Good value: Convert Hotel Points into British Airways Avios with a 35% bonus

A guide to British Airways transfer promotions from hotel rewards programs

GUIDE: Earning Points
DIFFICULTY: Easy
TIME TO READ: 3 minutes
POSTED: March 8, 2018
UPDATED: March 8, 2018
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: British Airways Executive Club

British Airways is offering a 35% bonus when you convert hotel points into Avios until 31 March 2018.

Converting hotel points into frequent flyer points is usually poor value. If you stay at hotels regularly, you’re generally better off maintaining your points balance to redeem on free nights, especially if these points have been earned the hard way as a ‘road warrior’.

However, there is a way in which you could take advantage of the current promotion to ‘buy’ some cheap Avios at a rate far less than what you could buy from British Airways directly.

How to Register

No registration is required for this promotion.

Conversion Table

The table below shows the different hotel partner transfer programs, and how many bonus Avios would be received at the minimum conversion rates:

PartnerConversion Rate
(Points : Miles)
Minimum Points needed to ConvertBonus Avios on Minimum TransferTotal Avios
Radisson Rewards10:12,00070270
Hilton Honors10:110,0003501,350
IHG Rewards Club5:110,0007002,700
Marriott Rewards5:1 minimum, 2.8:1 at best10,0007002,700
Shangri-La Golden Circle1:12,5008753,375
World of Hyatt2.5:1

A transfer of 50,000 points will give you 27,000 plus a bonus of 5,000 miles from Hyatt, for a total of 32,000 miles under this promotion.
5,0007002,700

How to ‘Hack’ this Deal

Starwood Preferred Guest let you purchase 30,000 Starpoints, per calendar year.

Until the 16th March 2018, you can receive a 35% discount on any points purchase.

SPG-offer

Starpoints generally convert into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio (with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred). If SPG were participating in the current Avios offer, this would represent great value – however unfortunately they are not.

Thankfully, Marriott is participating, and Starpoints convert into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio.

These are the intervals at which Marriott points can be converted into Avios. You’ll get a better convert ratio when you convert higher numbers of points:

Marriott-Avios-rates

Therefore, under the current Starpoints sale promotion, as a best case example:

  1. You can buy 24,000 Starpoints for $546 USD.
  2. 24,000 Starpoints will convert to 72,000 Marriott points (you must transfer Starpoints in increments of 1,000).
  3. 70,000 of these Marriott points will convert to 25,000 Avios.
  4. With the 35% bonus, you will receive 33,750 Avios (you would only receive 29,000 Avios directly with SPG).

This means you are effectively ‘buying’ 33,750 Avios for only $546 USD, or 1.6 cents each.

The cheapest we have seen Avios on sale is 1.84 cents USD each, so this represents reasonably good value.

Their normal price is 2.76 cents USD each, so buying Avios via the above method works out to be an effective 41% discount.

You’ll only need 20,000 Avios for a one-way Business Class hop between Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch and Sydney. This means that you can ‘purchase’ this flight for ~$433 NZD (+ taxes) instead of a cash ticket which would retail from $800.

Getting the 35% bonus Avios out of Amex Membership Rewards points

Kiwis with either an American Express Platinum Charge or Platinum Edge can convert their Membership Rewards Points (MRP) to Avios using SPG and Marriott.

MRP convert to SPG Starpoints at a 1:0.33 ratio. These then convert into Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio.

This gives each MRP an effective value of ~1 Marriott point.

Here is an example of how such a transfer would work out:

  1. 72,800 MRP will convert to 24,024 Starpoints.
  2. 24,000 Starpoints will convert to 72,000 Marriott points.
  3. 70,000 of these Marriott points will convert to 25,000 Avios.
  4. With the 35% bonus, you will receive 33,750 Avios (you would only receive 29,024 Avios directly with SPG).

This effectively gives you a ratio of 2.15 MRP : 1 Avio, which is pretty close to the standard 2:1 rate with most other transfer partners, including Qantas and Asia Miles.

Amex warn that transfers of MRP to Starpoints can take up to 14 working days. Generally it is quicker, but to be safe, this means you’d be wanting to take advantage of this conversion method sooner rather than later, if you want to use in conjunction with the British Airway’s 35% bonus miles promotion. Starpoints convert to Marriott points instantly, so once you have these, the process should be quick from there on.

When will I get my Avios?

Your bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion. So don’t rely on this offer for any urgent upcoming redemptions!

Summing up

These conversion offers are usually poor value, though this one seems to be the exception thanks to the current Starpoints discount offer. The ability to ‘buy’ some Avios via SPG and Marriott offers better value than even the best Avios sales we’ve seen.

You could also take advantage of the current offer to boost the power of your Amex Membership Rewards points, though you would have to be quick.

Make sure to read our full guide to buying and using Avios, including sweet spots for redemptions. Also remember that Avios expire after 36 months of inactivity.

Good value: Convert Hotel Points into British Airways Avios with a 35% bonus was last modified: March 8th, 2018 by Daniel Kinnoch