Lessons in arbitrage – why 10,000 bonus Finnair miles from PointsHound ARE valuable
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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.
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!
Hotel offers update – May 2023:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points?
- IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th June. Click here.
- Marriott Rewards is offering a 30%-50% bonus when you buy points by 2nd July. Click here.
- World of Hyatt is offering a 25% discount, equivalent to a 33% bonus, when you buy points by 2nd June. Click here.