Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Credit Hilton stays to Iberia instead of British Airways? 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.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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

Comments (49)

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

  • 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.

    • Stu_N says:

      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.

    • Tracy says:

      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

  • Cate says:

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

  • 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

  • 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.

    • David says:

      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.

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

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