Today’s offer (from noon GMT 10 January until 11:59am GMT 13 January) is 50% off hotel bookings made through the avios.com website. Unfortunately, only a few cities are involved : Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Prague, Vienna and the Algarve (Portugal). Any stays under this offer must take place before 30 September, 2014.
Normally, booking hotels using Avios is not recommended, unless you have hundred of thousands or millions of Avios that you don’t know how to spend. Generally, you will receive value of 0.58 pence per Avios, when compared to the cash price charged by avios.com.
However, you need to keep 2 things in mind. First, the cash price charged by avios.com is usually different (often higher) to that charged by other hotel booking websites such as hotels.com or the hotel chain itself. So, even if you fancy using your Avios on a hotel booking, you need to do some research to ensure that you aren’t paying substantially more via Avios than you would elsewhere. Second, you won’t receive any hotel loyalty points or cashback – a typical hotels.com booking will earn you 8-10% cashback via Quidco or Topcashback, as well as 1 free night for each 10 booked (so another effective 10% discount).
As a result, that already poor value of 0.58 pence per Avios should be reduced by at least 20% to reflect the missed cashback, etc.
So, does a 50% discount on hotel bookings make it worthwhile to take advantage of this sale offer? Well, it certainly makes the value proposition a whole lot better. At a 50% discount, you should receive 1.16 pence per Avios on a hotel booking. However, since you are missing out on cashback, etc. that should be discounted to perhaps 0.9-1 pence. I value my Avios at a bit higher than that, although recently I was able to buy a bunch of Avios at 0.83 pence apiece via Iberia Plus.
So, tread carefully… But if you have a surplus of Avios, this might be a way to use up some of them…