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Between now and 8 March, 2017, British Airways Executive Club is offering a 35% bonus when converting hotel points to Avios. These are the hotel programmes that qualify and the minimum conversions required:
- Club Carlson (MIN 2,000)
- Hilton HHonors (MIN 10,000)
- Hyatt Gold Passport (MIN 5,000)
- IHG Rewards Club (MIN 10,000)
- Marriott Rewards (MIN 10,000)
- Shangri-La Golden Circle (MIN 2,500)
- Starwood Preferred Guest (MIN 2,500)
It is important to remember that, most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to convert hotel points into Avios. The major hotel chains prefer you to spend those points on a hotel room night that almost certainly would be empty – rather than generate a cost to them from buying miles from the airline. Hilton HHonors 10:1 ratio is shockingly bad, and a 35% bonus makes that little better. IHG Rewards Club’s 5:1 ratio is a bit better, but a 35% bonus only improves that to 3.7:1. So, a bonus of 35% isn’t anything to get excited about.
Of course, if you have a handful of hotel points that are close to expiring, then by all means take this opportunity to convert them to Avios.
There are two major exceptions to the general rule and it’s nice to see that British Airways Executive Club hasn’t excluded them.
Starwood Preferred Guest is the first; SPG has a great transfer ratio of 1:1, with a 5,000 mile bonus if you transfer 20,000. So, with this 35% bonus, your 20,000 SPG points would become 33,750 Avios. I still think you might be better off with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, but converting to Avios is OK if you need the Avios for a redemption.
Marriott Rewards Hotel + Air Travel Packages is a redemption that can also make sense. I wrote about it earlier this year so I suggest you read up on it here. But instead of receiving 120,000 Avios with the best-value Travel Package, you would receive 162,000 Avios, thanks to the bonus.
If you like to convert hotel points into Avios, now is the time. Make sure to request the conversion well in advance of 8 March; you don’t want technical problems to get in the way of your 35% bonus.