Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get A350 Business Class to Dubai using Avios points for just £116 in taxes ….. on Finnair

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Here is something I came across by accident this week when preparing an article on something else, but I thought it was worth mentioning in its own right.

Finnair runs a seasonal service to Dubai.  As a British Airways partner, you can earn and redeem Avios on this route.

What was VERY interesting is that Helsinki to Dubai is under 3,000 miles.  This means that it falls into a cheaper Avios pricing band than Dubai flights from London.

Dubai

Finnair (Helsinki-Dubai) costs 75,000 Avios in Business Class, 365 days per year.  British Airways wants 120,000 Avios on peak dates and 100,000 Avios off-peak.

Finnair also has very low taxes.

Here is an example:

Finnair to Dubai with Avios

Yes, you can fly Business Class from Helsinki to Dubai for 75,000 Avios and just £116 in charges, return.

Obviously you need to get to Helsinki in the first place, but Finnair has regular services from Manchester and Edinburgh (bookable on Avios or for cash) and both BA and Finnair fly from Heathrow.  There are presumably also low-cost options.

Remember that return cash tickets to Helsinki from the London earn 160 tier points in Business Class too!

Historically, there was a snag ….

Finnair used to run a short-haul A320 on this route which is why I never talked about it much.  It was pretty pointless going to Helsinki just to fly on a short-haul plane with a British Airways Club Europe-style seat for five hours.

This seems to have changed.  Whilst ba.com shows a blank when you select aircraft type for these services, a quick look at finnair.com shows that they are now operated on some days by a brand new Airbus A350-900.

Finnair Avios to Dubai A350

I have reviewed Finnair’s A350-900 in Business Class – click here – and it is an impressive service.

I have also reviewed the Hilton at Helsinki Airport (click here), if you are on the day flight to Dubai which leaves at 08.10.  There is also an overnight option, leaving at 20.40 from Helsinki, which could be done in the same day from London.

Here is Finnair’s A350 business class (click to enlarge) – you can find out more in my review:

Finnair A350 business class

Obviously this sort of routing is not for everyone, but if you are up for a bit of adventure and wouldn’t mind a quick look at Helsinki too then it is well worth a look.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (68)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • BJ says:

    OT; MARRIOTT TP CONVERSION RATES POSTED IN BITS COMMENTS

  • Omar says:

    I did finnair business on the London to Helsinki route on the a350 and even on that flight it’s a solid product, and leaving from Heathrow t3 means the lounge selection is better than t5. Great flight and crew. Would fly them again for sure.

  • Alex W says:

    As another option, you could book Finnair using Alaska miles, from LHR to DXB via HEL. 80k Alaska miles plus $300. Free stopover in HEL.

  • JohL says:

    The A350 flights are on Fridays and Sundays starting from early November. Flight numbers AY1961 and AY1962.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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