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