Update: This bonus ends today.
Originally posted on 9/26:
Eligible hotels include:
- Carlson Hotels
- Hilton Hotels
- Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
- Intercontinental Hotel Group
- Marriott Hotels
- Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion.
Note that Starpoints are not included in this bonus, but you can transfer 1 Starpoint into 3 Marriott points.
Marriott’s miles+nights makes for a great redemption:
-270K Marriott points (90K Starpoints) will transfer to 162K BA Avios after the bonus. That’s an effective 1.8 Avios per Starpoint, plus you’ll get 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You can also get back 15K Starpoints (45K Marriott points) for cancelling the hotel booked with a certificate, making the cost 75K Starpoints for 162K miles. That’s an effective 2.16 Avios per Starpoint. Of course if you use the hotel certificates the effective bonus can be much higher than that.
There are a few things worth noting about the Marriott miles+nights redemption methods:
- You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.
- The miles will post within a few days of the transfer, regardless of when or if you use the 7 night certificate.
- The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
- You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
- The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
- You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
- You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on. For example if you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 162K miles. If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 162K miles.
The value of Avios has been hampered over the past year due to the elimination of 4.5K short-haul awards within North America and scarce saver award availability on American. However there is still plenty of value to be had from the program and space on some routes is still very good. For example a last minute Cleveland-NYC one-way flight can cost $500, but is bookable for just 7,500 Avios+$5.60.
Additionally the cost of a domestic first class award has gone down from 4 times the price of coach to 2-3 times the price of coach. For example a one-way flight from NYC to Chicago or Miami is 7.5K in coach or 15K in first class instead of the previous rate of 30K in first class. You can read more about Avios here.
Best of all, you can cancel Avios awards for just $5.60 each way up to 24 hours before the flight and there are no close-in booking fees.
Of course there are dozens of airlines that you can transfer your Starpoints into and you can use them for hotel stays, so don’t transfer unless you have a need for the Avios.