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Get a 50% bonus on Heathrow Rewards points transfers to Avios – worth it?

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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. 

Heathrow Rewards

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.

We published a comprehensive review of how Heathrow Rewards works which you can read here.

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:

Asia Miles

Emirates Skywards

Virgin Flying Club

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Aegean Miles&Bonus

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(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.)

Comments (75)

  • Roberto says:

    Hey Rob,
    I have a lot of Virgin Avios are you transferring them to the Hilton? Please tell me exactly what to do with my points please. 😂

    Seriously, why do all your Heathrow Rewards articles show a pic of someone swiping the card the wrong way round?

  • Pablo says:

    I’m 16 points short of 250. Do HR allow transfers in from other members’ accounts?

    • Premgenius says:

      Yes they do. Contact Heathow Rewards Customer Service who shall be able to do that for you

  • Hunter says:

    Been sitting on 20k HR points for a while now – just what I’ve been waiting for!

  • Jonny says:

    I’m trying to transfer the points now, but an error keeps coming up. Anyone else having same difficulty?

    • Ken says:

      Yes. “Error occurred” message with no explanation why. This is the same on both my HR accounts. I’ve emailed them for an answer.

      • Jonny says:

        Ah, so it’s just me. Thanks, Ken. Do let us know if you hear anything back.

        • Jonny says:

          **not** just me

        • Graeme says:

          Me too.

        • Ken says:

          They have confirmed there is a problem with the website that they are looking into. In the meanwhile they can do the transfer by telephone if you want. Alternatively I see on here that the mobile website is working.

      • P Tee says:

        The error seems to occur if you try and transfer 7000 points or more as there is a daily limit. I reduced it to 6000 and it went through fine. 🙂

    • Declan says:

      I tried to do this yesterday – ‘Error Occurred’ just kept coming up.
      I thought they’d have it fixed today, but no joy. It’s ridiculous.

    • Peter Pan says:

      From Customer Service:

      Thank you for contacting Heathrow regarding transferring your points to British Airways Executive Clubs AVIOS points.

      I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing issues with the link that was provided in the promotional email. It would appear that at this time, there is an issue with the link causing it to not connect properly. Please be assured however, that we are working hard to fix this.

      I can confirm that should you wish to convert your points to AVIOS points, we may do this for you. If you could please contact us on our toll free number 0808 5844 844, our lines are open between 09:00 and 17:30 Monday to Sunday, or email us with your Heathrow rewards account details and your British Airways Executive Club account number, stating the amounts of points you wish to convert, we may transfer the points for you.

  • vol says:

    Done – I had exactly 250 HR points that I was going to do nothing at all with 😁

  • mr_jetlag says:

    Error occurred. rubbish

    • vol says:

      I did mine on the mobile website – it has gone through just fine and the transfer is showing up on the transactions part of my account. I don’t know if that would help…?

      • Jonny says:

        Yes, the mobile site seems to work fine. Thanks.

      • Graeme says:

        Also failed on both of our accounts.

      • Declan says:

        Mobile Site gives me the same error.

      • mr_jetlag says:

        Mobile site now works, HOWEVER it shows 500 points transferred for 500 miles (rather than 750). Glad I did a small initial transfer, I’ve screencapped the bonus page on the account.

        Sigh.It isn’t rocket science!

  • xcalx says:

    Does a small transfer to another account reset the expiry date for the transferrer. I have 4600 expiring in 2 month

  • David says:

    Is it the case that if you converted skywards to Heathrow rewards you then can’t transfer these points into Avios ?

    • Chabuddy geezy says:

      You can’t transfer to avios, they are ring fenced.

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