Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 2000 free Avios if you fly BA over Christmas, 80% bonus buying Hilton points

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

2000 free Avios if you fly British Airways over Christmas

Here is a little Head for Points exclusive.  To spread a bit of Christmas cheer – and get that Net Promoter Score up a bit – British Airways is planning to give all customers over the Christmas period a gift of 2,000 Avios.

The details are still vague.  It isn’t clear if this is 2,000 Avios per booking or per segment flown, and the exact dates are not yet finalised.  I don’t know if Avios bookings are included.  You will definitely qualify even if you have already booked, and you won’t need to register – the Avios will be dropped automatically into your account.

Full details will be officially released later this week.

80% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points

Until 29th December, Hilton Honors is offering an 80% bonus when you purchase 20,000+ points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.3p each.  You are paying 0.42p ($800 / £600 for 144,000) here so the maths does not look good.

Five star Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria hotels typically run to 80,000 points per night.  In this sale you would be paying $444 for 80,000 points which is often more than you would be paying for a five star in a major city.  This is not a bargain.

However, Hilton Honors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels.   To dig out my ‘usual suspect’ examples, the Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example, is 10,000 points per night on most nights.  At 0.42p per point you would be paying roughly £42 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 58% discount on the typical nightly rate of £100.  Hampton properties include free breakfast as well.

On the other hand, the Hilton Sheffield is 30,000 points per night.  You would be paying around £125 for those points which is the same as the typical £125 cash cost – and you would earn points and miles back on the cash rate.

If you just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.


Earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (January 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, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade 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 in three 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 (125)

  • TripRep says:

    Is that BA offer to distract from the disruption at LHR?? Heathrow seem to be indicating some airlines hadn’t prepared to deice planes…
    https://twitter.com/HeathrowAirport/status/939923749901651974

    • TripRep says:

      ps. I should add it’s good to see BA working with you to up its profile on here. Grateful my recent Avios CE/CW outbound flights worked out well (apart from restrictive One world luggage rule).

      For the future I’m still undecided on BA241 vs Qatar sale fare, having seen the news from LHR, I consider myself v fortunate to have flown hours before the snow came in.

      Hence why for those in the region’s, bypassing LHR could remains attractive during the winter months…

      • Polly says:

        Triprep
        re your indecision between ba 241 and qr j lh ex eu sales…241 still great if you get F to Asia or beyond. Highly unlikely to get Oz via SIN tho maybe in J…but good also to have the option to cancel a 241 if a great ex eu qr J sale comes along. Which indeed we have done now twice in the last few years. Gave up 241 F to hkg for qr J to kul. As we were going to Bali so didn’t mind which onward flight we took. MAS y was around £6 plus avios.
        Know Rob has done the same with his family to dbx..
        So both have their merits but qr sales maybe better for you if avoiding lhr.

    • TripRep says:

      Simon Calder quoting BA…

      British Airways is telling passengers: “Heathrow has experienced unpredicted severe adverse weather conditions and that is expected to continue into Monday.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/british-airways-50000-passengers-stranded-de-icing-meltdown-heathrow-delays-diversions-a8102761.html

      Which bit was unpredicted??? The reasonable answer for the delay in deicing is that it was still raining and that refroze??

    • Andrew says:

      To be frank a large issue is with Heathrow and/or the companies that provide de-icing services to airlines (I.e not Heathrow).

      I arrived into LHR at 21:00 yesterday on Finnair from Helsinki to find another 2 Finnair aircraft already there, delayed due to de-icing I presume. That did mean a 40 minute wait for a stand as icy planes = not going anywhere = no gates available.

      I get the economics of it: for the few days a year we get snow the least-costly option is to buy the level of equipment they have and when it gets bad, come to a grinding halt. Economically true possibly but cold comfort to those affected.

      I’m grateful I got off lightly, only a 100 minute delay (the BA flight diverted to NCL) and the border was empty for e-gate/EU arrivals. Others were very, very much worse off.

    • Prins Polo says:

      Let’s not forget 2,000 avios is worth mere £20 (even less at Raffles’ conservative valuation) so not a life-changing experience.

      • Barry cutters says:

        And zero avios is worth £0.
        4 of us are flying on a £200 return to Edinburgh over xmas period. That’s 10% rebate for us. Will gladly accept the 8000 avios thanks

        • TripRep says:

          Looking forward to finding out if its per sector, if Avios redemptions qualify and BAs definition of Christmas period.

          BC – Going for Hogmanay??? As I know you like a tipple, you might want to check out the Caley cocktail bar at the Waldorf, the Scotch bar at the Balmoral and the SMWS on Queens St, all nice classly watering holes that even seem to let types like me in. Have a good one! 🙂

      • Isa says:

        2000 avios are worth at least £35 to me – still far from life-changing but better than nothing so I’ll take it if I can. I’d like BA to confirm the details though as my next flight is a RFS from LCY on January 9th so that might push the definition of “Christmas period” a tad but we’ll see…

        • Lumma says:

          Well as they’re announcing it next week it looks like my flight to Berlin this Saturday won’t count, which is a can sight more Christmas related than the 9th of Jan

  • TripRep says:

    For anyone considering Conrad Rangali, unless you’re desperate I’d wait for the next 100% bonus. But the great thing about a points redemption there is that you avoid 23+% resort taxes…

    • Cat says:

      Thanks for this, I was deliberating!

    • TripRep says:

      Yep, would only recommend a points booking there (unless your loaded), one thing I didn’t mention above, is that if you’re rounding up for the fifth free night then $420ish per night equivalent on points with benefits from status and potential upgrade is still worth it,. When you thinking of going?

    • Barry cutters says:

      TR- Cant reply to your comment above, but yes we are at a Hogmanay wedding on NYE and staying for a few days .
      Looking forward to it. will check out the bars you have mentioned
      Cheers BC

  • Hingeless says:

    Very OT: Do Stobart Air flights with a BA flight number count as one of the 4 flights required for status renewal, (I’ll be flying over xmas to make this slightly on topic)

  • Ian says:

    Just read some of the news stories from Heathrow, blimey, yet another PR nightmare for BA! They seem to go into complete disarray as soon as there’s a problem.

  • Paul says:

    2000 Avios is a nice gesture but let’s not get carried away by their generosity.

    Yesterday thousands, indeed 10s of thousands of their customers were faced with chaos and mass cancellation following a snow shower. They claimed it was not forecast yet as far back as last Wednesday the BBC said snow was expected as far south as high Wycombe and that it would not take much to push it further south. Yet they and the airport ignored this.

    People sat on board aircraft for 5 hours waiting for a stand but they stuck ridgedly to their discredited buy on board policy and offered nothing for free.

    The mayhem in the terminal led to mass cancellations as the day progressed including long haul as they list control (again) and passengers were forced to queue for hours to get back through to landslide.

    So let’s put 2000 Avios in perspective. This is firm that simply had no real operational control, it is poorly led. Under resourced and doesn’t give a stiff for it passengers. It does however have an active PR department trying to deflect from its many failings.

    • the real harry1 says:

      BA doesn’t run Heathrow airport

      • Cat says:

        +1
        Some friends are trying to fly back to UK with Ryanair, who are being typically shocking. Am I right in thinking that they should be getting the EU 261 compensation?

      • TripRep says:

        See my earlier comment, LHR are hinting airlines were not prepared.

        IMHO LHR & Airlines share the responsibility for how it was managed.

      • paul says:

        So that’s alright then lets blame someone else. Ridiculous statement, they are the biggest by some way and in any event it was not a LHR issues, it was a loss of control of their own operations for whom there is no one to blame but themselves. A lack of staff, a total absence of planning and no operational experience caused yesterdays, todays and tomorrows problems.

  • Emma says:

    I was meant to be flying from Glasgow to Budapest yesterday with BA. Landed at Heathrow around 1400 and then had to sit on the plane for 5hrs while we waited for a stand. When we finally got into the airport it was a total shambles. No staff to be seen and huge queues at the desks that were open that were purely just arranging hotels. The only info BA gave was to leave the airport and ring customer services or rebook online. Both options would not work for me as the customer services line was totally jammed (and still is) and the website won’t let me rebook. I just went and got my own hotel. Just going to try and go back to the airport now and get my bags. Im not holding out much hope. Does anyone if the BA Amex lost baggage insurance covers me here?

    • Rob says:

      Was great this morning, not a single plane flying over the house and the kids, who have the top floor, didn’t wake up until forcibly evicted!

      • Stu N says:

        I was staying with friends in Putney last night and it was eerily quiet, usually get woken by the early Far East arrivals when we stay there.

  • the real harry1 says:

    Like 50,000 other BA passengers, they will start Monday far from where they planned to be, after the airline’s operation juddered almost to a halt at Heathrow. More than 140 outbound short-haul flights, and 26 long-haul departures, were cancelled on Sunday. BA has cancelled a further 70 short-haul round trips on Monday, plus nine long-haul flights including departures to Rio, Tokyo and Los Angeles. An additional 15,000 people will be affected by these latest cancellations.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/british-airways-50000-passengers-stranded-de-icing-meltdown-heathrow-delays-diversions-a8102761.html

    • Anna says:

      And this is temperate Britain’s largest airport, while the likes of Toronto aren’t so “surprised” by snow and ice in December and are fully open for business I imagine?!!

      • mark2 says:

        Surely Toronto would be surprised If there was no snow?

      • Andrew says:

        It’s not really fair to compare Heathrow with Toronto in terms of snow preparation. Heathrow might have snow two, maybe three times a year while I imagine Toronto is snow bound for months. Heathrow could invest the same in deicing and snow clearing as Toronto but it would sit idle for almost the entire winter whilst still costing a lot of money.

        Like it or not we’re never going to be as prepared for snow as Canada and disruption is inevitable. Where Heathrow and BA could improve is offering more information, refreshments and even compensation on the rare occasions when snow does cause problem.

        • Anna says:

          How much do hundreds of cancelled flights and loss of disgruntled customers cost?