IT’S BACK: Get a 30% 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 ba.com page for the offer can be found here.

When you transfer hotel loyalty points to British Airways, you get a 30% bonus.  Historically this bonus moves around between 25% and 35%, but as it usually only runs once per year it isn’t necessarily worth holding out for anything better.

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 British Airways Executive Club Avios before 31st March.  31st March is the date by which the points must leave your hotel account, not arrive at ba.com

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

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

Le Club AccorHotels and Melia Rewards are NOT included.

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 – if you choose to take Avios instead of hotel points – 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.

Whilst it isn’t clear, I am fairly sure that the 30% bonus also applies to 5,000 bonus Avios you’d get for converting 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  This would mean 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 20,000 Avios + 5,000 bonus Avios + 30% = 32,500 Avios.

So, is this a good deal or not?

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 30 per cent bonus.

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 Bonvoy – 50,000 to 60,000 points = 17,000 to 25,000 Avios or a £250 room

Radisson Rewards – 70,000 points = 7,000 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.

The only exception is Marriott Bonvoy.  When Marriott introduces Category 8 on 5th March, and its most expensive hotels jump to 85,000 points (=33,000+ Avios), you might think twice about taking a free night over 33,000+ miles.

Radisson Rewards is the most extreme case where you probably should take the free room.  I’d far rather have a £250 five-star hotel night for 70,000 points than take (7,000 + 30%) 9,100 Avios.

For a small amount of points it is a different decision

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 them and a 30 per cent bonus is a good excuse.

The other thing to remember is that the hotel chains convert to many airline programmes, often over 20You may get a 30 per cent bonus via Avios, but perhaps topping off another account may be more useful?  If you had a very large pile of hotel points, you may be able to get enough points from scratch in, say, Etihad Guest to get yourself a trip in the Etihad First Class ApartmentAvios is not always the answer.

Here is my final thought – why not transfer a small balance to another person?

You can transfer IHG Rewards Club points to someone else for $5 per 1000, Hilton points for FREE with the new pooling feature, Marriott Bonvoy points for FREE up to 100,000 per year and Radisson Rewards points for FREE if you share an address.  Hyatt points can be pooled if you ring and redeem them immediately (both accounts must have had a stay in the last 12 months). 

Perhaps a transfer to a friend who can use a larger total for a hotel room is a better deal than taking a handful of Avios for yourself, even with the 30% bonus?

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

You can find full details of the offer on ba.com 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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Comments

  1. dicksbits says:

    Link to Hilton is v confusing. Gives transfer rates of 1,000 / 2,000 / 3,000 to pick. What does this mean?

    Also: Says can only be transferred in batches of 10,000? I thought above it said total balances?

    Their Q: Hilton Honours. If I do nothing with 34,958 and leave in my Hilton account, how long do they last before they expire, assuming no Hilton Honours activity.

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