Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

1,000 free Avios via – bizarrely – Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines (if you’re patient!)

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Yes, odd as it may seen, Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines would like to give you 1,000 Avios in return for 10 minutes work!

Other mileage programmes are also available, plus Eurostar points.

Unfortunately, due to a rule change by Aegean, this is now more of a faff than it should be. You now need to wait until December to do Stage 3 of my plan below.

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

For 12 days, ending on 1st December, Aegean Airlines is offering 5,000 free miles in its Miles+Bonus scheme to everyone who signs up. Via a roundabout route, it should be possible to turn these into 1,000 Avios.

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

Stage 1: You need an Aegean Miles+Bonus account, which currently comes with 5,000 free miles

It’s very simple. You visit this page of the Aegean Airlines website, click on ‘Register’ and fill in the form.

You want to select the default option of opening a Miles+Bonus account rather than the ‘Basic’ option which just registers you with the website.

Until last weekend, the miles would post INSTANTLY. See below:

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

However, Aegean has now changed the rules. You will receive 1,000 miles now and the remainder by 15th December. This is what you now see when you register:

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

If you are planning to visit Greece soon, 5,000 Miles+Bonus miles are good for a one-way domestic flight redemption so you might want to keep them.

If you want Avios or a €20 hotel voucher, read on.

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

Stage 2: You need an Accor Live Limitless account

Aegean Airlines is a two-way transfer partner with hotel loyalty programme Accor Live Limitless. Accor owns Novotel, Sofitel, ibis, Raffles, Swissotel, Mercure etc.

Aegean miles transfer at 4:1 into Accor Live Limitless, in multiples of 2,000 miles.

If you don’t have an Accor Live Limitless account, you need to open one. Visit the Accor website here.

Next step …. decide what reward you want

You will receive 1,000 Accor Live Limitless points when you transfer 4,000 Aegean Miles+Bonus points.

If you already collect Accor Live Limitless points, you may want to leave them there. For every 2,000 Accor points you collect, you can save €40 on your next hotel booking.

For everyone else, you should set your Accor account to auto-convert the points into an airline scheme or Club Eurostar.

Here is the important bit. If you want Avios, you should select Iberia Plus and not British Airways. The transfer rate to Iberia Avios is 1:1 but to British Airways Avios it is 2:1. This is the difference between receiving 1,000 Avios or 500 Avios.

You can set up Iberia auto-conversion on this page of the Accor website. Click ‘Convert your Rewards Points’.

It will tell you that auto-conversion to Iberia requires a minimum of 3,000 points. This is not true, at least for me. Here is a screenshot from my account:

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

You will see that the Avios go across after each transaction. My wife’s account works in the same way.

If Accor DOES try to impose a 3,000 point minimum on conversions, you will be left with 1,000 orphaned Accor points. You would need to top them up via a stay to either 2,000 points for a €40 voucher or 3,000 points for a transfer to Iberia.

Stage 3: How to convert your Aegean Miles+Bonus miles (on 15th December!)

By 15th December your Aegean balance will have increased to 5,000 Miles+Bonus miles.

Once you have an Accor Live Limitless membership number, you can convert your Aegean Miles+Bonus miles.

This is page you need – I recommend clicking the link because it is fiddly to find directly. You should see this:

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

Say that you want to convert 4,000 of your 5,000 Miles+Bonus miles and you get this:

5000 free Aegean Airlines miles

The reason that I could do the conversion and you can’t is that the rules changed. Over the weekend you received all 5,000 miles in one go. Now you need to wait until 15th December for the second batch.

How long does it take for my points to arrive in Accor?

I don’t know. The terms say up to six weeks. Because this offer closes on 1st December, I have chosen to write about it before I actually received my own points.

I actioned my transfer from Aegean on Sunday but nothing has yet arrived – not surprising, given the six weeks quoted. Once they hit Accor, it will take another few days for them to arrive at Iberia.

From Iberia Plus, you can use ‘Convert My Avios’ to move them to British Airways Executive Club. We explain how ‘Convert My Avios’ works here.

There is, of course, a chance that Accor tries to retrospectively impose restrictions on these 5,000 bonus miles. Given that the 5,000 miles sign-up offer ends on 1st December, I think they will leave it rather than try to rewrite their IT.


This is a bit of a faff, I admit, given that you need to wait until 15th December to finalise your transfer out of Aegean. It’s up to you whether you jump in.

Remember that, whilst I headlined this article with ‘get 1,000 Avios’, you would get more value by leaving your 1,000 points in Accor and using them for a hotel discount. This requires you to get your balance up to 2,000 points via a stay.

You’d get even more value by leaving your miles in Aegean and using them for a domestic flight in Greece, but realistically that isn’t suitable for most readers.

how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

(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 (67)

  • Nick says:

    Unfortunately I already have an Aegean Miles+Bonus account which, funnily enough, I opened several years ago after a piece on HfP. I seem to remember that you could do a status match to get Star Alliance elite membership, or was it by taking one or two flights? I don’t remember the exact details. Maybe someone can remind me?

    Ah well, you can’t win them all! 🙂

    • The real John says:

      That stuff ended years ago

      • Nick says:

        What, like as in “several years ago”?

      • Alex Sm says:

        But their status is valuable and easy to maintain. My partner is permanent Gold with only a handful of flights a year, and I’m occasional Silver. Never got this with BA. We keep getting upgrades, free luggage allowance and lounge access with Aegean – it’s the best airline in Europe in this regard

  • Phillip says:

    The transfer rate from Miles&Bonus to Accor is 4:1. The overall calculation of 4000 M&M miles to 1000 Avios is correct though.

  • Sam G says:

    I already have one too as do many Singapore based miles enthusiasts – many of who will never have been to Greece! Their Asia awards chart used to be excellent, combined with a buy miles sale it worked out around $1700 return biz return to Singapore-Japan, I snagged one for Xmas last year before the devaluation

  • The real John says:

    If you can do a trip to Greece yearly it is easy to maintain Star Gold with Aegean (but it became harder to earn for the first time a few years back).

    Unlike Lufty, miles don’t expire and they have recently upgraded their web interface so Star redemptions are simple now, the award chart is reasonable, but you don’t earn anything on most cheap economy fares on Star airlines.

    I’ve never waited more than 1 minute for them to answer the phone, which can be called using a UK number which redirects to Greece.

    Aegean had the best business class in Europe IMO, but it is now a victim of COVID cuts too.

  • pacman says:

    I created 3 accounts for my family members. Will add them to my Together account later for a bit of mileage boost.

  • mvcvz says:

    Filed under “life is too short”.

    • Alex Sm says:

      I’m sure you have a lot of free time for procrastination with this attitude

  • Tony says:

    Do you have to transfer to your Accor account, or can you do it to a family member ? ( ie names wont match ) ? as they have status and would like the points for a hotel stay and not Avios.

    • Vit says:

      I read their T&C over the weekend when trying to top up my orphan ALL points. I think it states that details must match.

      Not sure if it is worth it if you transfer your 5000 miles to your family member which will cost you €15.00 and then transfer our to their ALL account.

    • Rob says:

      Will need surname at least.

  • ChrisW says:

    More than a bit of a faff!!

    • Rob says:

      Most readers will have an Accor account so all it needs is 5 mins to fill in the Aegean form.

      • Ross Parker says:

        Took me about 45 seconds for stage 1. Stage two will be about 1 minute to transfer to €20 Accor credit. That’s €600p/h, which is a decent return on my breakfast time web browsing.