Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: buy half price SPG points – and use for a Marriott travel package, two Hilton sales now on

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News in brief:

Last day to buy Starwood points at a possible 50% discount

Starwood is offering a very good, but targetted, deal which ends TODAY – a 50% discount when you buy 5,000+ Starwood Preferred Guest points.

You need to log in here to see what discount is offered to you.  I got the full 50% off.  I have never, ever seen Starwood points sold this cheaply.

At the top end, you will be paying $525 (£425) for 30,000 points under this deal.

I value SPG points at 1.5p each when used for hotel redemptions.  You are paying 1.4p here so there is not a major arbitrage.  That said, because Starwood has ‘last room availability’ (if there is a room for cash, you can have it for points) you can easily exceed 1.5p per point on a peak day.

However, there is value to had when you convert these points into airline miles.

Starwood points convert into 30 airline schemes (list here), including Avios, at 1:1.  If you convert in chunks of 20,000 points, you get a 5,000 point bonus.  Many Starwood partners, such as Lufthansa Miles & More, often make it hard to pick up miles cheaply via any other route.

Even better, you can now convert Starwood points at 1:3 into Marriott Rewards and redeem for a Marriott Travel Package.

These can offer excellent value – 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 Starwood points) will get you 7 nights in a Marriott Group Category 1-5 hotel AND 120,000 Avios points.  If there are three people in your household who are SPG members, you could buy 30,000 Starwood points each under this bonus offer, combine them and then redeem for one of these packages (EDIT: see the comment below about this and my response if you are planning this).

You can find out more about this deal in my original article on the Starwood ‘buy points’ bonus here.

Two Hilton sales now on

Just to be confusing, Hilton has two sales running at the moment.  They are both worth a look if you are in a position to firmly commit for stays later in 2017.

The first sale covers the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.  The special landing page is here.

Whilst it is nominally called the Winter Sale, you can book for any weekend between now and the end of 2017.  The sale offers a discount of up to 30% off the standard Best Available Rate if you are a Hilton HHonors member, albeit that sale rates require prepayment and are non-refundable.  You receive a smaller discount (25%) if you are not logged in.  This offer is for all Hilton Group hotels, including Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc.

The Europe / Middle East sale runs until 31st January.

The second sale covers Asia-Pacific, which includes Australasia, India and the Maldives as well as Asia.  The special landing page for that sale is here.

This sale is valid for ANY day of the week for any point in 2017.  If you are a Hilton HHonors member, you will receive a discount of 17% to 35% (7% to 25% for non members).

The Asia-Pacific sale runs until 20th January.  Note that China and Hong Kong are excluded.

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (April 2024)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(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.)

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Pangolin says:

    I got offered a max of 25% so I can safely avoid that. Having to pay 2.6c per point isn’t going to rock my world.

  • Boi says:

    OT: we have the Amex travel offer(spend £209 get £50 back ) on 3 of our cards. But no direct flights to anywhere in Southern Europe on their website. We just want to go somewhere sunny and good for kids in April. How have people been using it? Any tips?

  • Andy S says:

    Happy New Year all

  • Talay says:


    Does Starwood have a special paid for membership in Asia ?

    e.g. Marriott Gold Card, Hilton Premium Club ?

    Also, are there any other ones which we should be aware of ?

  • RW69 says:

    I’m looking to generate as many Amex MR points as I can in the shortest time possible in order to then move to SPG and onto Marriott for the purpose of booking a travel package.

    What would the recommended strategy be around sign up bonuses etc?

    I currently have Gold Rewards card and my wife has no Amex charge cards, just the BA PP.

    Should I upgrade my Gold card to Platinum then refer my wife for Platinum to get the higher referral points, then cancel both cards (once points transferred) and repeat in say 7 months or so?

    I’m guessing we could also both apply for the SPG Amex cards for the sign up points.

    Any other or particular thoughts or recommendations?


    • Rob says:

      No upgrade bonus to Plat, unless the call centre offers something at random.

      However, you may still want to do it as Plat referring Plat gets 18k whilst Gold referring Plat now only gets 9k under new rules.

      Get an SPG Amex too and then refer your wife for 5 plus 11.

      • RW69 says:

        Thanks, had not contemplated the referral route on the SPG Amex for additional points.

      • RW69 says:

        Just crunched some numbers (correct if I’m wrong please) – but a new application via referral for a Plat (35k + spend to hit bonus) then Plat referral by myself for my wife (18k + 35,000 + spend to hit bonus) would net greater number of points in less time than the Gold to Plat UG route had there been bonus points on offer.

        After hitting the sign up spends cancel both accounts (after transferring points to SPG) and then repeat in 7/8 months time.

        Or a i miss calculating on this?


This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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