Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to use small orphan amounts of frequent flyer miles and hotel points – Part 1

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I thought it was about time to revise and update the lists I first published in 2012 about the best way to use up small amounts of miles and points.

What I want to explore is ‘What is the smallest or most optimum small reward, and how can you ‘top-off’ an account?’.  Please join in the discussion with your ideas in the Comments section, and I will add in any additional ideas.

Today I will look at some hotel loyalty schemes.  Part 2 – coming in a day or so – will focus on some airline and shopping schemes.  Click on the links to read relevant Head for Points articles on the topic mentioned.

In all cases below except Accor, there is a formal ‘buy points’ option you can use to get to the level you need for a redemption.  This page (click) has links to the ‘buy points’ pages of the major airline and hotel schemes.  However, I try to find more creative ideas that don’t involve spending money.

Note: I give links below to the expiry policies of various hotel programmes.  These rules may have temporarily changed due to coronavirus to please double check.


Accor Live Limitless

Hilton Gatwick South

Hilton Honors

Intercontinental hotel Los Angeles Downtown

IHG Rewards Club


Marriott Bonvoy


Radisson Rewards


World of Hyatt

My preferred small Hyatt reward is the 6,000 points per night suite upgrade.  You can also upgrade to Club rooms using points for a small premium.

Hyatt has ‘cash and points’ awards at half of the usual points price so you may have enough for a reward after all.  You can also buy Hyatt points.  Airline transfers are from 5,000 points.

You can use 2,000 points for a $10 dining or spa credit at a Hyatt hotel – you do not need to be a guest to do this.  Another option is to use 6,000 points for a one-day Avis car hire redemption

Accounts can be topped up by eating at a participating Hyatt hotel restaurant or crediting an Avis car rental to Hyatt.

You can merge your Hyatt points with those of your partner but both accounts need to have had a cash stay in the previous 12 months.

Hyatt is not an American Express Membership Rewards partner.

The World of Hyatt expiry rules are summarised here.

In Part 2 of this article, which will appear in a day or so, I will look at how to use small amounts of points in some airline and shopping programmes.

Comments (3)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • MarkZ says:

    The Accor Hotel Partner page on the BA website still publishes a “special” link that allows to sign up with ALL and have your points from a hotel stay converted to Avios after each visit, without having to reach the minimum of 4,000 points. I used this method to sign up nearly 3 years ago, and it still works for me. (Yes, I know I only get half the Avios!)

  • SydneySwan says:

    If you have a Qantas FF account, Accor sweeps all points to Qantas automatically – no minimum required – at rate of 1 to 1. Not a great deal but better than the points expiring with Accor.

  • Lady London says:

    Re Accor top up an Accor call centre agent told me a few weeks ago that food and drink purchased at an Accor hotel earns points even if not staying. He also said Accor has a shopping site that by earns points. Who knew 🙂 ?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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