Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

You can, effectively, buy British Airways Gold and Silver status from Finnair – is it worth it?

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I am deliberately not making a big song and dance about this offer because I do not have a great understand of Finnair’s Finnair Plus loyalty programme.

Because I don’t know all of the intricacies over redemptions costs, taxes, expiry policies etc I don’t want to be seen to be recommending this deal, because I’m not. I’m just laying out some facts and pointing you towards some sources of further information.

Here’s the offer. You can currently buy Finnair Plus Platinum status (which gets you virtually the same benefits as British Airways Gold status) and Finnair Plus Gold status (which gets you virtually the same benefits as British Airways Silver status).

Finnair A350

How can you earn de facto British Airways status buying Finnair points?

Here is a quick summary of how it works:

  • Finnair is running a 100% bonus when you buy 150,000+ Finnair Plus points – click here
  • For every redeemable point you buy, including the bonus, you also receive 0.25 tier points
  • You can buy up to 200,000 points, which means that you end up with 400,000 redeemable points with the bonus as well as 100,000 tier points
  • 80,000 tier points is enough for Finnair Plus Gold status, which is equivalent to British Airways Silver (gets you into BA lounges, gets you free BA seat selection etc)
  • You can swap Finnair redeemable points into tier points at a 3:1 ratio, so you can trade off 150,000 of the redeemable points you have just bought for an extra 50,000 status points
  • You would then have 150,000 tier points, which makes you Finnair Plus Platinum – this is equivalent to British Airways Gold

What will this cost you?

There are various options for making this work. At the top end, you spend €2,575 (£2,200) and end up with either:

  • 400,000 redeemable Finnair Plus points plus Finnair Plus Gold status (equivalent to BA Silver), or if you do the swap I mentioned above ….
  • 250,000 redeemable Finnair Plus points plus Finnair Plus Platinum status (equivalent to BA Gold)
Finnair A350 business class

You could spend less. If you only wanted Finnair Gold, you’d get it by just buying 320,000 Finnair Plus points to trigger the necessary 80,000 tier points. You spend even less than that if you bought fewer miles but converted all of them to status points to top up the status points you’d receive directly.

I can confirm, from a reader email, that everything works OK as it is explained here. What I can’t advise on is whether the value stacks up – in particular, whether you can get value from the Finnair Plus points.

Do your research first

Here are two lengthy articles from other sites which explain the deal in more detail – see here (the author is Finnish so knows what he is writing) and here.

Finnair ran an identical offer last year, so it knows that it is doing. It won’t pull the offer and it isn’t a mistake.

Let me repeat that I am not giving an opinion either way on whether this is a good deal, given the amount of money involved. Spend some time doing the necessary research. In particular:

  • There are also minor differences to having BA vs the equivalent Finnair status. You won’t get an Avios status bonus on cash BA flights, for example, although if you flew enough for this to matter you’d have BA status already. Finnair Platinum can’t access Gold Priority Rewards, although the value in those is now nil in most cases following recent changes, or the extra Avios seats which open up in Economy.

The offer runs to 27th December.

You can buy Finnair Plus points, and find the official details, here.

PS. Remember that BA Holidays is still offering double tier points when you book with them. If you aren’t bothered about also having a pile of Finnair Plus points along with your status, booking yourself a BA Holidays package is a cheaper way to status – and you get a holiday thrown in.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

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

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

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

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

30,000 points 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 30,000 Avios.

30,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 4th February 2022.

Capital on Tap Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

30,000 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 45,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

45,000 Avios is a special offer which runs to 28th February 2022.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

45,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (118)

  • rja says:

    Update, you have to to do as 2 separate transactions (online) log out and log back in. Platinum level achieved which runs through to 31/1/24

  • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

    Does anyone here know if status matches into Star Alliance, Sky Team or Virgin Atlantic could be successfully made with Finnair Gold or Plat levels? I’ve had a look on statusmatcherDOTcom with no result. If such matching was possible then it would definitely add value to this offer…

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      To answer my own question, Finnair status is difficult to leverage into matches with other programs. Virgin don’t recognise it (and this was one I wanted to reduce the points cost of my 2-4-1). Nor does the new ITA Volare program that is running a special match into Sky Team status until 31 Dec. I also tried Turkish Miles&Smiles as they have a match function that doesn’t specify what other programs are eligible but they turned me down flat and fast! Ended up going a different route to get Star Alliance Silver with SIA KrisFlyer via the ShangriLa Jade status match – my Jade status from Amex Plat only lasts til end 2022 so may as well use this one off match at some stage – Will save 62,500 VA points on my Barbados redemption in May at least 🙂

  • Mavg says:

    Rob, if I don’t care for the status as plan on flying business class anyway, would it be a good purchase to redeem on business class redemptions to South America?

    • Rob says:

      No idea 🙂 Look at their reward chart, look at what taxes they charge on those flights (do they add surcharges to BA flights for example?).

    • SpitfireCharlie says:

      Mavg, how does the two free business upgrades factor into the Platinum status equation?

      • youneedtobeyourself says:

        On the face of it, you get 8 one way upgrades to Europe of which Dubai is included and is being serviced by an A350 currently (although it’s scheduled for a A321 for next winter)

        The question is, how easy are they to use?

        There’s a family perk too, where if you have a business class ticket you can upgrade 3 family members from economy to business for 10k per person return within europe and 50k per person intercontinental.
        There’s value there IF the upgrade space is relatively easy to unlock.

  • youneedtobeyourself says:

    I pulled the trigger and went ahead with this, 30k return to dubai sealed it for me.
    Does anyone know the cancellation rules for redemption bookings? I’ve had a read but cannot find anything in the finnair terms.

    • tspd says:

      I think €50 then refund of everything. might waived if your plat/gold tho cant be sure. you can change destinations/dates as well too, I think, until feb 22

  • Mikee says:

    I’m considering this too but can anyone see partner award pricing online? All I could see if AY operated flights but was looking to see how much USA-UK (MIA/LHR 1-way J-class) works out in terms of points and surcharges with a partner award on BA.

    Be interesting if there’s any reduction in taxes/fees compared with bookign Avios.

    • Mikee says:

      To answer my own question, just managed to get through to AY using on-line chat and they quoted me MIA-LHR J 1-way taxes at 643euros = £548 (same taxes on BA.com). AY miles cost was 129,000 vs 75,000/62,500 on BA but I’ve not worked out what the miles “cost” between the programmes is yet.
      Looks like the sweet spot is flying USA-HEL/ARN then back to UK on AY for 105k + £8 taxes…..availability seems more of an issue though compared to BA.

      • Will says:

        Availability looks good if you use LhR or MAN as start point which I can confirm is priced in points at the same rate as departing from HEL but unfortunately adds significantly to the taxes.

        It’s a really strange FF scheme!

  • Sam Ravali says:

    Hello

    I am
    New to miles world so appreciate tour help folks
    If i buy the points ( say 400,000) on finnair, is there a way to become gold member in BA and still leave some points in Finnair for future partner booking ?

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      You don’t become BA Gold, you become Finnair Plat or Gold which is roughly equivalent in terms of BA benefits.

      The article gives examples of how many you could buy depending on whether you wanted additional redeemable miles left or not.

      • Mikee says:

        My mini-overview of the value I hope to get from this promotion (which I paid £2,195 for 400,000 points @ 0.55p/per point):

        1 – I swapped 150k for Oneworld Emerald (BA Gold) for 2 years, which also gives me a Oneworld Sapphire (BA Silver) soft landing for another year, so status until 1st Jan 2025….and I have 250k points left for award bookings

        2 – Over 3 years, I will receive 16 short-haul upgrade vouchers and 4 long-haul vouchers. I am able to exchange 4 SH vouchers for 1 LH so in effect, I will have 8 x LH vouchers (best use for me)

        3 – I can upgrade from Y to J the cheapest Finnair cash tickets (hand baggage only) with my vouchers (or with 50k points long-haul)

        4 – I will recieve 2 x 12 month Gold Status (BA Silver) vouchers to gift to another Finnair member (plenty of value here, particularly if you want to accept a cash “donation” for gifting!)

        5 – I will have the ability to leverage Oneworld Emerald (BA Gold) status with other Frequent Flyer programmes which is much more valuable than trying to leverage Sapphire since not all programmes match to this “middle-tier”

        5 – I do not have to chase status with BA for 3 years so can just focus on spending my vouchers/upgrading cheap cash tickets etc rather than tier point runs

        What does this all mean for value? I will redeem points on Finnair and not partners, meaning I will save a lot on taxes. For example:

        1-way MIA-HEL (or ARN) in J is 80k + £10 taxes. I can add a cheap 1-way HEL-LHR for less than £100 (80k points cost me £439 so total cost £550). Equivalent BA MIA-LHR is 75,000/62,500 + £550

        With my remaining points (250k), I can fly 3 1-ways long-haul. The obvious inconvenience is having to route indirect to the UK via ARN/HEL and a smaller route network on Finnair compared to BA (…but Finnair allow baggage to be interlined on separate tickets if all flights are Finnair).

        I just booked a 1-way MIA-HEL-LHR Y cash ticket for £413 and upgraded the LH sector to J using one of my 8 LH upgrade vouchers.

        For me, the Finnair route network is sufficient and I don’t mind connecting via ARN or HEL. J-award availability looks pretty reasonable although one can never tell how good/bad it could be. As a top-tier Finnair member, I can easily book into Y and waitlist for upgrades. I still have BA Silver until Dec next year and have a pot of Avios to use outside the Finnair network (I can also credit my Finnair flights to BA if I want).

        Finally, I get to use the sauna in the HEL Finnair Premium Lounge!

        • Rob says:

          Thanks Mikee. Appreciate the post.

        • manilabay says:

          Agree with you @Mikee. I went for this too but was a little on the fence but glad I have gone for it it. My BA Silver expires in October 2022. I have booked an AY long haul reward from LHR-SIN in May in Economy for 45k AY points+£110. Saw there was Biz award availability. Used 1xSH voucher and 1xLH voucher to upgrade the travel class & got upgraded immediately with no additional points or cash deducted- very smooth and effective.

          Availability in Business seems a bit hit or miss and partner redemptions sky high but as you say, AY seems to be pretty reasonable – more so if you can make the use of the vouchers.

          As an FYI too, I used one of my SH & LH upgrade vouchers for another passenger on a separate ticket if anybody was interested at all.

  • tom says:

    Gosh! Just tried to do it but I forgot that Finnair is based in a different time zone than us and when I tried it 11:05 it was already expired in Finland..

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