Credit Hilton stays to Iberia instead of BA? A warning!

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During August we’re going to be running a few more ‘educational’ articles than usual, to help new readers get up to speed with some of the tricks of our trade.

One of the things that makes this hobby so fascinating is the ability to arbitrage.  The aim is to collect miles and points as cheaply as possible and then use them for the maximum possible ‘pence per point’ reward.

There are also arbitrages inside individual programmes you can exploit.  For historical reasons, stretching back to before Avios points were introduced, Hilton Honors has different earnings rates for British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus.

When you stay at a Hilton Family property, you have two options.  You can take either ‘points and miles’ (10 Hilton Honors points per $1 plus some airline miles) or ‘points and points’ (10 Hilton Honors points plus an additional 5 Hilton Honors points per $1).

The rates for receiving airline miles under the ‘points and miles’ option can be found here.

If you click on European airline partners, you will see the following rates:

British Airways Executive Club – 1 Avios point per $1

Iberia Plus – 15 Avios points per $10

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that – if there are no specific BA or Iberia promos running – you should be crediting your Avios points from Hilton stays to Iberia Plus and then moving them across to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.  You will be earning 50% more Avios!

Except ….


There is a catch in the Iberia Plus earning rates.

You are capped at earning 1,000 Avios points per stay if you take Iberia miles.  The British Airways cap is 10,000 Avios.

You won’t find this cap mentioned on the airline partners page I linked above. 

You won’t find this cap mentioned on the Hilton page at iberia.com 

However, tucked away in the terms and conditions of the Hilton Honors programme is this paragraph:

Members may only accrue up to 10,000 airline miles per stay (or the equivalent currency of the airline Marketing Partner), except with respect to Home2 Suites by Hilton® and Tru by Hilton™ which limits accrual to 100 airlines miles per stay (or the equivalent currency of the airline Marketing Partner) and except with respect to the following airline carriers: Aeromexico – up to 20,000 Premier Points; AIR MILES Canada – up to 1,000 reward miles; El Al Israel Airlines – up to 250 airline Points; Iberia – up to 1,000 airline Points; LAN – up to 20,000 kilometers; Virgin Atlantic Airways – up to 20,000 miles; and Air New Zealand- up to 30,000 Airpoints dollars.

This means you need to bear these numbers in mind:

For Hilton bills of up to $1000, you should go with Iberia Plus (15 per $10 rather than 1 per $1 with BA)

For Hilton bills above $1000, you should go with British Airways Executive Club (the 1 per $1 means you will earn more than the 1,000 Avios cap imposed by Iberia Plus)

You learn something new every day …..!  It would be helpful if Hilton had this information on its airline partners page, rather than tucked away in the terms and conditions where it won’t be read.  One of our readers spent $2,400 and lost out on 1,200 Avios because he had gone with Iberia Plus.

PS.  Remember that if you collect Virgin Flying Club miles as well as Avios points, you should ignore both Iberia Plus and BA Executive Club.  The Virgin Flying Club earning rate is 2 miles per $1 – 100% more than BA and 33% more than Iberia Plus.  The Virgin Atlantic miles cap is 20,000 miles per stay which is unlikely to be a problem!  Details of the Virgin / Hilton partnership are here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Wouldn’t that make the max value for a stay credited to Iberia $667 as that’s 1000 points / 1.5 (15 miles per 10 USD)?

    • No, as while you will max out with IB at $667, you’ll still earn less than 1,000 BA Avios until the stay spend level is $1000.

      Only at $1001 will the BA Avios be more than the IB Avios.

  2. Chris Cannon says:

    This is why I no longer do this, along with the fact that I plan my c.40 stays with Hilton per year as far out as possible to get the best rates It can be difficult to switch the earnings choice once youve made a booking and with combined BA deals at least once a year such as the +2000 per stay, I find for me defaulting to BA is more stress free

    • Alex W says:

      All in all wouldn’t you get more value by defaulting to points and points, ie 5 honors instead of 1 Avios?

      • In pure value terms, yes, if there is no mileage promo. But that assumes you want Hilton points.

  3. JamesB says:

    Thanks, great tip. I never heard this before so it’s educational for some oldies too 🙂

  4. Kevino says:

    What are the impact on that threshold of the current bonus offers?

    • Both BA and Iberia are running the current ‘2000 bonus Avios per stay’ so it doesn’t matter.

      PS. If you have maxed out on your 10,000 bonus Avios in BA, switch to Iberia ….

  5. Just to add, if you book Hilton via the Avios shopping site, they pay an additional 8 Avios/£. Wish I had known that one earlier…

    • Crafty says:

      Good luck getting those to post.

      • My stays from 6-8 months ago have recently posted on avios.com.

        If they don’t track and you booked a flexible rate, then cancel and try again.

        This led to an odd check-in at Hilton Dublin when the front desk staff decided to ask me why I booked the same room and cancelled it 4 times.

    • For those of us that aren’t huge fans of BA/Avios, are there any other good eshopping offers for Hilton bookings at the moment? I know AAdvantage are doing a “back to school” bonus of up to 2,000 miles but they only offer 2 pts/US$1 for the booking itself. And do other airline’s malls purchases post more reliably than Hilton at Avios, does anyone know?

    • JamesB says:

      If stay is a cheap sub £50 single night then best with 500 points for booking via the app.

  6. Only if the points post 😉
    My Conrad algarve points haven’t posted at all 🙁

    • JamesB says:

      Just email CS, IME they resolve missing points queries quickly. However it helps if you provide a list/breakdown of the points you are missing. How was the hotel? We are considering a couple of weeks in Spain and Portugal next spring.

      • The hotel is beautiful, and the staff are excellent.
        If you have young kids, 3-7 years old even better.
        Our 2 kids are 10 & 11 and the kids club is very much for younger children. There wasn’t much to occupy children of our children’s ages.
        Food very pricey and because of that a lot of guests went to the shopping centre, where there are about 10 restaurants.
        There is a shopping centre, opposite the entrance to the hotel, and there is a great restaurant called the cheeky pup, which is worth trying.

    • Was the same for me after a recent stay.
      They are fairly good at crediting if you contact them, although it can take a while.

      • JamesB says:

        I find the most annoying thing about them is that the case is not owned by any one individual. If the communication is on going a different rep replies each time.

      • RussellH says:

        I was pleasantly supprised by them recently.

        Our stay in Las Vegas showed, albeit belatedly, but no points or avios. Points and avios for the room turned up within a few hours of my contacting CS, but I had to get back to them with a scan of the hotel bill for the restaurant charge. A bit disconcerting at first as while the full points and base avios were credited a couple of days later, the 2000 bonus avios diasppeared for 48 hours. Fortunately they returned another couple of days later, as CS told me that investigating that could take six weeks or more…

        • JamesB says:

          I also found that when there is a mistake with points posting CS usually add a little extra to keep custoners happy.

  7. Is Virgin the better option even in the current 2000 Avios bonus promo by Hilton?

    • Genghis says:

      For v expensive stays but need to run the numbers

      • Genghis says:

        Running the numbers, I make it stays over $2k, assuming a 1p valuation for each of Virgin and Avios. Your valuations may differ.

    • JamesB says:

      And adding to Mr G’s comment, it ultimately depends on your own personal valuation of avios versus FC miles. In the real world ‘need’ trumps absolute value so if you have a substantially greater need for one over the other then that’s almost certainly the one to go for.

  8. Or there is currently a triple (for stays in Australasia/SE Asia/Japan/Korea) or double Krisflyer miles offer for those who are Singapore Airlines fans – https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/processlanding/processlanding/?lp=TRIPLEKFMILES.

  9. “During August we’re going to be running a few more ‘educational’ articles than usual, to help new readers get up to speed with some of the tricks of our trade.’

    Oh thank God, I haven’t got a clue what people are raving about when posts get to the stage of ‘and you can get .05 value by transferring 5000 points from the pinkey blue card to a dog at an unmarked address in Spain, then do a mattress run via Fred Blogs airline, times that by setting your clock to three hours behind Japan to get the right customer service people, throw in a couple of lego/ink cartridges/avis/Economist/Heathrow bonuses and you have 0.5 value per litre plus a bowl of fruit. You can double this by churning your wife’

    Kudos to people who regularly can think this way, I’m in awe….

    • zsalya says:


    • JamesB says:

      A walk in the park when compared to my mum’s ability to comprehend, enjoy and blend the plots of multiple soap operas with real life events into one giant fairy tale! For people new to the hobby it is worth reading through the university and holiday tips series, credit card overviews and favourites articles. Alternatively just google a specific question alongside headforpoints.

      • Agree, being really interested and driven is key in learning the ropes then the permutations. I may have to reside myself to just buying points when they are discounted and picking hotels which get reviewed positively.

    • PMSL, you should try reading FT… 😀

  10. Nate1309 says:

    Is any one else still waiting for the 2000 avios per stay bonus to post? My 2 stays are on my HH account as 2000 bonus, but nowhere to be seen in my BAEC.

    • Seems highly variable, some people have reported <48 hours. My stay took about 2 weeks to come through to BAEC. Regular and bonus Avios posted together.

    • Mine took 2 weeks to post to my BAEC. Posted to Hilton a/c within a couple of days of check out though.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      Some have posted in a couple of days, and some in a few weeks for me.

      • RussellH says:

        My first one posted before the base avios, within a day of leaving the hotel. The second took much longer, but that was because the stay initially posted with no points of avios at all.

    • Alex W says:

      Mine posted 6 days after stay

  11. Spoke to HH yesterday as mine hadn’t posted either. They said have to wait up to 30 days.

  12. Down The Back says:

    All 5 of my 2k bonus stays credited to BA longest was 8 days quickest was 4 days.
    Have already changed partner to Iberia to earn 1 point to activate account which has been open for 90 days and also get my 8th stay for Diamond match thanks to Robs advice on both… Didn’t realise this would earn 2k bonus as well, when does the promo on Iberia end ?

    Thanks DTB

  13. Alex W says:

    I didn’t realise the 2k bonus applied to Iberia as well. I’ve missed out on a few Avios there, then.

    • I didn’t realise either, but luckily first Hilton stay since my BA 10k is Friday. Have people had success in getting the bonuses to post to Iberia?

    • Alex W says:

      On the plus side… I thought the wife had missed out on 2k as set to Iberia. Now I’ll put a claim in and see if we can get those 2k credited.

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