Every nine months or so, British Airways runs a co-ordinated promotion among all of the major hotel chains, offering a bonus of 25% for converting your points to Avios.
Whatever the reason, British Airways and Starwood are making up for it by running a dedicated Starwood transfer bonus.
You will receive a 10% bonus when you transfer your Starwood Preferred Guest points to Avios before 30th September. This is the date by which you must initiate the transfer – it does not matter how long the points take to reach British Airways.
The standard transfer rate from SPG to Avios is 1:1. In addition, when you transfer 20,000 SPG points in one go, you will receive an additional 5,000 miles.
With this promotion, a transfer of 10,000 SPG points will get you 11,000 Avios. A transfer of 20,000 SPG points will get you 27,500 Avios.
Is this worth it?
‘It depends’ is the boring answer. It certainly isn’t a terrible deal but you would still be marginally better off redeeming the points for hotel stays if you chose wisely.
Starwood is unique among the hotel schemes in making luxury redemptions very poor value. Their top properties are 30,000 SPG points per night – not very tempting when the alternative would be to convert to 35,000 Avios points (38,500 under this promotion)!
The sweet spot is generally in the ‘high end but not super-luxe’ market. Being a bit sad I have a spreadsheet of recent redemptions. I apparently got 1.6p per point for a recent redemption in Hamburg (Le Meridien at 10,000 points per night), 1.7p for my stay at the Westin Dublin this Summer (12,000 points) and 1.7p for a night booked in Toronto for next year.
Let’s assume you can easily get 1.7p of value per SPG point from a hotel stay.
Let’s also assume that you value an Avios point at 1p. If you converted 20,000 SPG points, you would receive 25,000 Avios plus a 2,500 Avios bonus, for a total of 27,500. That means you are effectively getting 1.38p of value per SPG point by converting to Avios.
You will therefore be a little worse off by converting to Avios. However, if you don’t actually have a plan to use your SPG points for a stay – or don’t have enough to redeem for a free night – this is as a good an opportunity as you are likely to get for the foreseeable future to convert.
Remember that Gold members must convert at least 1,500 points. Base level members must convert at least 2,500 points.
It seems that only a subset of British Airways Executive Club members were emailed about this offer. The terms and conditions do NOT say that it is restricted, although the details are not (yet?) on ba.com. I feel safe saying that anyone who converts will get the bonus.
(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.)