Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is it worth using Avios points for hotels?

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Is it worth using your Avios points to book hotel rooms?  Today I want to look at whether hotel bookings give you a good return for your hard-earned Avios points.

As I show in this article, I believe that you should be targeting 1p per Avios point when you redeem them.

This is a shame if you are planning to use them for hotel rooms.  You will get 0.8p per Avios when you use them for hotels using the Nectar Hotels site.   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.

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.

You should also bear in mind what your Avios ‘cost’ you in the first place.  If all of your points came from flying for work, they were genuinely free and may be less bothered what you get in return.

If your Avios points came from credit card spend, those points had a cost.  You could have used a cashback credit card instead, so you should be looking to maximise what you get.

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.

Is it worth using Avios points for hotels?

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.
Is it worth using Avios points for hotels?

Conclusion – is it worth using Avios points for hotels?

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.

The Nectar Hotels site is here.

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 2.0 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 10,000 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 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

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