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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (3)

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

  • 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

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

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