Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can now book Nectar Hotels with points – so NEVER book with Avios via BA Hotels

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Last Summer, Nectar launched its own hotel booking site, which you can find at hotels.nectar.com.

As you will see, it is a white label version of Rocketmiles, which is itself part of Agoda.

It isn’t hugely generous 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.  

In a new development, you can now 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.

Use Avios points to book hotels at Nectar Hotels

Is Nectar Hotels a good deal for earning points? 

Before we look at the new option of spending points, let’s remind ourselves of whether it is a good deal using Nectar Hotels to earn points.

In general, it’s OK, but you can do better.  For a start, remember that you won’t earn hotel points or receive status benefits on hotels booked via Nectar Hotels because they are treated as third party bookings.

There is no obvious correlation between price and points.  In general, you should expect 2,000 points per night when spending £200+ per night but this is not a strict rule.

Your return will rarely exceed 5% assuming 0.5p per Nectar point.  Hotels.com Rewards will give you 10% of the ex-VAT price back, although you need to do 10 nights before it pays out. 

Nectar Hotels works best if you are only spending around £40, which seems to be the cheapest offered. You would get the minimum 1,000 Nectar points, worth 625 Avios, which is a very good return.

The one upside is that it is simple.  You aren’t messing about with joining a new loyalty scheme and you don’t need to do any further nights before you can redeem.  You can cash out your reward on your next visit to Sainsbury’s or, of course, convert them to Avios.

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.

In April we ran this article on how to redeem Avios for hotels. What we showed is that, if you book via the BA Hotels portal, you receive 0.55p per Avios. This is terrible value.

Use Avios points to book hotels at Nectar 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 (except you can’t, because online transfers are still down, but you can call instead).

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.
Use Avios points to book hotels at 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 – 5% VAT x 10%) £8.57.

That said, if you do want to use your Avios for a hotel booking, do not even consider using BA Hotels now. Nectar Hotels will get you SUBSTANTIALLY more value.

The Nectar Hotels site is here.


Hotel offers update – October 2021:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 7th December) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).

Comments (22)

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Another example of Avios being asleep at the wheel when signing this contract?

    • Tariq says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me if the rate gets revalued a year in and gets explained as ‘the enhanced rate was a launch offer for the first year’. 🙄

      • Andrew says:

        After “listening to customer feedback” they will give us “more choice” by changing the rate 😂

    • Paul says:

      Nectar seem to have pulled a blinder on this contract. Even if it had been signed pre covid I don’t see how this would of ever been in BA’s favour. They must be losing a fortune with people transferring out. Now Nectar is selling travel for better value than BA but BA allows you to cash out their points to them, surely something was put in their contract to say Nectar couldn’t compete with BA on spending the points or is that something that isn’t done?

      • Memesweeper says:

        Nectar has always had lots of partners where you can spend – and they come and go over time. Partners usually like to see some balance is what comes in and what goes out, or a net inflow, it depends on their objectives in joining the scheme.

        BA/Avios would have been fully aware of this when joining. Don’t forget, Avios will be *profiting* if lots of people cash in finance points for Avios, and then transfer to Nectar.

        I’m not sure it will cause BA/Avios to do anything about the poor value redemptions. If people continue to buy poor value hotels they certainly won’t. I know folk that have earned Avios fortunes by flying and they often cashed out for hotels… will they be bothered to faff around going via Nectar next time?

        • Rob says:

          What sort of ‘faff’ do you speak of? Once the online transfers are back it is literally 2-3 minutes work to move from Avios to Nectar, to save 30% on your hotel.

          • BSI1978 says:

            Rob – genuine question, but do you honestly see them reinstating the ability to move Avios to Nectar online?

            Not sure setting up 2FA should take this long……

          • Rob says:

            Oddly, it probably will take this long. Two reasons. First, they are retrofitting it on an existing system which is always worse than writing something from scratch. Secondly, it is hugely complex.

            Here are the permutations:
            * Use ba.com to move from Avios to Nectar
            * Use ba.com to move from Nectar to Avios
            * Use nectar.com to move from Avios to Nectar
            * Use nectar.com to move from Nectar to Avios

            …. plus the apps.

            Who should trigger the 2FA? Avios or Nectar? Or should it change depending on the direction of the transfer? Or the website you are using?

          • Andrew says:

            But 6 months does seem a bit extreme. For the reasons you set out and the fact that BA probably doesn’t want to make this any easier for us to cash out, it falls in to the “too difficult” category and I would eat my hat if we ever see online transfers.

  • Paul says:

    Why can I not see a ‘pay with Nectar points’ option?

    • Rob says:

      On desktop, do a hotel search and you can toggle to ‘spend’ on the results page. Tiny box on the left.

  • Andrew says:

    6 months on and the Avios to Nectar conversion tool still isn’t fixed – a convenient delay for BA that will likely never be sorted now.

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      Has anyone else found their Avios > Nectar transfers slow this month? I requested a transfer on June 4 and still nothing.

      • Andrew says:

        I requested 2 June and got them last Wednesday, so 14 calendar days, which was slower than previous months. Slowly getting there at emptying my BA account, month by month.

        • Memesweeper says:

          Also set auto transfer, it has a separate quarterly cap, which might help you move a few points more quickly.

  • Bettyboo says:

    Unless you want to spend Avios on upgrades I’m not sure that there is much that is left on BA that presents better value. I can only imagine that Nectar are paying BA for the privilege of undercutting them and it’ll change in time. No surprises the online conversion is down still though.

  • TimM says:

    Chain hotels are like chain store furniture, carpets and kitchens – a whole over-priced industry employing unnecessary people on high salaries with huge marketing budgets. Try Trivago, Tripadvisor or Kayak and put in your actual criteria to find the real rates of better hotels.

    • Lady London says:

      hotelscombined worth a look also

      • Lady London says:

        also change your location and on many of these pricing can vary from a little to a lot. it may or may not work without vpn.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          I hadn’t even considered that for hotels – for car hire but not hotels, should have twigged!

        • Erico1875 says:

          Trivago.de saved me 20% on a Costa del Sol booking, compared to the companies on the UK version. Hotel voucher was in German as expected

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      There’s a lot of truth to this for self funded cash stays,, but if either someone else is paying or you got your points for free this changes the maths somewhat 😂

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