deal?

It was due a return and now it is back.  I’m talking about the ‘bonus when you transfer your hotel loyalty points to British Airways Avios‘ promotion.

The page for the offer can be found here.

This year, the bonus is the biggest ever.  It is usually 25%.  This time, when you transfer hotel loyalty points to British Airways, you get a 35% bonus.

Starwood Preferred Guest is also included, with no restrictions.  That is very rare.

Avios hotel bonus

There are a few simple rules you must follow:

Rule 1: You must convert your hotel points to Avios (at, not before 5th July.  5th July is the date by which the points must leave your hotel account, not arrive at

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

Le Club AccorHotels is NOT included but that is normally the case.

Rule 3: There are minimum transfer requirements in theory, but these are the same as the lowest possible transfer out of that programme.  Nothing has changed compared to the normal transfer rules.

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?

I am normally a bit sceptical about this offer when it runs at 25%.  In general, a 25 per cent bonus is not enough – for any promotion – to make a bad deal a great deal.  At 35% we should look more closely.

In general, hotel points are best redeemed for hotel stays. Let’s look at the points needed for a high category room redemption, worth £250 a night.  The Avios conversion does not include the 35 per cent bonus.

Club Carlson – 70,000 points = 7,000 Avios

Hilton HHonors – 80,000 to 90,000 points = 8,000 to 9,000 Avios

Hyatt Gold Passport – 25,000 to 30,000 points = 10,000 Avios to 12,500 Avios

IHG Rewards Club – 50,000 to 60,000 points = 10,000 to 12,000 Avios

Marriott Rewards – 45,000 points = 12,000 Avios

Shangri-La Golden Circle – 9,500 points (Shard, Paris, Maldives cost double) = 9,500 Avios

Starwood Preferred Guest – 25,000 to 30,000 points = 30,000 to 35,000 Avios

Looking at these numbers, you are probably better leaving large stashes of hotel points where they are.

With the Hyatt, Marriott and IHG examples, you are trading a £250 hotel room for (12,000 * 1.35) 16,200 Avios points.  That still isn’t a great deal.

The only exception is Starwood Preferred Guest.  Starwood has always been uncompetitive for high end redemptions versus airline miles and even without a transfer bonus miles look a decent option!   I think you get a better deal from 47,250 Avios than one 30,000 SPG points night in a top Starwood hotel.  Personally, though, I prefer to use my SPG points for items such as concert tickets via SPG Moments.

For a small amount of points it is a different game. A couple of years ago I tidied up some of my small hotel balances by converting to Avios, often topping up first from American Express Membership Rewards, and didn’t regret it. If you will never earn enough for a free room, you might as well convert and a 35 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 35 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.

Here is my 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.

PS.  Tomorrow I will look at whether, given some of the current promotions on buying hotel points, there is an arbitrage available.  Can you buy hotel points with a big bonus and then transfer them on to Avios for another bonus?

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. I’ve got to admit that Starwood points can be hugely valuable in peak season for some cash and point nights. The Royal Meridien Dubai for instance can run over £400 a night whereby it’s only 10K + $180 when using cash and points.

  2. How often does virgin shadow Avios promos? I have 85K SPG but want to move them to virgin, not Avios.

  3. James67 says:

    Hi Rob, I’m a little confused by your wording at Rule 1 Do you mean there is a special place/link at to initiate or request the transfer for this bonus? Yesterday, I just went into my spg account and transferred points from there to BA as per usual, is this ok? Also, does the 5k spg bonus also attract the 35% bonus on transfer? Thanks.

    That this bonus is higher than ever before and includes spg is intriguing. Wonde if we will see other bonuses or a reward seat sale coming soon.

    • No, no special link. What I wrote in Rule 1 was meant to mean that, where you have the option, you must choose BAEC and not as the destination for your hotel points.

  4. Hi Rob

    If using a 241 Amex voucher on BA flights, is it worth the transfer? I transferred over some marriott points 2 years ago which translated into 800,000 avios. We have been using the avios for 241 flights for long haul club world flights. Wife and I both have Amex cards and we are easily hitting two 241 vouchers a year and with the kiddies off our hands now have the time to use them. At the time the transfer seemed just about worth it.

    • It all depends on a) how many Avios you are targetting, b) how many you have now, c) if you have a realistic use for the hotel points or not. Different answer for different people.

  5. Rob, could you transfer Amex MR to Spg and then to avios yo get the 35% bonus?

    • You could, but you’d be worse off as MR converts to SPG at 2:1, not 1:1.

      • Hingeless says:

        you are worse off in the uk, I have lots of Australian MR points. BA is not a reward partner in oz. Transferring through SPG with a bonus looks like a good deal.

    • Scrap that just seen it 2 :1 via Amex – thought that might have been a loophole!

    • James67 says:

      Yes, but it makes no sense because MR-SPG is 2:1 while MR-BA is 1:1.

  6. I have 20,000 SPG would I get 25,000 plus an extra 7,000 then ? = 32,000 total

  7. Hi,

    I am new to Avios but I am interested in the current offer. I have 210,000 IHG points that I could convert to Avios. I am looking to fly to Orlando/Tampa in December for a holiday and I can use 60,000 Avios to get £600 of flight for 4, which brings it down to £1400 return (indirect). We will be booking a villa for the time we are there.

    Is this worth doing?

    • Peter K says:

      It all depends on how much you save on the flights, how desperately you need those flights and whether you would use the hotel points on something more interesting if not swapped for avios.

      There’s no real right or wrong answer just think about first. It’s what makes the best use of them for you personally.

    • James67 says:

      If your gol is simply cost-saving try to factor in the relative savings of using your points for for hotels and scrapping the villa. There will be a lot of staybridge suites around providing more practical accommodation than a regular hotel, and including breakfast. Also, your IHG redemption would be flexible so if you get lucky you may be able to cancel it in favour of pointsbreaks when they are released.

      • Hi James – what are the Staybridge suites like – they look quite nice in the photos – I have booked a few for our one night pit stops next year – thought it would be good to have a few meals in the room rather than eat out every day for 28 days!

        • James67 says:

          I only ever stayed in two Liz and they were excellent although brand new so that has to be taken into account. We had two room suites, they were big and had very comfortable sitting area, dining table and everything you might need in kitchen. One bedroom was ensuite and there was a separate bathroom for the others. Breakfast was adequate and there was drinks, fruit and snacks to go. With the American dining emphasis on tiresome grease, cheese and sugar I think you made a smart move getting a few staybridge reservations.

          • Thanks James – I love all that American food!

          • James67 says:

            LOL, you might need a new wardrobe on your return but then perhaps that’s part of your plan too!

          • No that’s not the plan – it’s a constant battle – can’t wait for the food in New Orleans this year!

        • I stayed at the Staybridge in NYC last year. Apart from the breakfast room being crowded because the hotel was pretty full, it was great. I recommended it to a colleague, travelling with her aged family, and they all loved it. Can’t comment on the larger rooms, as I just had effectively a double room. But it had cooker, microwave and dishwasher, which was handy for avoiding McDeadthings etc every day.

        • Raymond Hennessy says:

          We stayed at the Times Square Staybridge Suites. Our room was small,but I think that’s the norm for New York, otherwise we were quite happy with what I considered a good value redemption. I would stay there or any other Staybridge property again.

        • Lady London says:

          I’ve stayed in a few Staybridges and really rate them. IHG also has Candlewood Suites almost similar, although Staybridge is more actual suites. Rooms within the Staybridge suites can be small, however. Suites within any one hotel vary a lot without necessarily having a price impact for the larger ones.

          The one tip I would give is try to look at how new the hotel is. Some Staybridge /Candlewood suites have come in from old takeovers. Generally newer=better. Online ratings in an area tend to be accurate, relatively across hotels.

          There is a Staybridge at Stratford, the East London shopping centre. I often see rates about £89 and it seems very popular. Parking is cheap-ish too and it’s not too far from LCY by any means of transport.

          And yes, as Staybridges give you a kitchen with some equipment it gets you away from that American starch and ambient breakfast foods – to use Rob’s latest word for synthetic junk – if you want to. But the Staybridges I’ve stayed in served that sort of breakfast (although not as bad as Hampton Inns) as well, included within the room rate.

          If you’re staying midweek, at least in the US, often Staybridge has a kind of social drink evening, usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays, free of charge so guests can mingle. Many people stay there whole weeks if they’re assigned somewhere on business.

  8. yaucc86 says:

    simple question. Can i convert my SPG or Hilton to Avios and convert it back to hotel point? which means i will earn 35% for this simple move!? does it sounds right? I can even do it by AMEX –> hotel points –> Avios —> Hotel for 35% bonus~ correct?

  9. Mottelgamzol says:

    I have a few hundred thousand Amex mr points, is there no way I can take advantage?

    • Divide your stash by 2 and then times by 1.35.

      • Do these bonus points tend to post alongside the regular points or seperately at the end of the promotional period?

        • Usually in one go but Avios is known for changing from promo to promo (remember how they started adding Tesco bonuses at the end instead of with the original points as was always the way).

          We should know in a few days as the first transfers start to hit.

  10. With Marriott, converting 270K points gets you 7 nights category 1 to 5 hotel stay plus 120K BA Avios normally (+ some other minor benefits).
    With this promotion doesanybody know for sure is the 120K Avios becomes 162K Avios ?
    It seems likely that it does, but I would like to know for sure before trying.

    • tomsurfer says:

      Historically Marriott Travel Package transfers have always received the benefits of promotions.

      I have this morning redeemed Marriott points for a travel package. I will confirm when the transfer is completed. In the past this has taken around 48 hours.

      • David L says:

        It’s a separate point really but where do you get more detail on the content of the Marriott travel packages? From the website & link all I can see is the different categories, airlines and points required for the packages but where is the detail and availability behind that or is it a case of calling Marriott in the US?

        • There is no detail!

          You get a) the slug of miles shown in the table and b) a voucher for 7 consecutive nights at a hotel in the category you chose.

          The hotel needs to have standard reward availability showing in order to use the travel package voucher.

          • David L says:

            Thanks Rob, at least I know I hadn’t missed anything!!
            On the face of it, as has already been said, the packages seem like a very good deal – the assumption being of course you can get somewhere that ticks all your boxes. I guess its just a case therefore of when one might use either option first.

          • Come 2018 the Starwood hotels will increase your options.

      • Tomsurfer,
        Thank you for this.
        Will check here in 48 hours for your confirmation.

      • tomsurfer says:

        I can confirm that my Marriott Travel Package redemption for 120,000 Avios on 21 June was deposited into my BA account as 162,000 Avios on 23 June.

  11. Wally1976 says:

    OK so I have just over 19k SPG points with no likely use in the short term. Should I buy 1k points then transfer to BAEC with 5k bonus and 35% on top (does that even work)? Thanks

    • Matthew says:

      Definitely, otherwise 19,000 spg = 25,650 Avios. If you buy the extra 1,000 SPG to make 20,000 which trigger the bonus 5,000 SPG = 33,750 Avios. So you get an extra 8,100 Avios for simply purchasing 1,000 SPG points.

    • yes & yes

    • If you want to clear them out you could do worse.

  12. I have a few thousand IHG points and a few thousand Hilton points, and am unlikely to earn more in the near future, but it looks like the minimum transfer out is 10,000! Oh well….

  13. Hi, I understand if I transfer 20k points from SPG to most airline miles I get 25k, is it limited 20k? For example if I transfer 40k will this be 50k miles plus the Avios bonus? Thanks

    • unlimited

      • Thanks Harry, by the way all just noticed SPG have a points sale on (one just ended a week ago or so) with 30% off

        • yep no doubt part of Raffles’ post tomorrow

          • James67 says:

            My quick mental arithnetic gave me about 1p/avios at best but I’ll await Robs numbers tomorrow. I rarely consider avios now unless cost is under 0.5p which is nearly never. Whatever maths is tomorrow it will hopefully improve after the £ gets a likely boost on Friday following a remain vote.

  14. I have 63,000 SPG with a million Avios. Cant decide to convert or not.

    I like SPG. Have a USA trip in September and have 3 nights at Westin in Memphis at 10,000 a night. Not greatest of hotels but good location and value.

    At least I have two weeks to decide.

    • No. Makes no dent in your Avios pile and you should get £1k of hotel room for that (or 4 concerts in the SPG 02 box).

  15. Michael says:


    I have only about 6000 IHG points left and maybe a few hundred Hilton Honors points left and it is unlikely I will collect large amounts in either of these two schemes.

    As the amount of Avios I would own, would not significantly increase with this promotion when converting these lower amount of hotel points, my thinking is to keep the points where they are for the following reasons:
    – With the IHG points I still could get a part points/part cash redemption (5000 IHG points)
    – Hhonors I could top up with AMEX MR points to a level, high enough for a part points/part cash redemption (or more than one).

    That in my view would be better value. What are the “experts” thoughts?

  16. Has anyone else been asked by Supercard to send a photo of the back of their drivers license? Why would they need to see it?

    • Genghis says:

      No. They don’t do credit checks do they (not a credit product) so it’d be interesting to know what their AML / KYC checks are.

    • Yes I was asked for for photo ID and utility bill – I supplied it through the app – hope that was ok. Said they would update me in 48 hrs.

      • Interesting they’ve not asked me for anything. Back of a driving licence is a bit weird given it doesn’t have your name but just what you can drive?

      • I received 2 emails asking for IDs this morning and was planning to do upload them tonight but then an hour later received another email to say that my application has been approved :-)

        • I got an email asking for Photo ID & proof of address to be sent through the app. I cant even sign on to the app so not sure how they expect me to do this.

        • They probably want to ensure that its an actual card and yes this was requested.

    • Sorry I missed some detail out. I was asked to provide a photo of my driving license and bank statement which I did via the app but then they contacted me again to say they need to see both sides of my license. Seems a bit weird as there is nothing on the back that would be of interest to them?

      • I’ve had the same email…

        I’m an IFA and so am used to verifying other people’s identities – no idea why the back would be of any use though… Could be simply to do with the fact that they aren’t seeing the physical card?

    • I asked them and apparently they need to see the code on the back in the bottom right hand corner to check its authenticity.

    • Yes, they asked me, but before I got around to it, they sent another email saying that I didn’t need to. Might be worth waiting a couple of days to see if the same happens to you?

  17. Relatively new to this

    If I understand correctly –
    Plan is
    Purchase 120,000 IHG points for £470
    Then convert these to BA Avios (35% bonus)
    162,000 Avios for 47,000 pence
    So buying BRITISH airways Avios at approx 0.3pence each

  18. Charlie says:

    I have 40,000 SPG points, if I transfer this to Avios in one move will I get the standard 25% bonus on the full amount? Or should I do 2 lots of 20,000 transfers?

    • Matthew says:

      IIRC you can transfer up to 79,999 SPG points per 24hr period which attract the SPG bonus. Note this means you should only transfer 60k in one go to benefit from the boost to 75k before any bonus provided by the airline.

      So you can do 1 transfer of 40,000 and it will boost to 50,000 and then BA will add 35% bonus to the 50k.

  19. Well, I’ve just transferred 70K from my IHG account and 60K IHG from my wife’s account to BA. IHG terms say may take a few weeks to post – hopefully it either doesn’t take that long, or, if it does, I still get the bonus because the transfers were requested during the promo.. we shall see…

    I know, it’s a lot of IHG points to use, but it puts me within 2K of being able to get a higher cabin on a 241 I’m planning. I have enough for W but want to have a surplus Avios cushion to be able to book J if I want to or if W isn’t available…


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