It’s back, on the fairly regular ‘every nine months’ timetable. I’m talking about the ‘25% bonus when you transfer your hotel points to British Airways Avios‘ promotion!
The promotion is not yet live on ba.com. The link in the email sends you to this page which does not mention anything (yet).
However, trust me, the promotion is on!
When you transfer hotel loyalty points to British Airways, you get a 25% bonus.
There are a few simple rules you must follow:
Rule 1: You must convert your hotel points to Avios (at ba.com, not avios.com) before 13th July. 13th July 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
Surprisingly, Starwood Preferred Guest is not included. This is the first time that it is has not appeared as part of this promotion. That will be a blow for anyone sitting on 20,000 Starwood points from the SPG American Express promotion last year.
Le Club Accorhotels is also 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?
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 high category redemption, say £250 a night. The Avios conversion does not include the 25 per cent bonus.
Hilton HHonors – 80,000 points = 8,000 Avios
Hyatt Gold Passport – 25,000 points = 10,000 Avios
Marriott Rewards – 45,000 points = 12,000 Avios
IHG Rewards Club – 50,000 points = 10,000 Avios
Club Carlson – 50,000 points = 5,000 Avios
Looking at these numbers, you are clearly better leaving large stashes of hotel points where they are. Even with Marriott, I would not give away a potential £250 hotel room for 12,000 Avios (15,000 Avios with the bonus).
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 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 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.
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.
(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.)