Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs Other frequent flyer schemes Which direction for points: to hotel or airline?

  • JackDusty

    I am just trying to work out which way to get the largest number of points to an account.

    Do I choose getting was getting points from from airline flights added to hotel accounts, like say from Virgin to IHG or the other way around?

    Also the same question for car rental companies: If they offer points, do I get them to go towards airlines or to hotels?

    I am hoping that somebody has had the experience already.

    Thanks in advance very much.


    Lady London

    Generally transferring from hotels to airlines and the other way round will lose you a lot of value.

    A good strategy if you can do the spend is to hold a card or two, such as Amex Gold, Amex Platinim, Amex BAPP, with points on the card that you can choose which airline scheme to transfer to when you’ve worked out which airline scheme is best for the ticket you want and (hopefully) have found a seat bookable with points.

    Amex has several choices of which airline scheme to transfer into. If you have a higher spend/budget, HSBC has a card which also transfers points earned for spend to schemes you can choose amongst.

    For choosing to credit hotel stays generally the hotel chain’s own Club or scheme will be best and few offer other options. Generally even if you can then transfer the hotel points it’s at a rate that gives a massive loss of value. Marriott till recently was the exception as if you had a lot of points there was a good bonus on transfer to airlines.

    For car rental earnings the standard rates of earn are too low. Watch for promotions which can massively boost earnings if you credit to a particular airline. Europcar and Avis (eg for avios) can be good, as can Sixt if you are crediting to Lufthansa. These promotions are poorly publicised so it’s best to keep an eye on the airline miles member pages (so watch all the avios-giving airlines, for example, no matter which one you fly with out of those), and also on the car rental site pages for your home country snd the countrt you’ll hire the car in and book accordingly.

    Car offers can also vary by country and if you use, say, Hertz, find out if there’s an offers tab on the Hertz site for each country you hire in and check it regularly as it will be for offers picking the car up in that particular country.


    Hi Lady London,

    Thank you very much for your thoughts and apologies for the delay in me acknowledging your time and effort.

    I think that my best way forwards will be using 2 cards and keeping a very good eye out for offers on the members’ pages of the airlines and the car hire companies.

    Also for my next trip I have just used up the majority of IHG points to get a free (no-further-cash-payment) room at the airport prior to departure the next day. Now much more time to deal with any rail service strikes if they happen.

    Thanks again.

    HfP Staff

    A lot is personal taste and lifestyle.

    Some would argue that you’re in a hotel for a week and on a plane for 6-12 hours max, so prioritise points for good hotels over flat bed flights.

    Others would say a flat bed helps maximise holiday time (feel better on arrival) and you won’t be in your hotel much.

    Perhaps you travel in Europe mainly so are happy with low cost carrier flights – or don’t live in London so BA Avios Euro flights don’t make sense anyway?

    But perhaps you travel at short notice where cash flights are crazy but Avios redemptions are a bargain?

    Peter K

    I agree with Rob, it’s all personal.

    Do you stay at independent hotels usually or go to places without a major hotel chain presence? The airline miles would seem better.

    Are you inflexible with destination or travel times but fly to city centres a lot? Airline miles may not fit your needs but hotel points might.

    Do you have hotel or airline status that would swing it?

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