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British Airways is offering a 35% bonus on conversions from hotel points to Avios. Such a conversion probably only makes sense if you redeem for a Marriott Travel Package — in which case, the value could be pretty good if you’ve got a solid use for Avios.
- Get a 35% bonus when transferring hotel points to British Airways Avios
- Direct link to the promotion page
- Valid for conversions between March 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018
- Participating programs are Club Carlson, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Shangri-La
- Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks from the date of conversion
- No registration required — bonus should be automatic
The transfer ratios for most programs here are horrible, even after the 35% bonus. For example, 100K Club Carlson points would normally get you 10K Avios — with this promotion, you’d get 13,500 Avios for your 100K Club Carlson points. You could normally transfer 5K Hyatt points (enough for a Category 1 free night) and get 2K Avios….with the promo, you’ll be looking at 2,700 Avios. You get the idea: generally those transfers won’t make much sense.
Unfortunately, Starwood Preferred Guest is not an eligible partner in this promotion — so you will not receive a bonus on points transferred directly from SPG to Avios.
However, we’ve written many times about the value of Marriott Travel Packages (See: Why are Marriott Travel Packages a good deal?). As per the chart below, 270K Marriott points would normally transfer to 120K Avios with a travel package:
With the transfer bonus, you would get 162,000 British Airways Avios — and a certificate for a 7-night stay at a Category 1-5 Marriott. That’s a lot better than the normal Marriott point transfer rate. In fact, it’s also better than the normal SPG transfer rate. Starwood’s Starpoints normally transfer to Avios 1:1, with a 5K point bonus when transferring 20K points (i.e. transfer 20,000 SPG points to get 25,000 Avios). However, if you have 90K Starpoints, you could do well by indirectly converting them to take advantage of a Marriott Travel Package.
Normally, if you converted those 90K SPG points directly to Avios, you would end up with 110,000 Avios (with the 5K bonus on each 20K). Since SPG points transfer to Marriott at a rate of 1 SPG: 3 Marriott, you could convert your 90K Starpoints to Marriott and have the 270K Marriott Rewards points necessary for a Travel Package. By converting to Marriott, you’ll get nearly 50% more Avios for your Starpoints and get a 7-night hotel stay. That’s certainly not a bad deal.
Heck, even if you bought Starpoints this isn’t a bad deal. See Greg’s post on How to buy more than 30K Starpoints — you’d have to jump through some hoops to buy 90K Starpoints, but if you were able to pull it off the total would come to $2,047.50. If you value the 7-night certificate at $100 per night (for a total of $700), that’s like buying Avios for well under a cent each (~0.83 cents each). It’s not too hard to get better value out of both the 7-night certificate and the Avios with some planning (and remember that you don’t have to use the Avios and the Marriott stay in the same trip, giving you the chance to redeem each for maximum value).
That said, Avios aren’t the most popular airline currency. Whether or not this deal makes sense very much depends on your travel patterns. Avios are not particularly good for traveling to Europe as British Airways tacks on such high fees (on top of the high taxes for transiting London). However, there are plenty of good uses — like moving them to Iberia to take advantage of much better award rates to Europe on Iberia metal (especially during promotions) or using them to get to South America on LATAM or for short-haul Oneworld flights (outside of the US). YMMV.
As always, we’ve added this promotion to our Current point transfer bonuses page.
H/T: One Mile at a Time