Heathrow Rewards, the loyalty scheme for shopping at Heathrow, has launched a 50% bonus on transfers to Avios points.
In my mind it feels as it these transfers are a regular occurance. However, whilst we have seen them for other partners over the last year or so, there has not been an Avios conversion bonus since August 2017.
The slightly odd timing here – given that no-one is actively adding to their Heathrow Rewards balance at the moment – makes me think that this is an Avios initiative rather than a Heathrow Rewards one.
The offer allows Avios Group to get some money in from Heathrow to support the IAG coffers. It is possible that we may see similar bonuses from American Express, Tesco and HSBC in the near future if IAG has told Avios to get out and raise as much money from partners as it can.
The offer only applies to transfers to British Airways Executive Club. You will not get a bonus if you transfer to Avios in Aer Lingus AerClub.
What is Heathrow Rewards?
Heathrow Rewards is the loyalty scheme for the shops, restaurants and bars at Heathrow Airport, as well as Heathrow Express and Official Heathrow Parking.
Heathrow Rewards gives you 1 point for every £1 spent in Heathrow (1 per £10 on foreign exchange) or on Heathrow Express tickets (online bookings only). Once you’ve earned 250 points you can exchange them for miles or shopping vouchers.
How do I transfer Heathrow Rewards points to Avios?
The offer is clearly flagged on the ‘Transfers’ page of the new-look Heathrow Rewards website when you log in. The 50% transfer bonus offer ONLY applies to Avios and does not apply to:
Virgin Flying Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Royal Brunei Royal Skies
Lufthansa Miles & More
The minimum transfer is 250 Heathrow Rewards points, getting you 375 Avios with the bonus. Bigger transfers must be in multiples of 250 points. There appears to be a daily cap of 6,000 points (TBC) but you can make multiple transfers on different days.
Unlike some recent Heathrow Rewards deals, the bonus is the same – 50% – for both basic and Premium tier members.
Is it worth transferring my points?
In virtually all scenarios, Heathrow Rewards points are worth 1p. This is what you get if you take airport shopping vouchers, train tickets etc. The only exception is Official Heathrow Parking where you get 2p per point.
The standard transfer rate is 1 point = 1 airline mile. You are therefore ‘paying’ 1p per airline mile, assuming that you could otherwise spend your points in Heathrow.
You can currently buy Avios directly from British Airways for 0.92p in the ‘75% buy Avios bonus’ promotion (click for details). This would make a transfer from Heathrow Rewards poor value at the standard rate.
With the 50% bonus, it is a decent deal. You are effectively ‘paying’ 0.66p per Avios, since 250 points would get you a £2.50 shopping voucher or 375 Avios.
It is also unlikely that you will be spending any money at Heathrow Airport for a few months, so taking the shopping vouchers is not exactly a great alternative.
The only caveat I would add is that we have seen transfer bonuses from other airlines and for shopping vouchers in the last two years:
- November 2019 – 50% bonus to Asia Miles
- December 2018 – 50% bonus to Virgin Flying Club (100% for Premium members of Heathrow Rewards)
- October 2018 – 50% bonus to Asia Miles
- July 2018 – 100% bonus on Heathrow shopping voucher redemptions (EXCELLENT deal)
- June 2018 – 50% bonus to Emirates Skywards
- May 2018 – 50% bonus to Asia Miles (100% for Premium members)
- April 2018 – 25% bonus to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (50% for Premium members)
There was a management change at Heathrow Rewards at the end of 2018 which led to the end of the long run of bonuses. 2019 was very thin as you can see above. Will we now see another run of offers or is this 50% Avios conversion bonus a rarity?
You need to decide for yourself whether it’s a good idea to cash out your Heathrow Rewards points now for a 50% Avios bonus or hold on for something else in the future which may be more interesting.
My personal view is that I am sticking. I have 7,000 Heathrow Rewards points but I’m also not short of Avios. I’d rather use them for Heathrow shopping vouchers or Miles & More miles if there was a future transfer bonus to those partners. You may think differently.
The 50% transfer bonus runs until 2nd June.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(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.)