American’s oneworld partner Finnair is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased points and will give you elite qualifying miles equal to 25% of the miles you buy through November 16. What’s more, the Finnair Plus program lets you convert miles into elite qualifying miles as well. As a result you can buy that mid-tier elite status easily and access American’s lounges, or even buy top tier oneworld emerald status.
I’ve had American Airlines Executive Platinum status for a decade, but I’ve been meaning to earn mid-tier elite status in a oneworld frequent flyer program as well for some time. That’s because American will let partner oneworld Sapphire members use its international business class Flagship lounges, even when flying American Airlines on domestic trips. With so little international travel, these lounges are currently closed. But I’m excited for them to re-open, and hope to be traveling internationally again quite a bit in 2021. That makes this tempting.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge LAX
American Airlines Flagship Lounge Chicago O’Hare
Here’s the mileage bonus offer:
- 60% Bonus: Buy 5,000 – 49,000 points
- 80% Bonus: Buy 50,000 – 99,000 points
- 100% Bonus: Buy 100,000 – 150,000 points
If you buy 150,000 points, you get 300,000 points and 75,000 elite qualifying points.
Finnair requires 30,000 qualifying points for silver, 80,000 qualifying points for Gold (oneworld sapphire), and 150,000 points for Platinum (oneworld emerald). Their Platinum Lumo tier requires 450,000 points and 350,000 must be from Finnair flights, so that’s not an option here.
- If you convert 15,000 of the 300,000 points you’ve purchased, you have 80,000 qualifying points – and oneworld sapphire status – along with 275,000 points to redeem.
- If you convert 225,000 of the 300,000 points you’ve purchased, you have 150,000 qualifying points – and oneworld emerald status – and still have 75,000 points left to redeem.
In March Alaska Airlines will become a oneworld member and the benefits you’ve purchased will be useful on Alaska, too. And if you don’t already have airline elite status of some kind, you can take your Finnair status and match it to another airline (like Turkish Airlines for Star Alliance Gold status, and access to domestic United Airlines lounges when flying United).
Finnair’s award prices aren’t cheap. For instance expect to pay 160,000 miles roundtrip between the U.S. and Europe flying Finnair. One-ways are more expensive than half a roundtrip, and they add fuel surcharges to redemptions. And award prices vary by partner but are generally more expensive still.
Finnair miles aren’t worth as much as most U.S. airline miles, but you’re getting some value out of those that helps offset the cost of buying elite status with this promotion.
(HT: Frequent Flyer Bonuses)
If you did this and wanted to use the status while flying American, would you need to credit any miles earned to your Finnair account?
Can you advise (if you know) what sort of a “year” Finnair operates on – is it a traditional calendar year system or more of a system like BA’s where the year starts/ends on the date one enrolls?
@jfhscott – When you open an account you start a 12 month tracking period. When you reach a new status tier, status if valid for the rest of your current 12 month period plus 12 months. I believe if you did this with a new account you’d effectively have status for 24 months but I am open to correction from Finnair Plus experts.
“That’s because American will let partner oneworld Sapphire members use its international business class Flagship lounges, even when flying American Airlines on domestic trips.”
Does this include domestic trips in Economy? If so, that would take this from “ignore” to “maybe”
Thank you, Gary,
24 months creates a much more fantastic value proposition, especially given that many people have no use for status for some time!.
@Kingmaker – yes domestic economy trips. of course we do not know when business class lounges will re-open so for now you’d have to settle for currently-open Admirals Clubs
I don’t think so, Scooter. Just get the Citi Exec credit card for $450 and get lounge access. Much cheaper.
Why would anyone want that? No one is traveling. Literally no one !!
@Ryan, thank you for the PSA announcing that you are not traveling. The world appreciates your input.
Newbie question: Can the 300,000 Finnair points be used on a 1 to 1 basis on other OneWorld carriers
Just got back to the States from a weeks vacay in Antigua
Bahamas end of the month. Literally
@Robert – you have to spend them based on Finnair’s own award charts, which I link to at the bottom of the post. You can travel on other oneworld airlines, but you book with Finnair and pay Finnair’s prices which are usually higher than what you’d expect from, for instance, American AAdvantage