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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 from UK credit cards (March 2023)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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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

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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 10,500 Avios.

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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

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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.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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

Comments (118)

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

  • Barraclough says:

    The headline might have been expressed as “Can you effectively, buy British Airways Gold and Silver status from Finnair – is it worth it?” rather than opening with “You can” – but, really, how many times does the author have to give numerous warnings in the article itself to do your own research first, as was done repeatedly?

    I agree that comparative articles would be a good idea, not just as Kishan Majithia suggests but also occasionally for other topics, but of course Rob and Rhys are fully engaged in other HfP work and we can’t expect our preferences to be prioritised unless there is clearly widespread demand,.

    • ADS says:

      But Rob is right – you can !

      And repeated warning seems completely reasonable when he’s not sure it’s actually worth doing.

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    I’d like to add my tuppence…

    As per

    You get 250,000 points

    Business from lhr to hel is £600 return, or 25,000 points. So that’s 250,000/25,000 = 10 flights at £220 each. That’s a hell of a saving if my calls are correct.

    As it’s 160,000 points for a business return to Asia / North America, that’s £1408, plus you’ve 90,000 points left…

    I see that as, well, a bit of a bargain

    • Doug M says:

      What’s availability like though? Going all in on a program you don’t know is quite a leap of faith.

  • Andrew Lee says:

    It’s interesting. My immediate thought was that it’s not worth it to buy status. However, looking into it a bit more I can see that as I live in Zurich I could fly to Osaka, Singapore or Hong Kong for 160k points plus about 80 CHF. All of a sudden a lot more tempting. Business class flights to Asia for a family of four, plus platinum status for me, gold for my wife and some miles left over seems a pretty good deal for £4k.

    • Alan TJ says:

      That sounds like a great deal but what is points availability like?

      • Andrew says:

        It looked ok. I was able to find reasonable availability for a few random dates. The bigger issue is convincing my wife.

    • Sam says:

      The availability in Finnair business class is pretty poor, before and even during Covid times. They also block business class award seats until at least 6 months before departure. I doubt you can redeem Finnair business class ticket for a party of four.

  • Susan says:

    Exchanging award points for tier points – clicking through the link on the site says “You can exchange points in batches of 5,000 tier points, but can acquire no more than half the tier points you need to maintain or advance your tier membership” which would suggest you need a substantial tier point balance to benefit from this deal.

    • Rob says:

      … which you would have.

      If you want Platinum, you get 100k tier points automatically and convert 50k. You are only converting 33% of what you need.

      The cheapest way to get Finnair Gold would be to buy 160k points including bonus. You’d get 40k tier points. You could then convert 120k redeemable into 40k tier. This would be exactly 50% from converting.

  • Crackers says:

    In case this helps someone, the minimum cost of Finnair Gold (BA Silver) would seem to be about £950. Achieved by buying 86,000 with a 51,600 bonus. That gets you 34,400 TPs. Converting all the points gets you a further 45,866 TPs getting you just over the 80,000 TP threshold.

    • Rob says:

      No. That won’t work, because over 50% of your TP’s would be from a conversion. You need to buy at least 160,000 points (with bonus) to get 40,000 tier points, so the conversion is for less than 50%.

      Remember that you could do a ‘double tier points’ BA Holidays package for less than £950 which would get you BA Silver status too.

      Even a standard tier point run (3 x 160 tier point Club Europe returns to Catania, Athens etc) could be done for less than £950 and you’d get three little holidays too.

      • Crackers says:

        Ahhhh ok whoops! So maybe you buy 180k (inc bonus) for approx £1100. You’d get Finnair Gold plus 75,000 Finnair points. That’s 3 business class flights within Europe.

        Not saying it’s good or bad value…

      • Richard G says:

        There are those of us edge cases where this might work though.

        I keep getting my trips cancelled due to COVID and I was considering letting my status lapse this year… but this seems like it could work, and be a lot less hassle than making my way to Heathrow / praying that my flights actually happen.

  • Ken says:

    What’s J award availability like ?
    Not much point holding a currency that can’t be spent

    • Rob says:

      Will be identical to what BA shows, both for BA itself and oneworld partners. No Aer Lingus or Vueling, although Aer Lingus should come once it joins the transatlantic joint venture. No idea if Finnair has non-oneworld partners.

      I don’t know what the booking window is though. For eg, BA opens up its seats at 355 days. American Airlines only lets members book 330 days in advance – this is why AA flyers don’t end up fighting you for transatlantic seats. If Finnair is 330 days it would be tougher to book BA flights as soon as they open up.

      As I said in the article, there is a lot I don’t know about Finnair Plus and it is NOT as cut and dried as other articles on this promo make out. That said, many of these niche points are not a problem for many people.

      • QFFlyer says:

        This is a list I’ve kept in my Notes app from a couple of years back – may not still be current, but as an idea:
        QF 353 to WP/SG, everyone else 308
        CX – 360 days
        BA – 354 days
        QR – 361 days
        AA – 330 days
        JL – 330 days
        MH – 354 days
        RJ – 362 days
        AY – 361 days
        LA – 331 days
        UL – 361 days
        IB – 361 days
        S7 – 330 days

  • Matthias says:

    Are we definitely sure that Oneworld Emerald can be used to access the Gold Wing at LHR? That for me is the main benefit of BA Gold vs Silver.

    Also, the Finnair site talks about status being “for the current tracking period plus twelve months”, similar to BA. Does that mean that if I open an account today, in effect I get 24 months’ worth of status?

    • Rob says:

      That is how it appears to work …..

    • QFFlyer says:

      100% yes, I’ve used F Wing at T5 as a QF Platinum on Y tickets several times.

      • ECR says:

        Does the QF Platinum status display on your boarding pass? I’ve had problems in the past with the mobile boarding pass.

        • QFFlyer says:

          It shows as FF Platinum Emerald on QF bps, and QF/Emerald on other OW carriers’ bps (just checked an old BA one in Apple Wallet – if you tap the three dots to “turn around” the boarding pass, it’s in the list of details on the back, along with the full FF#).

          • ECR says:

            Thank you for checking. Like you say on Apple the details are “over the page”, although it doesn’t change the colour of the boarding pass like BA Gold status. I usually use android, and unfortunately there is no visible evidence of Emerald status on the mobile boarding pass when I use my QF number, although it is obviously embedded in the system somewhere, as if they scan the card at the First Lounge it gives access.

    • SaveECRewards says:

      The entry requirements for the F wing security are the same as for the Galleries First lounge. So basically you and a guest

  • Will says:

    Availability is very patchy but HEL- Dubai is only 15k one way economy, I think 25k business.

    Beware it’s usually served with a A321 but sometimes a A350

    • Sandgrounder says:

      It’s actually the same price from the UK, although apd would be higher on the way out, it’s about 230 from man if I remember correctly.

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