IT’S BACK: Get a 35% bonus on hotel transfers to Avios – but is it a good deal?

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It was due a return and now it is back.  I’m talking about the ‘bonus when you transfer your hotel loyalty points to British Airways Avios‘ promotion.

The page for the offer can be found here.

As with the last two versions of this offer, which runs every 6-9 months, when you transfer hotel loyalty points to British Airways, you get a 35% bonus.

This is especially interesting if you had been thinking of redeeming Starwood or Marriott points for a Marriott Travel Package.

35 per cent bonus transferring hotel loyalty points to Avios

There are a few simple rules you must follow:

Rule 1: You must convert your hotel points to Avios (at, not before 31st March.  31st March is the date by which the points must leave your hotel account, not arrive at

Rule 2: Only transfers from the following hotel programmes count:

  • Club Carlson
  • Hilton Honors
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Shangri-La Golden Circle
  • World of Hyatt

Le Club AccorHotels is NOT included but that is normally the case.

Starwood Preferred Guest is not included but you can transfer your points to Marriott Rewards at 1:3 and move them from there.  I look at this later.

Rule 3: There are minimum transfer requirements in theory, but these are the same as the lowest possible transfer out of that programme.  Nothing has changed compared to the normal transfer rules.

Rule 4: Only lump sum transfers of existing points get the bonus. Points earned directly from stays (ie 500 Avios for a stay at a Hilton property) do not attract the bonus as they would fall under the minimum transfer threshold.

Rule 5: You can make multiple transfers from multiple programmes and, based on past experience, all will attract the bonus.

So, is this a good deal or not?

I am normally a bit sceptical about this offer when it runs at 25%.  In general, a 25% bonus is not enough – for any promotion – to make a bad deal a great deal.  At 35% we should look more closely.

In general, hotel points are best redeemed for hotel stays. Let’s look at the points needed for a high category room redemption, which I am assuming is worth £250 a night.  The Avios conversion does not include the 35 per cent bonus.

Club Carlson – 70,000 points = 7,000 Avios or a £250 room

Hilton Honors – 80,000 to 90,000 points = 8,000 to 9,000 Avios or a £250 room

IHG Rewards Club – 60,000 to 70,000 points = 12,000 to 14,000 Avios or a £250 room

Marriott Rewards – 45,000 points = 12,000 Avios or a £250 room

Shangri-La Golden Circle – 9,500 points (Shard, Paris, Maldives cost double) = 9,500 Avios or a £250 room

World of Hyatt – 25,000 to 30,000 points = 10,000 Avios to 12,500 Avios or a £250 room

Looking at these numbers, you are probably better leaving large stashes of hotel points where they are.

With the Hyatt, Marriott and IHG examples, you are trading a £250 hotel room for (roughly 12,000 * 1.35) roughly 16,200 Avios points.  That still isn’t a great deal.

Be careful with Starwood v Marriott

You CAN use your Starwood points with this offer if you send them to Marriott Rewards first.  You can now convert SPG points to Marriott at 1:3, or vice versa.

Remember that – 365 days per year – Starwood gives you a 25% bonus when you transfer 20,000 points into Avios.  20,000 SPG points become 25,000 Avios.  Because the Marriott to Avios transfer ratio changes depending on how many you convert, you need to do the maths for your own position to see what works best.  You might still be better leaving them with Starwood and converting from their at your leisure.

Note that if you redeem for one of the very good value Marriott Travel Package rewards, you will get a 35% bonus on the Avios element of the package!  This HFP article (click) explains why Marriott Travel Packages are so interesting.

For a small amount of points it is a different game

A couple of years ago I tidied up some of my small hotel balances by converting to Avios, often topping up first from American Express Membership Rewards, and didn’t regret it. If you will never earn enough for a free room, you might as well convert and a 35 per cent bonus is a good excuse.

The other thing to remember is that the hotel chains convert to many airline programmes, often over 20.  You may get a 35 per cent bonus via Avios, but perhaps topping off another account may be more useful?  If you had a huge volume of hotel points, you may be able to get enough points from scratch in, say, the American Airlines programme for a tax-free UK to US redemption.  Avios are not always the answer.

Here is my final thought:

You can transfer IHG Rewards Club points to someone else for $5 per 1000, Hilton points for FREE with the new pooling feature and SPG and Carlson points for free if you share an address.  Hyatt points can be pooled if you ring and redeem them immediately.  Marriott transfers are reportedly now free although the website still quotes $10.

Perhaps a transfer to a friend who can use a larger total for a hotel room is a better deal than Avios, even with the bonus?

This offer runs until 31st March so you have plenty of time to decide.

You can find full details of the offer on here.

Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss
IHG to buy Belmond (the old Orient Express Hotels) to add a true luxury brand?
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  1. xcalx says:

    OT (no bits today)
    Flying blue have released the March promo Dubai looks best at 25K OW business

  2. Stephen Lee says:

    Most of my points are earned on cards, not hotel purchases. So if I earn 1 Avios per £ spent on my HSBC MasterCard and 1 HHonors point earned per £ on my HHonors Visa then surely I am better off

    Surely if one has an excess of Avios and use Hilton hotels (I tend to be more in the 10,000 to 20,000 points range unlike Rob). Therefore to get a 20,000 point room will cost me 2,000 Avios (or £2,000 of spend on the card) whereas I will need to spend £20,000 on the Hilton card.

    What am I missing here ?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Its 2 Hilton points per £1 isn’t it?

      Not sure I understand your comment you can’t transfer 2k Avios into 20k Hilton Points.

      If your end goal is Avios then you’re better off spending c£2k on an Avios card rather than 10k on your Hilton card. If you want hilton points then you are better off spending on the Visa or getting an AMEX MR earning card, again 2 per £1.

      • Peter K says:

        I agree with TGLoyalty. You can move hotel points into Avios but you *can’t* move Avios back into hotel points. Hotel points are usually best left where they are.
        The Honors Visa earns 2 Honor points per £ spent or 3 Honor points per £1 spent at a Hilton property.

  3. Stephen Lee says:

    Ignore my last message. I just worked out that I was looking OT do a swap the wrong way round. Therefore I have made the case it is not worth it for Hhonors.


  4. Cate ⛄ says:

    IHG may be interesting as I’ve got a fair few to off load. On saying that they’ve just bought a new property chain….on saying that they still don’t give free breakfast for elites……decisions decisions….

  5. OT as no bits article: I flew with United Airlines recently but didn’t claim any miles and want to get them credited to KrisFlyer. I am not a member of United or KrisFlyer scheme as yet. Will this be a problem?

    • Most airlines say you have to be registered with them BEFORE your outbound flight. I am not registered with any of the airlines in that alliance. If someone knows how I could get around it please advise. If I register with Singapore airlines and try and claim miles for a flight with United would they really check that I registered with them after the flight?

    • You know you can credit United to Aer Lingus Aer Club and get Avios? (Whether they post is a different question ….)

      Each airline scheme has different rules on whether you needed to already be a member on the date you flew or not. You will need to look at the T&C’s for MileagePlus and Krisflyer.

      • Thanks Rob, will look into it. These were long haul flights from London to LAX so would be gutted if I didn’t get the miles.

  6. New Card says:

    For Shangri La 9500 points would I think be $950 dining credit which is worth even more than a £250 room.

  7. James says:

    Very tempted by the Marriott travel packages (although never stayed in a Marriott !).

    I have ~ 40k SPG Points and 122k AMEX MR points.

    There’s currently a 35% discount on SPG points.
    There’s currently this 35% uplift in conversions to Avios.

    Want to figure out whether I should / want to buy the extra SPG points I’d need for a Marriott travel package OR convert my MR points.

    Obviously cash is more flexible than Mr points ! But I’m not especially cash rich (or especially point rich as you can tell !).

    Also want to figure out whether it’s best (for me AND in general !) To go for a cat 1-5 property or to aim higher up the catagory list.

    I don’t need super luxury. Only me, no other half to impress at the moment 🙁 I like sunny, laid back locations with things to do outside the hotel / resort. Scuba diving is always a plus.
    Of course value for money / points is crucial for bragging rights 😉

    It’s a lot of calculations.
    Need to start me a spreadsheet I guess but anyone have any pointers on where to start or any patterns to value that you’ve already noticed (catagory wise etc….).
    Or general recommendations ?

    • James says:

      Am gold in both SPG & Marriot (via AMEX Platinum).

    • Genghis says:

      Hi James. Different people will have different opinion on what’s best. My advice though is to think about what your end goal is.

      If it’s to have lots of avios, a travel package can be a good way to get there.

      Assuming you’d not buy the SPG points, you’d need to convert 100k MRs->50k SPG and when added to your existing 40k SPG is enough for the package which gets you 162k avios.

      Separately, those points would have got you 100k + 50k avios, so you’re getting an extra 12k avios and the 7 nights in a hotel.


      I got a travel package last year and I’m actually finding it hard to come up with a place I actually want to go for 7 nights. I also find it really easy to earn avios and have more than I need but it’s hard to earn SPG/Marriott. I’ve therefore decided not to get another travel package but to spend Marriott points on individual stays in places I want to visit. I’m potentially losing “value” by not converting to avios, but then I wouldn’t get the benefit anyway by adding to my stock pile and then along comes a big deval…

      • Roger says:

        Agree with you Genghis.

        I have a certificate to use but struggling to use it.
        Will need to upgrade to much higher category Hotel and if its resort you do not get Elite benefits like complimentary breakfast.

        However on the other hand the voucher can always be returned for a 45000 Marriott points.

        • xcalx says:

          You could also try coupon connection over on flyertalk. Do a search you will see that the vouchers do have value. The most recent one seems to have changed hands for 120,000 Marriott for a cat 7.

          In the past I have had some great deals from CC but it’s not as active nowadays.

      • Can you use a TP to ‘gift’ a stay to a friend or relative?

      • Peter K says:

        I know what you mean about places to stay with a package. However some searching gives a few decent places in the category 8 level.
        Marriott Copenhagen, Barcelona Renaissance Fira, The Glasshouse in Edinburgh to name a few. All those places potentially could be good bases for a week’s holiday.

        • Cate ⛱️ says:

          We’ve booked The Glasshouse for the tattoo. Looking forward to it.

        • Genghis says:

          We enjoyed our stay at the Glasshouse in Oct. Smoked salmon at breakfast is tasty but not Hebridean Smokehouse quality

      • Cate ⛱️ says:

        @Genghis ‘’I’ve therefore decided not to get another travel package but to spend Marriott points on individual stays in places I want to visit. ‘

        This was the point I was trying to convey (badly) a few weeks/mnths ago. We are down this year for 5 nights in Jordan (some Marriott) then 5 nights at SPG’s Grosvenor House in Dubai. If I’d have converted to a package I’d have probably just chosen one place for 7 nights , forgoing the other destination. Given the distance of both from the UK and because we travel business class it would have cost us another set of air fares to go back out to DXB, and they’re only a couple of hours away from each other. The other thing is Grosvenor house is dropping down a category next week making it a cheaper award redemption. If all your points were tied up in a Marriott package then this event would now be difficult to take advantage of.

      • Cheers.

    • JamesB says:

      James, check out Rating Marriott, I think it is cat 5 but might be 6 on new list. Tick your dive, sun, relaxed boxes. Can get there on 3h drive from BKK so no further flights to eat into your dive time. Cheap fares to BKK. Very Thai, less touristy place.

      • JamesB says:


        • JamesB – that location becomes more interesting with Qatar flying from Berlin to Rayong/Pattaya airport. Google maps says ~1 hour drive. .
          Not sure about economy, but i saw business flights for < £1000 advertised recently with the QRSUBSCRIBER discount.
          (although the layovers are bad – some people like that though)

          If James could stretch to a biz class flight, that's your 560 tier points toward BA silver (i think) which will come in handy when spending all those Avios from the Travel Package ?

        • actually LHR > UTP is < £450 in Qatar economy, and only has the layover on the outbound. the Return is a 2h stop in Doha.

        • JamesB says:

          Good point Tom, I forgot about QR to UTP. An hour about right, U Tapao on the way to Rayong so even avoid Pattaya traffic. Decent place to pick up and return a hire car, roads around there are easy. Koh Samet and Koh Chang within easy reach. Anybody going there around October November should make every effort to coincide with Pattaya International Fireworks Festival, it is truely awesome, way better than anything that’s ever been done at new year or Olympics. UTP increasingly busy with regional flights by Air Asia and Bangkok Airways so convenient for multicentre tours too.

        • Polly says:

          We too were looking at the Berlin to UTP. Looks like a good J QR EU jump off point. And you can get a driver to where you need to go if wanting to stay within a couple of hours of there, or train/VIP bus.However we took the COH PEN offer up a couple of weeks ago. So as we are starting to collect a Marriot package, will look to use one in PEN area. Didn’t realise resorts don’t include breakfast. But that’s not a problem.
          Great tips, all you Marriot experts.

      • Cheers.

      • Looking at Rayong (which does look a good fit for me) it’s 25k Marriott points per night.

        A marriott travel package of 7 nights is 270k and includes 162k Avios.

        270k Marriott points would get me 10 nights in Rayong (275 would get 11) and no Avios.

        So would I prefer 3 extra nights in Rayong or 162k Avios.
        If I can get 1p per Avios value that’s £1,620 vs 3 nights in Rayong (£300).
        1p per Avios is certainly doable but if I say 0.7p then I’d be more realistic, giving about £1100 value. Still much better than the £300 worth of hotel stay.

        Looking at Rayong, taking the package certainly seems better.

        I imagine it’s a different proposition at different hotels, especially at higher catagories.

    • Cate ⛄ says:

      Newly opened in Dubai: The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah? Works out at 1.38 per point. 2.00 a point if you take the 5th night free option.

  8. Scallder says:

    Perhaps it’s wrong to hope for too much here, however I think the biggest potential upside for the travel package as things stand will be the introduction of SPG hotels when the programs merge (which as things stand is meant to be the start of next year).

    Obviously there hasn’t been too much made of how everything will merge together, however if (and it’s a huge if here) the current categories stay the same, and SPG properties are only put into the existing 1-9 categories, then these travel packages could become even better value.

    I’ve got one already (and put miles to Alaska) with plans to use in DC next year, and currently saving towards a second one with the hope that SPG properties will get brought in at decent rates, as there’s a number of SPG properties that I would happily stay at for a week, predominantly those in ski areas which otherwise can be extremely expensive (had a lovely week in the Westin Whistler a couple of years ago, however certainly wouldn’t have spent the cash on it).

  9. Melvin says:

    Do the Marriott travel package miles drop into your account straight away?

    • Melvin says:

      Also I don’t want to stay until Easter 2019. Am I right in saying that’s ok as long as i book before the voucher’s 12 months expiry date?

      • You’ll receive the miles into your accountant within about 24hrs.

        You need to book AND stay within the 12 months. However, you can call Marriott and extend the life of your travel package voucher by 12 months (from the date you call them). I recently did this with mine.

        • Melvin says:

          Thanks @Ian.
          Did you have to use more points to extend e.g. upgrade the category as I have seen other readers say or did they just extend because you simply asked?

      • Hey Melvin, no it didn’t cost any points to extend the voucher 🙂

  10. Hibeeal says:

    Hi. Probably being a bit dense here but can you let me know how to convert for the marriott travel package. Clicking on link in article through to Marriott it only gives option to transfer to miles not the travel package. Thanks. Hibeeal.

    • New Card says:

      It’s done via Marriott. You redeem for the travel package by calling Marriott – BA add the 35% themselves when they are transferred (usually within 2-3 days).

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