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)

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I don’t know how financially stable Aegean is and for a Star Alliance programme it is very generous so I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage many people to fill out a bunch of forms for some ‘free’ Avios. The airline will have to pay Accor for the points and if this offer spreads round all the blogs it could be very costly for the airline and for us it’s just a tiny amount of Avios, it seems very much a lose-lose situation to me.

    • Ross Parker says:

      If Aegean wants to give me €20 off an Accor hotel stay, why should you stand in their way? Are you a shareholder?

    • Lady London says:

      Good point.
      A3 was forced to tighten up already a few years back due to similar.

    • Lyn says:

      A very good point. Let’s hope this encourages some people to fly with Aegean when it becomes possible.

  • Josh says:

    Can anyone else validate if you set up a new Accor account that points will auto-convert to Iberia without the minimum threshold?

    @Rob – is the reason the auto-convert with no threshold for Iberia working for you because you set it up using the Air Berlin hack you posted:

    • Rob says:

      Yes. However, the value in the airberlin hack was to convert your existing sub-3000 balance. It wasn’t meant to make any difference to future earning.

      No-one knows what will happen if you create a new account now, but it’s only a few seconds of your life. I’m sure we will get reader reports soon enough, if you think you might have a use for the miles if they stay in Aegean.

    • Pierre says:

      Is anyone else having trouble setting up ‘Automatic Conversion’ for a new Accor account with a 0 points balance? I can’t seem to get it to work – clicking on ‘Confirm Conversion’ does nothing but flag a “You don’t have enough Rewards points for this conversion” message. I’ll try again once the 1k points land, and see what happens…

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    I think you lot may be crashing their website !

  • ALL over the place says:

    My ALL account has a few hundred points. Setting auto convert does not work. Click the button and nothing happens.

    • Rob says:

      Your existing balance won’t go across. The question is whether the incoming 1,000 will.

      • ALL over the place says:

        Well they probably won’t because it doesn’t let you choose the auto convert option if you have some points but less than 3000. It just fails with an error and doesn’t remember the setting.

  • BJ says:

    Thanks for this Rob, my partner and I will take the 5000. Comments above noted but my conscience is clear, might well generate Aegean some further business they might not otberwise have got.

    • Lyn says:

      Agreed BJ, we’ve signed up and plan to keep our points with Aegean. Hoping to be able to use them towards flights within Greece. It is way too long since we were last there.

      It looks as if almost 600 people signed up just in the few minutes between our two registrations.

      • BJ says:

        I’ve never been. The miles will encourage me to make more out the trip when I do and I’m guessing I can add more via Marriott.

        • Lyn says:

          It’s a wonderful country, so I hope it does encourage you.

          If you enjoy reading and your local library happens to have Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book “Mani”, I think it comes close to capturing the soul of Greece.

          Yes, you can top-up from Marriott. I was thinking the same thing and checked before signing up for Aegean.

  • Gavin says:

    Thanks, used to fly a lot to Cyprus when ex lived out there.

    I had 6993 Miles, so that’s 1500 Avios eventually although I may keep them in Accor. Donated the rest of the miles and will probably close my account as I won’t be able to fly for many years, and unlikely to in Star if I do.

  • RussellH says:

    Thanks for this – a useful top-up to Accor at some stage, I would guess, though it might possibly make sense to keep the miles in Aegean.

    That said, having enrolled and got the initial 1000 miles, I could not log back in…

  • SL says:

    Anyone travelled on Aegean business class? How is the soft and hard product? Taxes on Aegean seem lower than many of the other Star Alliance members.