SPG points will transfer with an extra 25% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios until January 13. Other hotel points such as Hyatt, Priority Club, Marriott, Hilton HHonors, and Club Carlson also receive the extra 25% bonus, but the transfer ratios are so poor they're not worth discussing. Since you receive a 25% transfer bonus when you transfer in increments of 20,000 SPG points, that means that transfers in increments of 20,000 SPG points get you a 56% transfer bonus:
20,000 SPG points = 31,250 Avios
40,000 SPG points = 62,500 Avios
60,000 SPG points = 93,750 Avios
There's already an AMEX Membership Rewards transfer bonus of 30% to British Airways Avios, but I haven't written about it since it's lackluster compared to prior transfer bonuses of 40% and 50%. And I still have mixed feelings about the SPG transfer bonus, because SPG points are both the most valuable hotel loyalty points and among the most difficult to earn.
Since I already transferred a good chunk of AMEX Membership Rewards points to Avios under a prior 40% transfer bonus, I won't be taking advantage of this deal, but if you have a healthy SPG point balance and have award redemptions coming up where Avios make sense, this could be a good deal.
Here are examples of Avios redemptions (amounts are for Economy; double for Business, triple for First Class)
- NYC to Montreal on American for 4500 Avios each way
- NYC to Miami on American for 7500 Avios each way
- Hong Kong to Bangkok on Cathay Pacific for 7500 Avios each way
- Miami to Guayaquil (Ecuador) on American for 10,000 Avios each way
- Chicago to Las Vegas on American for 10,000 Avios each way
- West Coast to Hawaii on American for 12,500 Avios each way
- Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus for 12,500 each way See Maximizing British Airways Avios: Fly Aer Lingus to Europe and Avoid Fuel Surcharges
- Easter Island to Tahiti on LAN for 12,500 each way
- Dallas to Honolulu on American for 20,000 Avios each way
- Miami to Buenos Aires on LAN for 25,000 each way
One of my favorite redemptions though has to be 37,500 each way for NYC to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class. Even if you can't get away to Hong Kong or Bali for an extended weekend, a luxury romantic getaway to Vancouver (well, perhaps not in the dead of winter, but you get the idea) sounds pretty good. Check out the Best Vancouver Luxury Hotels for ideas on where to stay.
And if you each got 50,000 Avios from the British Airways Visa (or a prior Avios transfer bonus, you'd just need to transfer 40,000 Avios, which would give you 62,500, for a total of 162,500 Avios–enough for the two roundtrip first class awards on Cathay, with 12,500 leftover as a one way from LAX to Hawaii or from Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus.
Need to search for availability? While the British Airways site now automatically includes partners when you do an award search, I still prefer to use Qantas.com to find Cathay and Oneworld Award Space
The Verdict: British Airways Avios are good to have for points diversification, since they're handy on short, direct flights, and you'll pay a lot less in fuel surcharges if redeeming on partners and not flying through London. If you have a lot of SPG points and could see using your Avios sometime in the next year, I'd transfer what you think you'll use.
If you don't have a lot of SPG points though, I'd save them and get some British Airways Avios via the British Airways Visa, even if it's 50,000 Avios for $1000 spend rather than the full 100,000 Avios after a total of $20,000 in spend. See British Airways Visa 100,000 Bonus Avios Points Back But Worth It?
Do you plan to take advantage of the SPG transfer bonus to British Airways Avios?
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