How can you use your Avios points to book hotels? Today I want to look at how you can book hotels using Avios, and whether this is worthwhile or not.
The good news is that you CAN use Avios to book hotels.
The even better news is that, from early 2021, it is decent value. Not great value, but decent value.
At the end of the day, however, you might be struggling to find Avios flights for the dates you want, or you might simply be sick of flying, and this is a good fall back.
Use Nectar Hotels, not the British Airways hotel booking site
In 2021, Nectar launched its own hotel booking site, which you can find at hotels.nectar.com.
It isn’t hugely generous for earning Avios unless you are only spending £50 or so. With no ‘first booking bonus’, you are reliant on the base points for your return. You will earn 1,000 to 2,000 Nectar points PER NIGHT. This means £5 to £10-worth of Nectar points.
You can also SPEND Nectar points at Nectar Hotels. Let’s see if it offers good value, and why it means Avios should close down its own hotel booking site.
Is Nectar Hotels a good deal for spending points?
Put it this way …. it is a FAR better way of spending Avios than using the Avios hotel booking portal.
If you book via the BA Hotels portal, you receive 0.55p per Avios. This is terrible value.
Nectar Hotels offers far better value than BA Hotels
You can convert 250 Avios into 400 Nectar points via this page of ba.com.
At Nectar Hotels, 2000 Nectar points get you a £10 saving on a hotel room. This is the standard ‘0.5p per Nectar point’ return that you get with virtually all Nectar redemptions.
This means 250 Avios = 400 Nectar points = £2 of hotel room, so 0.8p per Avios.
Converting Avios to Nectar and spending them via the Nectar Hotels site will get you 0.8p per Avios. This is a huge improvement on 0.55p per point via BA Hotels. Weird but true.
Here’s an example
Let’s look at Thistle Holborn in London for Sunday 1st August:
- Via Nectar Hotels, a room costs £90. You can choose to use 17,900 Nectar points to pay this, which you can get by converting 11,187 Avios.
- Via BA Hotels, a room costs 17,450 Avios (0.52p – worse than usual). This is 55% more Avios than if you had used Nectar Hotels.
Conclusion – is Nectar Hotels worth it?
Of course, neither of these is the absolute best option.
A better option than either would be to use your Avios / Nectar points for something else – like Sainsbury’s groceries – and book your hotel for cash.
Nectar Hotels will give you 1,000 Nectar points for paying cash, which converts to 625 Avios. Hotels.com Rewards would give you a credit worth (£90 – 20% VAT x 10%) £7.50. You will also miss out on any hotel loyalty points if you use a third party booking site like Nectar Hotels.
That said, if you do want to use your Avios for a hotel booking, do not even consider using BA Hotels. Nectar Hotels will get you SUBSTANTIALLY more value.
At the end of the day, flights remain the best way to use Avios. Click here to read an article on what an Avios is worth when used for flights – you should usually be able to get well over 1p.
You can find the Avios hotel booking link – which I strongly recommend you do NOT use – on this page of ba.com.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.3 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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:
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.