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. Chris says:

    Apologies if its been mentioned over the last few days. Shell are changing the Drivers Club card to a new loyalty scheme later this month. Information about the change is on the Shell app and it appears to be moving away from the quarterly vouchers to money off fuel every ten visits and 10% off hot drinks and the new (rotten) Jamie Oliver food range. No mention of Avios or Waitrose redemptions continuing on the limited information that is on the app.

  2. Amex Plat…does anyone know if the car hire excess insurance covers zipcar hire? i know it has to be related to holiday hire but as I’m hiring the zipcar to drive to the airport surely that would count as holiday but not sure about the car club aspect

  3. Interesting timing. I could really do with closing a MR account, but have held off so far. Can I crowdsource an opinion? I have MR and a reasonable (for me) chunk of Bonvoy. Is it worth combining the two and converting to Avios for the bonus? Genuine question – at what point would your own ‘balance’ tip in favour of doing this?

    • Shoestring says:

      You won’t be able to leverage MR points this way vs converting direct to Avios.

      2 MR points = 3 Bonvoy = 1 Avios (before bonuses)

      • Ian M says:

        It could be worth doing if you’re close to 60,000 / 120,000 / 180,000 etc Marriott points as you get 5000 bonus avios + 30% on top for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer to Avios. So yes it might be worth while transferring a small amount of MR points to ensure you get the 5000 bonus

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          So if you transfer 120000 marriot points do you get 10000 bonus Avios or do you do two separate transfers of 60000?

        • Ian M says:

          Yeah so right now 120,000 Marriott would convert to 40,000 Avios + 10,000 bonus from Marriott (5,000 per 60,000 Marriott) + the 30% BA bonus (15,000) = 65,000 Avios.

    • Peter K says:

      Depends how close to 60k Marriott (M) points you are.

      Direct 12K Amex MR = 12k Avios.

      If you turned those MR into M 12k x1.5 = 18k M

      18k M = 6k +30% = 7.8k avios so you are losing 4.2k avios compared to going direct.

      If you *already* had a balance of 42k M (converts to 18.2 k avios with 30% bonus) however then the maths change.

      12k MR = 18 M
      + 42 M already owned
      = 60k M

      60k M gives 25k avios rather than 20k.

      60k M = 25k avios + 30% current bonus
      = 32.5 avios

      So your 12k MR gives 14.3k Avios by going via Marriott so works out better.

      It just depends on how close you are to the magic 60k Marriott points.

    • Only if you were a little short of 60k Marriott for the 5k bonus. Otherwise not.

      • Actually… on a point of Mathematical pedantry, I think (if you were planning to convert the MR points to Avios anyway, and you have no better plans for the Marriott points) the tipping point is 32142 Marriott points. If you have a stash of 32142 Marriott points or more, have no future plans for travel packages or can’t realistically aspire to exciting Marriott hotel redemptions, and are happy to zero out the account, topping up to 60000 with MR points and then transferring to Avios with the 5000 bonus, all multiplied by 1.3 (assuming the 30% increase is applied to the 5000 bonus too) will be better than transferring the MR points and the Marriott points separately.

        At least I think so.

        I’ve had most of a bottle of wine and a Caiprinha, if anyone cares to quibble my Maths, you might be right…

  4. Clive says:

    Seeing as it’s a little quiet a little OT. I cannot remember if for Marriott Bonvoy you need to pay with a credit card issued in your own name. Reason to ask is have a stay in KL coming up and need to hit the spend bonus on my Wife’s card. We will be using my account to check in as am PLT. Thanks for any feedback.

    • This is very rarely a problem, especially as you are both present.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Put card in machine and type pin. Say nothing about name on card.

      One of those times I feel it’s better to just have initials on Amex cards. Or apply for a supp if you haven’t left yet?

      • Polly says:

        Yes, agree, initials all the way for us now, for ages. Helps with fraud too, as they won’t know your first name, hopefully!

  5. Peter K says:

    Depends how close to 60k Marriott (M) points you are.

    Direct 12K Amex MR = 12k Avios.

    If you turned those MR into M 12k x1.5 = 18k M

    18k M = 6k +30% = 7.8k avios so you are losing 4.2k avios compared to going direct.

    If you *already* had a balance of 42k M (converts to 18.2 k avios with 30% bonus) however then the maths change.

    12k MR = 18 M
    + 42 M already owned
    = 60k M

    60k M gives 25k avios rather than 20k.

    60k M = 25k avios + 30% current bonus
    = 32.5 avios

    So your 12k MR gives 14.3k Avios by going via Marriott so works out better.

    It just depends on how close you are to the magic 60k Marriott points.

  6. OT are there any sweet spots for transferring/redeeming MR points? I’ve built up a balance for the first time and wondering what there is to aim for.

    I’ve seen https://www.headforpoints.com/2018/04/12/best-singapore-airlines-krisflyer-redemptions/ just wondering if there are any others.

    • Ian M says:

      Depends what kind of balance we’re talking about? If you are interested in a transfer to Krisflyer and you have quite a lot of points, it might be worth taking out the US Dollar Amex charge card and transferring your MR points to that. I transferred 230k points last week which converted to 306k MR points in my US Dollar account, which I have today transferred to Krisflyer.

      • Currently 160K, but increasing with referrals. Up until now I’ve churned and transferred to avios, given I’ve now got (or going to get) enough for a useful redemption I’d like to know what others have found.

        • Ian M says:

          Definitely worth taking out the US Dollar charge card with that sort of balance if you are considering Krisflyer. At the current exchange rate you’re looking at a 32% bonus.

    • It depends on where you want to go. Pick a spot and then look at the reward charts for the 10 or so MR airline partners and see who flies there for the lowest number of miles.

  7. o/t flying BA CW for the first time in coming weeks.

    Out on B787, back on A380

    Any good/bad seats? Seem to remember at front/back of cabin you get the window seat which has easy access?
    I don’t have any BA status, so chance of getting best seats is slim I guess at 24 hours out, but if there are any to aim for/avoid, would appreciate the tips.
    I’ve read FT and seat guru etc, but value the HFP tips more!

    • On 787-9 the mini cabin at the front is the best with only two rows. 7A or 7k are window seats with direct aisle access. Rear cabin 13A&K also, but they are close to PE, so can be a bit noisy. Check the BA Source website for the best advice.

    • Waddle says:

      On A380 you might want the upperdeck if you are after a view as pretty much all CW window seats downstairs stare directly at the giant wings of the aircraft.

      53A/53K are the best window seats with direct aisle access. Close to galley so might be noisy but probably fine. 59A/53K also have direct aisle access but the seats slightly encroach the WTP cabin so you may find yourself inline with a baby bassinet.

    • thanks both, had never heard of BA Source.
      looks like good info.

  8. John G says:

    When converting to Marriott, do you have to quote a code to get the bonus? Confused what the codes are for on the BA offer page:

    9,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into 3,000 Avios – quote code 788
    30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into 10,000 Avios – quote code 789
    60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into 20,000 Avios – quote code 790
    90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into 30,000 Avios – quote code 565
    120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into 40,000 Avios – quote code 566

    • Hope not, I transferred 120k yesterday without entering any codes. I followed links through from BA which opened an offer-specific page within Marriott. I found that quite interesting in itself because in tbe past I just went directly to SPG, did the transfer and got the bonus. There was no need to go via BA; there still may not be but probably best to exercise caution in this respect.

    • Must be for telephone conversions, and even then I doubt the agents need the code.

      • Can someone let us know if they received the 30% bonus from their specific Bonvoy transfer once it credits please? I contacted BA as the codes confused me too due to there being no facility to enter the code online and very unhelpfully, once BA admitted that such an offer existed, they said it was nothing to do with them and to contact Marriott! Rather than take the risk of making the transfer with no ensuing bonus, it would be good to know from others if the bonus credited. Also, please let us know if the bonus pays on the whole transfer and not just 9k, 30k, 60k, 90k and 120k round figures so, for example, will 32,179 qualify for the bonus in entirety and not just the 30k element. Many thanks for your help and apologies for asking for guinea pigs!

        • Dragonfly says:

          I transferred 120K bonvoy points. Rob confirmed I would get 65K (bonus from both bonvoy and BA). That was exactly what I received – requested bonvoy point transfer (did it via logon my bonvoy account – not telephone) on 4th March and received avios on 9th March. Cannot answer your question if the BA bonus would apply on the odd number of bonvoy points. I did not know I could transfer the odd number points – maybe good to know for next time.

  9. Peter K says:

    Surely it will say in the t&c’s is you have saved it to to your amex. That’s the best place to look.

  10. OT: Interest rate on Tesco Crrent Account falling to 1% from 14 June. Still requires 3x direct debits per month for those on the later variant. Clubcard earnings with debit card remains 2/£.

    • You beat me to it – just received our letters in the post!

      • Not worth it for 1% but will keep it open for times it proves useful.

      • Genghis says:

        +1 I’ll keep the card for Tesco usage but move most of the £3k out and might as well move the DDs.

        • Mark2 says:

          In that case suggest you move account; lot’s of bribes at present (see MSE).

        • Shoestring says:

          @Mark2 so in the cold light of day, what is wrong with holidays in Asia? Thailand, Indonesia for example?

          Is it that you never went & don’t like the idea? Or went & had a bad experience?

        • Mark2 says:

          apologies for greengrocer’s apostrophe

        • Genghis says:

          1 cc / £ in Tesco is good for me. I’ve many current accounts that I move around ever so often.

        • @Genghis, I’m maxed out on switches. Have you ever got a second bonus from any of them despite not meeting the eligibility criteria (in respect of date you last held the account)? I would like to get back into HSBC but keep waiting on them changing the January 16 condition.

        • @Genghis – have you used the Marcus account at 1.5%? I am in the process of amalgamating my pensions and plan on taking a chunk of tax free cash which I want to keep in easy access for now and then start drawing down a tax free income (extra travel pot) in my own right.

        • @BJ -Natwest £150 offered recently (not sure if still on) was for new and existing customers. I got the bonus 2 years ago, moved away for a year, and back to Natwest just now successfully.

        • Shoestring says:

          @Mark2 we’re waiting as to why you wouldn’t like to holiday in Asia.

        • @Tom, had that one too, might try my chances again in light of your experience. Probably will not help much but next time I’ll put it through RBS instead of Natwest.

        • Genghis says:

          @BJ no second bonus. I don’t move things around that often, maybe one new one a year. I assess about once every 6 months whether I need certain accounts or not.

          @Liz not used them myself but heard good things.

  11. Craig says:

    Any tips for the hotel, I used the offer to book a night? Hilton Diamond.

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