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 from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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 Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel 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 via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.

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 (50)

  • James67 says:

    OT: be aware that BA redemption monthly view may not be showing up all available flights that can be found searching day by day.

  • Genghis says:

    OT. £20 back on £50 spend at Cafe Rouge on my BAPP

    • Rob says:

      Sadly I may end up using that with the kids!

      • Graeme says:

        Assuming they sell gift cards in their restaurants and Amex won’t be able to differentiate between that spend and menu spend, this could be useful..

        • Genghis says:

          That’s the plan. I’ll trial when back at work on Tues. I’ll report back.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Around me both branches don’t sell gift cards in the restaurants.

  • Nick L says:

    What’s your view Rob on redeeming the travel package and using the AA miles on Etihad ?

    I’m tempted to transfer Amex points to increase it to enough for 2 business tickets or a single first class redemption to AUH rather than dump them in Avios.

    • Rob says:

      AA can book any reward seat Etihad shows its own members IIRC – and without the fuel surcharge – so it isn’t a bad deal.

      • Talay says:

        So a circulatory way of getting AA miles might be to get SPG points, swap into Marriott, buy a package, receive AA miles and then use on Etihad ?

        Does anyone know if the miles from the Marriott packages only credit when you have completed your stay or is purchase non refundable and they credit fairly swiftly ?

        Is there another way to get AA points ?

        • Rob says:

          You get the miles now and can use the hotel later (a year?). You can also upgrade the hotel bit with more points at the time, so if you redeem for Cat 1 + 120k miles you can redeem the difference later to change the hotel to, say, Cat 5 + 120k miles.

  • Alex W says:

    I got 30% and the wife 35%, boo!

  • aceman says:

    35% here too… could have used a small top up right now as well

  • Adrian says:

    Only 25% for me so I’m feeling really unloved, 35% for my wife, can’t really complain as we’ve never spent a night there between us! IHG and Hilton for us for 2017!
    Happy new year guys and girls.

  • Gin and Tonic Please says:

    OT: Has anyone got the new Virgin Atlantic website to remember their security questions yet? Mine is STILL asking me to confirm each time (meaning I can’t use AwardWallet)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You will need to reset your password to make it work If you check back tomorrow I will post the step by step I was sent yesterday

  • 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.

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