Lessons in arbitrage – why 10,000 bonus Finnair miles from PointsHound are more valuable than you think

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

PointsHound is a hotel booking service which works in a similar way to Kaligo.com and Rocketmiles.  You earn a chunk of frequent flyer miles for booking with them but your stays will not earn you points or status benefits from the hotel where you stay.

PointsHound is currently offering 10,000 Finnair Plus miles for your first booking with them.  Full details can be found on their site here.  The deadline isn’t clear but the miles show during the booking process so you can be sure you will get them.

PointsHound has some low-cost hotels in its database so this is a bonus which you could trigger easily and cheaply.  Most people would dismiss it, however, because Finnair is irrelevant to them.

Here are some reasons why this offer is not necessarily a waste of time.  It also serves as an example of how you should keep an eye out for less obvious ways of using your points.

Finnair A350 350

Firstly, Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance alongside British Airways.  Any reward flight you can book using Avios, except for Aer Lingus and Alaska, can be booked using Finnair points.

Are 10,000 Finnair Plus points worth the same as 10,000 Avios then?  Unfortunately not.  Finnair has a mean reward chart.  The cheapest economy flight on British Airways (say London to Amsterdam) would be 30,000 Finnair points return.  You cannot book a one-way and you also need to pay full taxes.

Let’s scrub that idea.

However, there are some other uses of Finnair Plus points which almost no-one knows about.

You can convert Finnair Plus points into IHG Rewards Club points.   The conversion rate is 2:1.  This means that the 10,000 miles you would get from PointsHound would convert into 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points.  This is a pretty good return for a cheap stay at a non-IHG hotel!

The problem is that there is a minimum transfer of 20,000 Finnair miles.  This means that this idea is also useless.  You could top up your Finnair account using Amex points but it would make more sense to send your Amex points to Virgin and transfer from there to IHG.

Finally, there is another possibility.

You can convert Finnair Plus points into Le Club AccorHotels points.

This is an odd deal.  Accor points can only be redeemed for Accor hotel credit towards future stays so you are effectively swapping your miles for ‘near cash’.

This deal does work, however.

10,500 Finnair points would get you 1,500 Le Club AccorHotels points.  That would get you €30 of Accor credit (although you need to redeem in chunks of 2,000 points) or 1,500 Avios if you converted into Iberia Plus (although you’d need to hope ‘the trick’ for converting small amounts of Avios is still working).

Your bonus is only worth 10,000 Finnair points so you’d need to book a hotel which had a minimum base earnings rate of 500 Finnair points.  This won’t be too difficult – you only need to spend £50.

So, to summarise:

Spend £50 on a hotel via this PointsHound offer and you will earn 10,500 Finnair points:

…. which you can convert into 1,500 Accor points ….

…. which you can convert into €30 of Accor credit once you hit 2,000 Accor points, or ….

…. convert immediately into 1,500 Avios via Iberia Plus as long as you can ‘force’ Accor to convert your points immediately.

I hope that is clear!

Which loyalty credit cards are worth keeping for their benefits even if you don't use them?
New DoubleTree by Hilton opens in London's Kensington
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. While on the topic of converting Accor to Avios…
    Re the current “Triple Iberia+ Avios” promo, can anyone clarify this:

    Does the tripling-up only happen when points are converted to miles? So if I sign up for Iberia Plus miles, but do not auto-convert the points, I will only receive the standard points rate?
    And if I DO auto-convert, all my 16000+ pre-existing LCAH points will go to Iberia Avios at the same time – but will NOT be tripled. Have I understood that correctly?

    Thanks & Regards, Mark

    • You have to set up auto conversion first:
      Terms of Sales

      1. General Le Club AccorHotels terms and conditions apply to the “80 days around the world with Le Club AccorHotels” offer and you must be Le Club AccorHotels member to benefit from it.

      2. This offer is valid for a stay from 4th January to 23th March in one of the participating hotels worlwide, and booked between 4th January to 23th March.

      3. This offer entitles Le Club AccorHotels loyalty members, regardless of their status, to benefit from earning x3 points at every stay in one of the participating hotels worldwide, and the ability to participate to a lucky draw to win 80 000 miles, equivalent to 160 000 Le Club AccorHotels points. The lucky draw terms and conditions are available here : rules for the draw
      The number of bonus points for this offer is calculated according to the points earned by the member based on “Classic” status.

      4. In order to benefit from this offer, the member must have activated Iberia Plus as preferred conversion option ahead of the stay.

      5. The stay must be a minimum of one night.

      6. Any consecutive stays (check-out and check-in the same day) in the same hotel, will be considered as a single stay. This single stay will be eligible once to the “80 days around the world” offer.

      7. For the purpose of this offer, a stay is one (1) reservation made by a Le Club AccorHotels loyalty member for one or more rooms. For the avoidance of doubt, a reservation made for more than one room will therefore be considered as only one (1) stay.

      8. To benefit from this offer, your booking must be made on Accorhotels.com or our participating brands web sites or via AccoHotelsr call centers. All other reservation channels will not be eligible to this offer.

      9. You must provide your Le Club AccorHotels loyalty card number when making your reservation, and present your card at the reception desk of your hotel when you check-in for your stay.

      10. Le Club AccorHotels bonus points are credited to the member’s account within 10 days following the end of his/her stay and converted within 6 weeks into miles according to applicable conversion rule.

      11. This offer cannot be combined with other current promotional offers or advantages and does not apply to groups.

      12. This offer is subject to availability. General sales terms and conditions apply for reserved public rates specific to each hotel.

      13. The offer may be modified and interrupted in whole or in part at any time and without prior notice.

      14: This offer can be used only 8 times per member during its validity period.

    • Correct, as I understand it your existing balance gets sent across – so you may not want to do this.

      • Raffles – thanks for the clarification. If you are right I do not want to do this as I lose the (greater) benefit of Accor hotel stays, though triple Avios would have been nice! I thought about taking my existing poiints as Accor hotel vouchers – but they expire after only SIX months – ouch!

      • Is it OK to make a flexible booking with points for (say) London next New Year’s Eve, and cancel it when all the triple Avios have arrived? Seems OK, from what I can see on their website…

  2. The hotel I want earns 10,300 finnair points is there a cheap way of earning the short fall of 200 points ?

  3. Londonbus says:

    A totally unrelated questions… The Economist and Iberia? If you go to the Iberia Plus website the deal offering 12,000 Avios for a one year sub appears to be back until 29 Feb. If you then click through to the Economist page from that it says it expires 31 December 2015. Anyone know what the truth is?

  4. The prices for pointshound appear competitive but you find they add their own fees disguised as taxes on the headline rate with the advertised pointsonly being available with a more expensive rate.

    I found an Accor hotel I planned on booking in Brussels £6.19 more expensive that booking direct for 10,200 points, so I’d be 300 points short, meaning I’d have to book with them again to get above 10,500 (other earning methods don’t seem worth it), so a similar extra loss, factor the loss of Accor points for booking direct and for me it’s not worth it

    • Is there any guarantee that you will get the bonus points credited to your Finnair account?! Google pointshound+fraud and the anwser is clear.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.