How to Earn Avios or Flying Club Miles on Your Next Marriott Hotel Stay

Jun 22, 2019

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Earlier this week, we provided an introduction to Marriott Bonvoy, the loyalty programme of the world’s largest hotel group. You may stay in Marriott properties regularly and may already be earning Bonvoy points. But if you would rather earn Avios or Flying Club miles than Bonvoy points, there are a few neat options to boost your airline mileage balance without even flying.

British Airways Avios

You can choose to earn Avios instead of Bonvoy points for hotel stays and spend by automatically setting your Bonvoy earning preferences to ‘miles’. This, as opposed to if that option is set to earn ‘points’, where you will earn Marriott Bonvoy points instead.

If you choose the automatic Avios earning option you will earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on luxury properties like Sheraton, W Hotels and JW Marriott, and 1 Avios per $1 spent on lower priced properties like Aloft, Moxy and Four Points by Sheraton.

There’s also the option of transferring your existing Bonvoy points to your Avios account. For example, this might be a good option if you had already earned Bonvoy points before changing the earning preference to Avios. The transfer rate is 3:1, so 9,000 Bonvoy points would become 3,000 Avios. You can make this transfer on the Bonvoy website.

Four Seasons Koh Samui. (Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

It’s a similar offer over at Virgin Atlantic. You can set your payout to automatically be Flying Club, and instead of earning Bonvoy points, you’ll earn Flying Club miles at the same rate of 2 Flying Club miles per $1 for luxury properties and 1 mile per $1 spent on cheaper properties.

If you already have Bonvoy points that you’d like to transfer to Flying Club, you can do so at the same transfer rate as for Bonvoy to Avios transfers — 3:1, so 30,000 Bonvoy points would become 10,000 Flying Club miles.

Make sure you book your Marriott Group hotel stays directly at Marriott.com, rather than a third party site like Booking.com or Expedia, as you will not earn points or miles or enjoy any status benefits if you book through a third-party accommodation site.

Four Seasons Casa Medina. (Photo by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

Is This a Good Deal?

If you are switching your payout preference from Bonvoy to Avios or Flying Club, you will go from earning 10 or 5 Bonvoy points per $1 spent (depending on whether the property is luxury or basic), which is about 8 or 4 points per £1. Based on our monthly valuation of Bonvoy points, this would be worth around 5p or 3p per £1 spent. The value of 2 or 1 Avios or Flying Club miles based on our valuations would be around 2.4p or 1.2p per £1 spent, so you’re likely to get more value keeping the earning preference as Bonvoy points.

Looking at the 3:1 transfer option, that would suggest Avios or Flying Club miles are three times as valuable as Bonvoy points. While you may be able to obtain that from a specific redemption, TPG UK currently values both Avios and Flying Club miles at less than twice the value of Bonvoy points. So you will probably get more value redeeming them from within the Bonvoy programme for things like luxury hotel stays.

Featured image courtesy of Fairfield by Marriott Lucknow

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