Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Avios transfers to and from Finnair Plus go live tomorrow, 22nd May

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Finnair adopted Avios as its loyalty currency in March. This was only announced in August 2023 and went live in impressively speedy fashion.

It joined British Airways, Qatar Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus in adopting the currency.

With ‘just’ 4 million members, Finnair Plus is a minnow compared to British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Airways Privilege Club, adding just 10% to the total member base. However, it brings new options to earn and redeem Avios on non-airline partners, as well as letting BA members use Avios to upgrade Finnair flights.

Finnair has joined Avios

Full details of the changes are on the Finnair website here.

Transfer to/from British Airways were NOT live

One aspect of the integration that couldn’t be pulled off by March was the ability to transfer Avios back and forth between Finnair Plus and British Airways Executive Club.

This wasn’t a complete disaster. You have always been able to book Finnair flights via ba.com using British Airways Executive Club Avios, and the pricing is meant to match across both sites.

However, there were some things you couldn’t do:

  • you couldn’t transfer Avios into Finnair Plus to upgrade a Finnair flight
  • you couldn’t transfer Avios into Finnair Plus to redeem for a partner which only works with Finnair
  • you couldn’t merge any existing Finnair Avios with British Airways Avios
  • you couldn’t take advantage of an interesting Finnair feature – free connections in Scandinavia. On finnair.com, Stockholm to Helsinki to XXXXXX is the same points cost as Helsinki to XXXXXX, and for many readers getting to Stockholm or nearby to start a trip is easier than Helsinki.

According to the Finnair website here, transfers to/from British Airways Executive Club will go live tomorrow, 22nd May.

Finnair has joined Avios

You can’t convert directly to other Avios schemes

Because of the way that Avios accounting works, the only transfer available will be to/from British Airways Executive Club.

If you want to move Avios from, for example, Finnair Plus to Iberia Plus, you will need to use BAEC as an intermediary.

This is the same arrangement that Qatar Airways Privilege Club has, so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

What new opportunities will this give you as a British Airways Executive Club member?

When Qatar Airways Privilege Club adopted Avios, it opened up a huge new list of car rental, airline and hotel partners. You can now earn Avios via Hertz and Virgin Australia, for example.

This is what Finnair Plus brings you (I have only listed non-BAEC partners):

  • Car hire – earn Avios via Hertz, Sixt, Europcar
  • Hotels – earn Avios via GLO, Scandic, Sokos, Strawberry / Nordic Choice, Shangri-La
  • Hotels – spend Avios via GLO, Scandic, Sokos, Strawberry / Nordic Choice, Clarion Hotels Finland
  • Airlines – there are two new airline earn and spend partners: Braathens (13 routes within Sweden) and Juneyao Air, a Chinese carrier

There are also individual earn and spend deals with specific hotels in Finland, plus leisure options such as restaurant vouchers.

Finnair has joined Avios

You will now be able to take advantage of some Scandinavian hotel deals

In this HfP article I flagged some VERY interesting hotel redemptions using Finnair Avios. We will be looking at this more closely once transfers are live.

I believe that there are also some interesting partner airline deals. It may turn out, for example, that Malaysia Airlines redemptions are cheaper if booked via Finnair Plus than via ba.com. Of course, they could also be cheaper via Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

For better or worse, you should now check Avios pricing at finnair.com, qatarairways.com and ba.com if you are booking a redemption on a oneworld airline which does not award Avios. This would include Cathay Pacific, Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas etc.

Conclusion

The Finnair / Avios partnership has been a bit of damp squib for members of British Airways Executive Club so far due to the lack of transferability.

This is due to change tomorrow, and we can finally start looking at the best arbitrage opportunities in Finnair Plus.

You can find out more on the Finnair website here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 £15,000 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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 (47)

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

  • David says:

    241 for AY 2025 please.

    • Harry T says:

      Please no, it’ll likely ruin the sweet spots by causing Avios and “taxes” to be aligned with BA.

      • Novice says:

        I agree with Harry T. Finnair is awesome for Asia. We don’t want that to change. My taxes were £28 or something for return Seoul.

        • LittleNick says:

          Agreed, i wish airline surcharges/YQ was banned on reward fares

      • David says:

        …but with IB this has not happened. IB charge the same taxes as before the new usability of a 241.

  • will says:

    Anyone who “bought” Finnair Platinum back at the tail end of 2021 has done very nicely out of this.
    For £2200 it yielded 2 years of oneworld emerald plus a soft landing to oneworld sapphire for a year and I gifted my partner 3 years of oneworld sapphire with 166k avios left over from the purchase.

    An example of how there’s always another opportunity round the corner in this game

    • Harry T says:

      Classic example of “who dares wins”

    • NicktheGreek says:

      I snagged the offer but didn’t transfer to get platinum. Instead redeemed for 3 seats transcon with Qantas in Business, and 3 more seats in business return from Manchester to Helsinki. And now left with 95k avios. It worked out very nicely for this household. But I’m not sure what the perceived downside was at the time, other than parting with cash. Most people with an idea in mind on how to redeem would have jumped at this I think?

      • Harry T says:

        I guess there was always the chance AY would go under.

      • will says:

        It wasn’t completely clear (to me at least) how long the status would roll over for or if it would soft land so I went in anticipating a year of Oneworld Emerald and a Sapphire partner card for a year and a requirement to use the Finnair points which I was happy with.

        3 years of status for both myself and partner and some avios instead of Finnair points has worked out beyond the upper end of what I expected from the offer.

    • Throwawayname says:

      I didn’t buy platinum, but I did max out. As oneworld doesn’t really work for most of my routes, the status ended up being virtually useless, apart from one entry in the MAD T4 Schengen lounge before a domestic flight. However I did bag two return AY business class tickets to the Far East just before last year’s devaluation and the avios I have left over should be sufficient for an IB ticket to Latin America.

      It was an amazing deal, and I was quite happy with my Finnair flights, but I am not in a rush to fly them again, particularly as MCOL had to be involved for a hotel stay caused by a schedule change and they even had the cheek to try and get my claim thrown away (so they ended up paying even more, including for the cost equivalent of my annual leave, in order to settle a week before the hearing was going to take place).

      • meta says:

        But you will rush to fly IB which are equally if not worse when it comes to MCOL…

        • Throwawayname says:

          The Finnair claim wasn’t my first one against an airline and I am not naive enough to think it’ll be the last one either. Water off a duck’s back.

  • elt says:

    “a oneworld airline which does not award Avios. This would include Cathay Pacific, ”
    Am confused.
    I thought Cathay does award avios.
    Pl can someone confirm
    Thanks

    • LittleNick says:

      I think they mean airlines who do not use Avios as their reward currency

  • QFFlyer says:

    What’s the go with BAEC HHAs? QR can transfer in to HHAs, so I assume AY will be the same?

  • Hardy says:

    I think it’s great. I’ve always found different availability on BA, Iberia, Qatar and Finnair reward searches. And it’ll be great to be able to have more choices and availability.
    I just flew Qatar ticketed economy ticket that let me select and fly Finnair premium economy DoH-Arn, so arbitrage is possible.
    Plus don’t forget as status holders you get extra legroom economy seats on Finnair which are far superior to premium economy hard product in my opinion as this cabin is often empty and you can have poor man’s business class 90% of the time.
    Finnair lounges are good.
    Airplane food, and service is poor, but so is British, Iberia and pretty much any non ME or Singapore airline.
    Based in Tallinn it also means I can finally book Nordic Regional on award and long haul doesn’t add extra avois.
    I would love to know if it’s possible to do Finnair Tier runs and how they compare to BA.

  • David says:

    According to T&Cs no open jaws on AY awards.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      But nothing to stop you booking it as two one ways?

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Has anyone managed to link their accounts yet? I keep getting errors and have tried different browsers, incognito/private windows, etc…

    • SG says:

      Yes, I’ve just successfully done it and transferred points. You need to set up two factor authentication on your Finnair Plus account first.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Yes, I did that.

        It’s finally worked after multiple attempts. Typical airline IT garbage 🙂

    • Kellyk says:

      Yep, just transferred 266,680 finnair avios to BA to Qatar , simple set up of 2 factor authentication, pretty much instantaneous

      • Kellyk says:

        Forgot to mention : used iphone, from finnair app to BA app to Qatar app
        No problems

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

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