Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is it worth buying hotel points to transfer to Avios for the 25% bonus?

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Until 13th July, British Airways is offering a 25% bonus if you transfer hotel points from six 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.

Test 1: Club Carlson 

Club Carlson devalued its conversion rate to airline miles last year and was never going to be a contender here at the standard rate.  However, as I wrote yesterday, Club Carlson is currently offering a 75% bonus on selected dates in June.

Amusingly, even with a 75% bonus, this remains a bad deal.  70,000 Club Carlson points will cost you $280 during this promotion.  These would convert into 7,000 Avios + 25% = 8,750 Avios. Cost per Avios = 1.88p.

Verdict: Avoid

Test 2: Hilton HHonors 

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 = 4.69p

Verdict: Could not be less attractive!

Test 3: Hyatt Gold Passport 

10,000 Hyatt points costs $240. Transfers into 4,000 Avios + 25% = 5,000 Avios. Cost per Avios = 2.80p

Verdict: Definitely avoid

Test 4: IHG Rewards Club 

30,000 IHG Rewards Club points costs $345. Transfers into 6,000 Avios + 25% = 7,500 Avios. Cost per Avios = 2.70p

There is a loophole which allows you to buy IHG points substantially more cheaply than this at $210 for 30,000.  Even at this price, though, the cost per Avios is still too high at 1.64p.  This is no cheaper than buying them from BA.

Verdict: Definitely avoid at the full price

Test 5: Marriott Rewards 

30,000 Marriott Rewards points costs $375. Transfers into 10,000 Avios + 25% = 12,500 Avios. Cost per Avios = 1.76p

Verdict: Not bad based on the standard price but still more expensive than buying directly from BA.

Test 6: Shangri-La Golden Circle

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

Conclusion

None of the six hotel schemes taking part in this promotion sells points cheaply enough to make converting them to Avios – even with a 25% bonus – a sensible proposition.


Hotel offers update – April 2021:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 11th May), IHG Rewards (mystery bonus to 3rd May) and World of Hyatt (25% discount to 30th April).

Comments (8)

  • squills says:

    Can I transfer my Shangri La points to Avios? Minimum? Conversion rate?

    More to the point, will my 1000 points expire if I don’t use them soon in the Shard restaurants?

    • Rob says:

      You can but the minimum transfer rate is high – higher than 1000.

      They do expire but it is not something to worry about yet.

      • Jamie says:

        I am going to dubai soon and was thinking of using my golden circle points there. Do you know when they will be available to use in the shard?

  • gadgetcakes says:

    Still no amex membership rewards bonus I see, any feel for when we ‘normally’ see this?

    • Rob says:

      I would expect something in September but BA is not likely to be in it based on recent behaviour.

  • Paul says:

    Bit of a newbie here and me and my wife travel virgin economy to Shnghai twice a year with our daughter. We have signed up for the virgin black card and have about 180,000 miles. We were under the impression that upgardes were easy to get with these points but it seems that they are much more compliacted to secure than the virgin flying club website suggests.
    What is the ebst way fro us to use our points? Is it likely we would ever be able to upgrade as a family…….this is a whole new world to us but we are a bit disillusioned with the scheem as it seems we have been quoted recently that we would have to pay £330 more for an economy ticket which we could only upgrade to first one way. A bit of a downer.
    Any help graetly appreciated.
    Paul

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