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 from UK credit cards (February 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.

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (118)

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

  • Hardy says:

    The one benefit here is if you are boking redemptions on Finnair, you pay the same points from zone to zone irrespective of flights. So a MAD-HEL-BKK is 45k points redemption and so is HEL-BKK or for that matter LON-HEL-BKK. Which along with the really cheap taxes makes it far far more valuable than BA where you have to pay for feeder and connector redemptions as well

    • Will says:

      Are you sure on this, I’ve tried a few dummy bookings from the U.K. and it’s pricing as the U.K.-HEL leg + the onward points.

      I have no points in my account so I’m not entirely sure if this changes as you checkout or if I’m doing something wrong.

  • FatherOfFour says:

    I presume to take advantage of this status on a BA flight, you’d need to add the Finnair FF number to the booking. Would this be possible retrospectively on a BA 2-4-1 booking?

    • Will says:

      I asked this on flyer talk.
      You can add your Finnair number onto any one world booking retrospectively so could do it with a 2-4-1, but equally for lounge access you can also credit a flight to BAEC and show a different one world emerald card to get lounge access.

      • riku says:

        If you are earning points with one FF programme but using another card to enter the lounge then make sure the agent doesn’t update your reservation and change it so that you earn the points for the card used to enter the lounge. This has happened to me and can’t be undone once you complete your flight and realise what’s happened.
        “retrospective” can apply to the time after booking but before flying but telling BA that you’ve earned finnair points and really wanted to earn the BA points instead will not get you anywhere.

    • FCP says:

      Once you have a booking, via any means, enter the Finnair FF and then allocate seats.

  • floor says:

    Can I presume the cheapest way to get platinum is to buy 150K + 150K bonus, and convert 225K of the points to tier points to make it 150k tier points in total?

  • Rook says:

    Hi all seeing lots of rewards availability for LON-MCO in August 2022.4 seats in business class seats on many days! Thought I would post here as I have just managed to book.

  • Sam says:

    Hi Bob. Just to gain bit of understanding how long will the upgraded status last is it until Dec 2023 (if register a new account today)?

  • Joe says:

    Sorry if its a daft question to ask but is it therefore possible to use the Finnair points to book BA award flights with the same availability as

    • Rob says:

      Yes. BA offers the same availability to its partners.

      The only exception would be the extra Economy Avios seats offered by BA to its own Gold members.

  • Tom says:

    Tempted to buy Platinum status for Oneworld Emerald but wouldn’t want to credit any flights to the Finnair programme as I have BA Silver status to assign seats etc anyway. If I put my BA number on bookings so everything still credits to BA, can I then just show my new Finnair Platinum card at the First Wing to gain access to that and the Gold lounge (for example)? Or do I have to have the Finnair number on the booking for this to work?

    • gundam says:

      Showing your Oneworld Emerald status membership card will allow you access, along with your boarding pass to prove you are on a OW flight. You don’t have to have it linked to your booking. However, having the top tier linked may get you flagged for upgrades and other other operational niceties onboard!

    • tspd says:

      Yes. Or put your Finnair FF number on the BA booking, get to the lounge then ask them at the lounge entrance to change back to BA.

  • rja says:

    I took the plunge. 400000 points arrived in my account instantly. The max amount of Tier Points I can have transferred in from the drop down menu is 45,000, which I think means I have to ring up to get the extra 5000 and pay another €20. Very annoying, if not a little worrying….

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