Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is it worth buying hotel points to transfer to Avios with a 25% bonus?

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Until 15th October, British Airways is offering a 25% bonus if you transfer hotel points from seven major loyalty schemes into Avios.

Since most of the hotel programmes allow you to buy points – and often have special offers – I thought it would be interesting to see if any of the deals were so good that you were effectively buying cheap Avios by buying hotel points.

Hotel sign

Test 1: Club Carlsonlink to buy points

Until October 15th, there is a 50% bonus on Carlson points. Buying the maximum 40,000 gets you a 50% bonus. However, since Carlson devalued its conversion chart, this is still not a great deal.

60,000 Carlson points costs ($7 x 40) = $280. Transfers into 6,000 Avios + 25% = 7,500 Avios. Cost per Avios = 2.38p.

Verdict: Definitely avoid

Test 2: Hilton HHonorslink to buy points

Given the pathetic conversion rate of Hilton points to Avios (10:1) this was never going to be a good deal!

10,000 Hilton points costs $100. Transfers into 1,000 Avios + 25% = 1,250 Avios. Cost per Avios = 5.13p!

Verdict: Could not be less attractive!

Test 3: Hyatt Gold Passportlink to buy points

10,000 Hyatt points costs $240. Transfers into 4,000 Avios + 25% = 5,000 Avios. Cost per Avios = 3.07p

Verdict: Definitely avoid

Test 4: IHG Rewards Clublink to buy points

30,000 IHG Rewards Club points costs $345. Transfers into 6,000 Avios + 25% = 7,500 Avios. Cost per Avios = 2.95p

Verdict: Definitely avoid

Test 5: Marriott Rewardslink to buy points

30,000 Marriott Rewards points costs $375. Transfers into 10,000 Avios + 25% = 12,500 Avios. Cost per Avios = 1.92p

Verdict: Best so far, but still more expensive than buying Avios from BA!

Test 6: Shangri-La Golden Circle

You cannot buy Golden Circle points, as far as I can tell

Test 7: Starwood Preferred Guestlink to buy points

20,000 SPG points costs $700. Transfers into 25,000 Avios +25% = 31,250 Avios. Cost per Avios = 1.44p

Verdict: Cheaper than buying from BA directly, but still not a great deal – and BA undercuts this during promotions

Conclusion

Only Starwood Preferred Guest sells its points at a level where it is worth transferring them to Avios during the current transfer bonus. And even then, I would not recommend it, because the price of 1.44p is still a little steep and BA offers them more cheaply during its fairly regular sales.

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for 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.)

Comments (4)

  • AndyGWP says:

    Hi Raffles… apologies for posting this here, but wasn’t sure where else I could ask.

    re: Starwood (SPG Credit Card), I’ve now earnt the promotional bonus and the points have posted to my “Starwood Hotels” account… I’ve yet to decide what to do with these points, but can I still cancel the card?

    Wanted to check as I know with Membership Rewards, I lose the points as soon as I cancel the card, but get the feeling this is different 🙂

    Thanks

  • achin says:

    I would like to know how did you calculated cost per avios . Wouldn’t it be like 700$ for 31250 points so (700*100)/31250 = 2.24c per avios for spg.