Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get 200 bonus Avios per NIGHT with IHG hotels if you take miles over points – worth it?

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Whilst most hotel chains allow you to convert lump sums of their loyalty points into airline miles, some chains also let you earn Avios directly. You won’t earn any hotel points at all from your stay but you will see some Avios drop into your British Airways account.

IHG Rewards Club has just launched a special Avios offer if you do this as you can see on the BA website here.

Avios wing 6

The downside, in general, is that taking Avios or other miles from a hotel is less generous than taking hotel points. This is logical since the hotel chain has to buy your Avios for you whilst taking hotel points has a very low cost.

This doesn’t mean you should never take the Avios of course. If you are unlikely to build up enough points in a hotel scheme to get a free night, a handful of Avios is better than a small pile of hotel points which end up expiring.

IHG has launched a special offer to encourage Avios collection

Avios and IHG have launched an offer for your future stays at InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton etc properties.

The standard Avios earning rate at most brands is 2 Avios per $1 spent, excluding taxes.

Until 31st March 2021, you will earn an additional 200 Avios per NIGHT on top.

IHG Rewards Club

How do I earn Avios?

You need to join IHG Rewards Club to earn Avios, which you can do here.

Once done, go to the ‘Preferences’ page here and change ‘Earning preferences’ to ‘Airline miles’ and then ‘British Airways Executive Club’.

Is it worth taking Avios?

If you have a strong preference for either IHG or Avios points then it doesn’t really matter how the maths works. Go with your choice.

If you are ambivalent, as I am, then IHG Rewards Club points are likely to be the better deal. However, this partly depends on what sort of promotion IHG launches when the current offer ends on 15th December.

Assuming a £50 one night stay, after tax:

  • Taking Avios: $65 x 2 Avios + 200 Avios bonus = 330 Avios, so £3.30 of value based on 1p per Avios
  • Taking IHG points (no status): $65 x 10 points = 650 points, so £2.60 of value based on 0.4p per IHG point
  • Taking IHG points (Spire Elite status): $65 x 10 points = 650 points x 2 with status bonus = 1,300 points, so £5.20 of value based on 0.4p per IHG point

Assuming a £150 one night stay, after tax:

  • Taking Avios: $190 x 2 Avios + 200 Avios bonus = 580 Avios, so £5.80 of value based on 1p per Avios
  • Taking IHG points (no status): $190 x 10 points = 1900 points, so £7.60 of value based on 0.4p per IHG point
  • Taking IHG points (Spire Elite status): $65 x 10 points = 1900 points x 2 with status bonus = 3800 points, so £15.20 of value based on 0.4p per IHG point

As you can see, the more you spend, the poorer the Avios deal becomes. If IHG was running a bonus points offer, as it does for at least 80% of the year, the hotel points become even more attractive.

Arguably, however, if you have no IHG status and have a cheap nightly rate at a Holiday Inn Express or similar, the Avios offer IS acceptable.

Find out more

You can learn more about this offer on the IHG Rewards Club page of ba.com.

The ‘200 bonus Avios per night’ offer runs to 31st March 2021.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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 with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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

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, along with a sign-up 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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 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 (3)

  • Nickos says:

    Rather fill IHG points bin than IAG nowadays, one of my favourite chains.

    • Ryan says:

      Definitely if you’re Spire Elite as well… Not massive £ in benefits though per stay but upgrades are handy

  • EwanG says:

    Typo in the second round of examples

    Taking IHG points (Spire Elite status): $65 x 10 points – it should be $190 x 10 points as per the other 2 calcs

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