Strategically buying points for premium travel can be a great value. The Finnair Plus program has just launched its latest promotion on purchasing points. While it’s not nearly as lucrative as the promotions we saw last winter and this spring, it’s still potentially an attractive offer.
Buy Finnair Plus points at a huge discount
Through Sunday, September 11, 2022, Finnair Plus is offering up to a 30% discount on purchased points. The promotion is tiered, as follows:
- Buy 6,000-19,000 points, get a 10% discount
- Buy 20,000-59,000 points, get a 20% discount
- Buy 60,000-200,000 points, get a 30% discount
Ordinarily Finnair charges as little as 1.2875 cents (in EUR) per purchased point. If you purchased 200,000 points through this promotion you’d pay a total of 1,802.50 EUR (~$1,804), which is a rate of ~0.9 cents per point. That has the potential to be a good deal, but it’s not as good of a deal as we saw this spring, when Finnair sold points for closer to 0.7 cents each.
Which credit card should you buy Finnair Plus points with?
Finnair Plus points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending. Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending.
In this case the best option is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), which offer 2x miles and have no foreign transaction fees. Usually the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (review) would also be good options for maximizing everyday spending, but the cards have foreign transaction fees, so wouldn’t be a good option in this case.
Personally I consider the Capital One Venture X to offer a 3.4% return on spending. So if you want to do the math differently, that lowers the real cost per purchased point from ~0.9 cents to ~0.87 cents.
Is buying Finnair Plus points worth it?
~0.9 cents per point is quite a low acquisition cost for an airline points currency, though we have seen better offers in the past. While Finnair Plus is more of a niche program, there are plenty of situations where you can get value when you consider the cost of acquiring points here.
Finnair Plus points can be used for upgrades from economy to business class, which is a good use of points, given the limited fare class restrictions. The cost of upgrades ranges from 7,500 points to 50,000 points one-way, depending on how far you’re flying.
If you’re in a situation where you have a paid economy ticket on Finnair, buying points in order to upgrade could be an exceptional value.
If you want to outright redeem for an award ticket on Finnair, the Finnair Plus program also has pretty good award pricing, with no fuel surcharges. For example, a one-way transatlantic flight will cost you 80,000 points.
At an acquisition cost of 0.9 cents per point, that’s like paying ~$720 for a one-way transatlantic business class ticket, which is awesome. The catch is that Finnair is fairly stingy when it comes to award availability, so you’ll want to make sure you take a close look at award availability prior to making any purchases, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Furthermore, keep in mind that Finnair is axing transatlantic flights out of Stockholm, and instead launching several routes to Doha.
You can also redeem for partner airline flights, including on other oneworld airlines, though in general that’s not going to be a great value. Finnair has different award charts for different partners.
Just to give some examples, here’s the one-way award chart for travel on American Airlines:
Then here’s the one-way award chart for travel on Cathay Pacific:
If you ask me, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about here for partner award redemptions. 27,000 points for a domestic one-way economy award on American, or 180,000 points for a US to Asia one-way first class award on Cathay Pacific, aren’t exactly great deals.
In many cases you’d be better off buying miles through Alaska Mileage Plan or American AAdvantage at a discount. Then again, at the rate at which Finnair Plus is selling points, it’s kind of hard to go wrong.
Finnair Plus has launched a promotion on purchased points, which could potentially represent a good deal. The program is offering up to a 30% discount on purchased points, allowing members to acquire points for 0.9 cents each.
This could be worth it if you have an immediate use in mind for Finnair Plus points, like if you see a business class award redemption available. However, without an immediate use in mind I’d recommend waiting for a future promotion, as Finnair has offered significantly more lucrative promotions in the past.
Does anyone plan on taking advantage of this promo on Finnair Plus points?