Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Buy up to 266,666 Avios for 0.83p each – if you are willing to take a little risk

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you are looking to top up your Avios balance and are willing to take a small risk, there is a very interesting opportunity available until 18th September.

Oddly, the thing you will be doing is buying Finnair Plus Points.

You can, indirectly, buy up to 266,666 Avios for 0.83p this way.

Buy up to 400,000 Avios for 0.83p via Finnair Plus

Finnair is joining Avios in ‘early 2024’

As we covered in detail in this article, so I won’t repeat everything, Finnair is switching from Finnair Plus Points to Avios in ‘early 2024’.

It has already been confirmed that the conversion rate from Finnair Plus Points to Avios will be 3:2 and that you will be able to move Avios from Finnair into other Avios programmes such as British Airways Executive Club.

Finnair is offering a 100% bonus when you buy Plus Points

Until 18th September, Finnair is running a bonus when you buy Plus Points.

The bonus is staggered and looks like this:

  • 5,000 to 19,000 Finnair Plus Points – 40% bonus
  • 20,000 to 49,000 Finnair Plus Points – 60% bonus
  • 50,000 to 99,000 Finnair Plus Points – 80% bonus
  • 100,000 to 200,000 Finnair Plus Points – 100% bonus

At the top end, you can buy 400,000 Finnair Plus Points (200,000 base + 200,000 bonus) for a total of €2,575.

Assuming you pay with a 0% FX fees credit card, the cost would be £2,201. This is 0.55p per Finnair Plus Point.

Buy up to 400,000 Avios for 0.83p via Finnair

What does this mean in terms of Avios price?

Remember that Finnair Plus Points will convert to Avios at 3:2 ‘early in 2024’.

This means that you would have paid £2,201 for 266,666 Avios.

This is 0.83p per Avios.

0.83p is exceptionally good value, and as cheap as you will ever see. You should be getting well over 1p per Avios of value if you are redeeming for premium cabin flights, especially if you are using a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher.

To put this in context, the cheapest Avios Subscription price is now 0.99p per Avios. This is based on paying £1,989 for 200,000 Avios, dropped into your account at 16,667 per month. Buying via Finnair is 16% cheaper and you should get them faster.

What are the risks of doing this?

This is clearly NOT a risk free deal.

We don’t normally recommend that you stockpile Avios that you don’t intend to use in the next few months. You can’t get your money back if there is a major Avios devaluation before you can use them.

There are extra risks with the Finnair deal:

  • you won’t get your Avios until ‘early 2024’ – although, of course, you can redeem them at any time via Finnair Plus for flights on BA and oneworld alliance airlines (at ‘not great’ rates) if you had to
  • Finnair may backtrack on its decision to join Avios
  • Finnair may change the announced ‘3 for 2’ conversion rate of Finnair Plus Points to Avios
  • your Finnair Plus Points could expire if the deal was substantially delayed, although any earn or burn activity every 18 months will keep them alive

To be honest, I’m not too worried about the final three points above. Even though Finnair’s CEO has just resigned – and the new person could potentially hate the idea and try to stop it – I suspect contracts are signed and the IT integration is progressing.

The real risk is that changes occur to the Avios programme in the months before you can get your hands on the Avios. However, oddly, if Avios did devalue hugely then you might appreciate having a pile of Finnair Plus points which you could use to book BA or other oneworld redemptions.

It’s up to you, of course.

The page to buy Finnair Plus Points is here. The offer runs to 18th September.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios 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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (103)

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

  • BBbetter says:

    Avios group / BA must be annoyed with other partners selling at prices lower than theirs.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Well they aren’t selling avios but Finnair points plus I don’t see a lot of people actually buying AY points who aren’t already members of the AY scheme just to have them turned into avios next year to top up their BA or IB or QR accounts.

    • JDB says:

      Avios might be annoyed, but they are probably delighted about the ongoing normalisation of buying points in bulk with no particular redemption in view. Sentiment on this changed quite dramatically in a short space of time. Previously the consensus here was very anti this and only recommended it for topping up. It also runs rather against the original concept of these schemes that one could essentially get flights for a greatly reduced cost by directing spend and taking advantage of offers. Now people seem happy to invest quite a large sum into a ‘currency’ at a theoretical discount to its potential spending value. The marketers have got quite good at capturing this change in consumer behaviour with campaigns like ‘Boost’.

      • Novice says:

        @JDB, I agree. And the fact that you can hardly ever find a premium seat to a place you want to go to doesn’t help. I’m sat on over half a million avios but every time I wanna go somewhere I never can find a seat and always have to pay cash. Which mks me think what’s the point but the only thing that mks it worthwhile is the fact i get the avios for buying or doing things i would have anyway.

        • Rhys says:

          Book 355 days in advance and it’s easy.

          • Gordon says:

            Done this yesterday for a flight to NBO for a safari on a 2-4-1, J, booked the outbound £450 fees and 90k Avios, then call BA once the return leg becomes available to merge bookings.

          • Nick says:

            Or last minute. The best use of Avios by a huge margin is for a flight tomorrow, selling in H only, that you get for the standard Avios price.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            Yes, everyone should use the approach that wouldn’t work if everyone used it

          • His Holyness says:

            355 days 🤣

          • John says:

            Replying to Gordon (cannot reply in thread): what are the benefits of merging bookings?

          • Gordon says:

            @John, if there is a popular destination that sells out fast IE, SIN, then you can book the redemption outbound flight 355 days ahead (As Rhys says) as a single and pay the relevant fee’s and avios,

            Obviously the return leg will not be available, so when it is, you basically call BA and give them your reference number and they will merge the outbound and return in one booking,

            There will be a a small charge of £15 I think for them to do this over the phone as it cannot be done online. This way you don’t loose the outbound flight while your waiting for the return to become available.

          • Mikeact says:

            Of course, but some of us like to drop everything and go tomorrow/day after !

          • Gordon says:

            @Mikeact, Of course, I also do that on the less popular routes, but book the more popular routes 355 days ahead to have any chance of a J or F redemption 😉

          • Novice says:

            @Rhys I don’t travel like that… I do have a massive bucket list and list of countries but I sort of book when and what I fancy on a whim. I don’t think I’ve ever booked so far ahead. I once booked kenya 9 months in advance and was nearly denied boarding due to not checking entry updates.

            I think I’m too lazy. But I’ll try one day I guess when I get sick of my avios balance.

          • Rhys says:

            You should try it, it’s quite fun. Book it a year in advance and by the time it comes round it feels like a nice treat/surprise!

    • Chris W says:

      99.9% of BA flyers would never consider purchasing Avios from a partner program.

      • Jonathan says:

        How do you come to that conclusion ?

        Plus how do you not know that ‘BA flyers’ don’t flip whichever airline’s program they use whenever they fly, as there’s going to be enough around where tier points don’t mean anything, if you know you won’t have enough to progress

      • MCO says:

        I normally buy from IB sales.

  • BJ says:

    I think I read that the current Finnair CEO resigned just days after the avios announcement. Is it possible that the new CEO appointed could decide that this is not the right direction for Finnair and scrap the deal or is it more likely a legally-binding deal has already been signed with avios group?

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      It would have been a AY board decision to switch to avios not just one taken by the CEOs

    • LittleNick says:

      This is my biggest worry tbh, and even if board decision, new CEO might be able to put brakes on it/ delay it etc leaving a longer time period before they become avios

  • Paul Hickey says:

    Last month was a good month for me avios wise and I did the “boost my avios” deal at about 0.85p. £2500.
    used them + additional on finnair via BA (taxes were substantially cheaper at BA @ around £25 each one way to Thailand starting in HEL). Availability was tricky for 3 ppl but made it work .

  • Gavin says:

    You can stick your cash in a top paying savings account and get around 2.5% risk free over the next ~6 months. This Finnair deal will likely give you a return of 20% or more over a similar length of time. The risk seems fairly low for such a high return.

    • Gordon says:

      Savings rates are increasing, Forget 2.5%!

      NS&I, formerly National Savings, has launched a massive best-buy fix, beating every other fix on the market – of any length. 6.2%

      • Rui N. says:

        That’s over one year, not 6 months. Also, not easy access is it?

        • Gordon says:

          At 6.2% 1 year is fine without access, the rate dictates this! and I would invest enough so that I would not want to gain access to it. I have a cash ISA should I need additional finance! But it would not suit someone looking to make a quick buck that would need access to their savings.

        • Rui N. says:

          Your personal situation is quite irrelevant to how the product works. *facepalm*

        • Gordon says:

          The product work quite well for my personal situation, so it is relevant!

          I did add that it would not suit everyone.
          But that fell on deaf ears!

          Disdain, disapproval, frustration, or boredom Emoji….

        • James says:

          Santander has just launched an instant access savings account. No deposit or withdrawal restrictions @ 5.2%

      • Gavin says:

        I’m talking about a 6 month period. Current best buy instant access accounts are around 5%, which is about 2.5% over the 6 months we are talking about. I think the Finnair deal counts as quasi-instant access, as you can redeem on Finnair if necessary in the meantime. It’s definitely more flexible than a fixed rate, which will only give you 3.1% in cash at best.

  • Kevin says:

    Qatar are offering a 50% bonus on avios. 1.1p per avios. Not amazing but if you need them right away, not the worst value proposition.

    • LittleNick says:

      Unless something drastic happens, don’t think I’d ever purchase above 1p

  • says:

    Devaluation – I don’t believe its a problem any more.

    The BA subscription model means BA are locking loyal customers in for years at a time *especially the annual sub.

    Are they really going to risk the ire of their most loyal customers – having “pushed” them to join the subscription and now Balance Boost deals? It seems incredibly unlikely to me.

    What does everyone think?

    • BJ says:

      Devaluation over time is the norm of almost all loyalty schemes! It is not wise to buy vast amounts of points or miles unless you have an immediately or short-term use for them, and that you are confident tge reward availability you need will be there. Earn and burn is the best and wisest strategy for most, most of the time.. this is true nkt just for newbies but for the experienced too. Earn and burn means different things to different people though, there was an article on HfP a few months ago that considered building large balances can be useful.

    • Peter K says:

      There has been an effective devaluation over the past 6 years. In 2017 long haul business was about 100k avios +£500. The co-pay crept up and up and now it’s 100k avios +£1000 or 160k avios+£350 (iirc).
      Maybe the current prices will remain locked in for 2-3 years, but don’t expect any more than that.

      • JDB says:

        There hasn’t been a devaluation on European flights (and usually off peak is lower than it used to be) or the longer long haul zones eg HKG – in fact those are cheaper off peak than they were ten + years ago. HKG or PVG in F was 240k in 2012, now 204k/240k. A flight in F, LHR-HKG//PVG-LHR was 240k + £517. Yes, the taxes will be higher now, but one could save 36k Avios and the tax is not such a big % of the overall cost of the ticket – if it’s higher at all, it is far less than inflation.

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        You need to factor inflation in as well though. RPI from 2017 is around a 40% increase. On that basis the overall Avios + cash ask hasn’t changed that much in real terms…

        • Peter K says:

          From what I can gather, RPI is generally not considered a good indicator of inflation any more. It is popular with, for example, unions when asking for pay rises, but less used by economists.

      • Thegasman says:

        Depends which way you look at it. Avios were worth less to me when I could regularly get a £1000 J fare to US earning TP’s & circa 25,000 Avios. I let a number of 241’s expire as it never made sense to redeem when I could get a cash fare where I wanted to go for ~£750 net.

        Now it’s ~£3k cash redemptions stack up despite increased fees/Avios.

        • dougzz99 says:

          For what it’s worth there are odd ex-EU flights available to small west coast cities next March for sub £1K, but more typically £1.1-£1.2 at the moment. 720TP and a good wedge of Avios earned.

          • says:

            Would you mind giving a couple or even one specific example? That’s incredibly cheap! And possibly catalyst to do a tier point run, if you can add layovers?

          • dougzz99 says:

            Out 5th March, DUB-LHR-JFK-LAX-TUS, RETURN 12th March, TUS-LAX-JFK-LHR-BCN €1210

          • says:

            Thank you! Top work!

          • Tracy says:

            How do you book this itinerary? Not showing as available on BA?

    • Track says:

      They will not blink an eye to devalue if that makes a commercial sense. It’s much simpler to block availability and sell seats for cash — if and when they sell at 7k for a Business Class from LHR.

      However, given the level of copay in “taxes and surcharges” the airline is definitely not making a loss. It sold an Avios point direct, or via a partner at 0.8p * redemption value in Avios and collecting 700-800 pounds in cash (given ex-EU cash fares like 1,200 start to pop up again to East and West).

      To catch up with the game, and improve value, one needs to earn an additional upgrade voucher via AMEX or Barclay — via more spending, and more revenue to Avios Group Ltd.

  • Jack says:

    Devaluation is not going to happen why every time one of these kinds of offers come around is that always the first thing to be screamed . You shouldn’t hold onto points with any loyalty programme and companies don’t want you to , earn and use them . I too see no regulation any time soon as ther hasn’t been one really for years and there is nothing to justify one now

  • Sharka says:

    Your potential profit on 266,666 avios is (1.00-0.83)*266666/100 = £453.33. That is on an outlay of £2,201. Simplistically, that is a 20% return but when you account for risks, the delay in using and so on, it is not necessarily very attractive at all. It is fun, but there must be better arbitrages.

    The 7 million AA miles Gary Leff got from donating to a Mastercard/AA charity at 240 AA miles per USD: that’s what we need to see more of.

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      @Sharka The Gary Leff AA miles story was the hack of a lifetime – you are setting the bar high there 🙂 Personally, I would be happy if every miles/points deal I got meant a 20% return…

      • Rob says:

        I got 1m off Lloyds for virtually nothing back when they did the Mastercard.

        New cardholders got 25 Avios per £1 on FX spend for a period but refunds only went through at the usual 2.5 Avios. In reality it was zero on refunds because Lloyds split UK and FX spend – if you refunded FX stuff but had no new FX spend, nothing was deducted.

        Bought £40k of refundable flights and hotels, in a mix of currencies to reduce risk, and then cancelled them over the following months.

        • Thegasman says:

          Quite an admission! JDB will be disgusted. I dabbled in Bendy but only paying HMRC & loading Pimlico with money I had to invest. Buying & returning to exploit an erroneous delta between purchase & refund would be a bit close to the bone for me though I can see the returns were definitely attractive.

        • says:

          That is wonderful! And, here I am thinking that cancelling my BA sub and balance boost to go for this Finnair deal is sneaky!

      • Sharka says:

        GLeff even got Concierge Key off it because the miles counted towards an internal revenue target at AA to be invited, it seems. The relaunched AA scheme offers some interesting ways to get status from non-flying activities, more generally. As Rob says, there used to be some very obvious opportunities: I recall Raffles’ conversations elsewhere.

    • Track says:

      20% is a very decent ‘return’. Except it is not a return at all, it is a discount.

      Avios is not an asset generating interest and capital gains. An investment would be to invest 20% in appropriate stocks/funds. The choice not to travel also satisfies the definition of saving = delayed consumption.

      Smart spending, but not smart investing.

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        @Track I do understand what you are arguing but I don’t agree that it is as clear cut as you make out.
        I view points and miles holdings as an asset just like any other part of my personal portfolio (whether property, securities, crypto, cash etc.).
        The only difference is that I hold those points/miles assets for a specific purpose – to onward invest into the enjoyment of personal travel experiences, hopefully also achieving a return in excess of the original cost (albeit in the form of a discount on the cash price I would otherwise have paid).
        In fact, the only reason I hold the other assets in the long run is to do the same, to spending / use for my benefit and my loved ones (otherwise what is the point?). So no, I do not think it is different at all… 😉

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.