Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is using Avios at Nectar Hotels still better value than using them at BA Hotels?

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Nectar has 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.  

What makes it interesting is that 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.

Use Avios points to book hotels at Nectar Hotels

Is Nectar Hotels a good deal for earning points? 

Before we look at 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.

If you book via the BA Hotels portal, you receive 0.5p to 0.55p per Avios. This is poor value.

Use Avios points to book hotels at Nectar Hotels

Nectar Hotels offers far better value than BA Hotels

Following the recent devaluation, you can convert 300 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 300 Avios = 400 Nectar points = £2 of hotel room, so 0.67p per Avios.

Converting Avios to Nectar and spending them via the Nectar Hotels site will get you 0.67p per Avios. This is a 20% to 30% improvement on the 0.5p to 0.55p-ish per point you get via BA Hotels. Weird but true.

Here’s an example

Let’s look at Thistle Holborn in London for Saturday 4th February:

  • Via Nectar Hotels, a room costs £256. You can choose to use 51,100 Nectar points to pay this, which you can get by converting 38,325 Avios.
  • Via BA Hotels, a room costs 53,300 Avios (0.48p per Avios – worse than usual – given the cash price of £255). This is 40% more Avios than if you had used Nectar Hotels.
Nectar Hotels

(Interestingly, last time I ran this comparison in 2021, the Thistle Holborn was £90 for a Saturday night in October. How times change.)

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 2,000 Nectar points for paying cash for Thistle Holborn on the date above – whilst only worth £10, it is still a 4% rebate. Far better would be Hotels.com Rewards which would give you a credit worth (£255 – 20% VAT x 10%) £21.25, albeit you need to book 10 nights via Hotels.com (no time limit) to be able to cash this in. We explain Hotels.com Rewards in this article.

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

The Nectar Hotels site is here.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 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:

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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 (5)

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

  • Erico1875 says:

    Skyscanner will do that same hotel for £198 so a 20% saving over your hotels.com price.
    Once ive drilled down the exact hotel I want, I just let google do the rest.

    • Peter says:

      That’s why better to spend Nectar at Sainsbury’s/ Argos/ eBay and pay for the hotel with credit card.

  • PJJ says:

    What about Avios Hotels on the BAEC Hotel Partners page in comparison
    They pay out 15 Avios per £ spent and the last couple of stays have paid out in 5/6 days of checking out
    Certainly boosts the Avios pot

  • PJJ says:

    Following on from my above comment, the Thistle mentioned for the 4th February is £255
    So the same price, give or take a few pennies
    With the bonus of 3,825 Avios

    • Erico1875 says:

      So based on my price, you are paying a difference of £57 for 3825 Avios.

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

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