Finnair Selling Top Tier Elite Status (Includes Lounge Access on American, oneworld Airlines)

American Airlines partner and oneworld member Finnair is offering up to a 100% bonus on purchased miles, and buying miles also earns elite status miles. Through December 27 you can buy miles for an award ticket and become a mid-tier or top tier elite without flying.

And since Finnair elite status is oneworld status,

  • Finnair Plus Gold is oneworld sapphire. That means lounge access when you fly American Airlines including Flagship lounge access even on domestic U.S. flights (something American reserves for their own Concierge Key members).


    Especially relevant for Europeans Golds receive 4 one way upgrades on European flights.

  • Finnair Plus Platinum is oneworld emerald. That means first class lounge access when traveling on oneworld airlines that offer the product, regardless of class of service flown, and when those lounges are open. You can access British Airways Galleries First, Cathay Pacific Wing and Pier first class lounges, Qantas first class lounges, etc.


    Worth noting that Platinums receive 2 business class upgrades for long haul and 4 on European flights, and can nominate someone for Gold status (who will become a oneworld sapphire and get American Airlines Flagship lounge access).


Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney

Here’s the offer.

POINTS PURCHASED AWARD POINT BONUS TIER POINT BONUS
1,000–4,000 points 0% 25%
5,000–49,000 points 40% 25%
50,000–99,000 points 60% 25%
100,000–149,000 points 80% 25%
150,000–200,000 points 100% 25%
EXAMPLE PURCHASE BONUS AWARD POINTS BONUS TIER POINTS
5,000 points 2,000 1,750
50,000 points 30,000 20,000
100,000 points 80,000 45,000
200,000 points 200,000 100,000


American Airlines Flagship Lounge, New York JFK

If you buy 160,000 Finnair points you’ll end up with 320,000 points and 80,000 elite qualifying points which gets you Gold status and therefore oneworld Sapphire status.

If you buy 200,000 points (EUR2575) you’ll receive 400,000 points plus 100,000 elite qualifying points. You still need 50,000 more points for Platinum. But Finnair lets you convert their redeemable miles into elite qualifying points at 3:1 (for €10 online or €20 by phone). So convert 150,000 points and you wind up with a net of:

  • 250,000 points
  • 150,000 elite points and Platinum status

As for the value of the miles themselves Finnair Plus’ partner awards tend to be expensive, but redeeming for travel on Finnair itself is more reasonable – 80,000 miles each way for U.S. flights (plus fuel surcharges).

(HT: Frequent Flyer Bonuses)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. This is intriguing if the status will last thru the end of 2023. Any idea on when the newly acquired status will end?

  2. Interesting opportunity. Looking at the fine print at the Finn Air site, it says “Please note that exchanged points cannot make more than half of the tier points needed to maintain your current tier or to move up to the next one.” The 50,000 converted points would be a third of what is needed in total and would appear to qualify. But would Finn Air let you jump straight to the Platinum tier or would they count the first 100,000 towards getting the first 30,000 (Silver) and next 50,000 (Gold at 80,000) and only consider the remaining 20,000 of 100,000 tier points purchased not to be converted and the 50,000 converted might represent 5/7 of the tier points needed to get from Gold to Platinum. I’d want that clarified before buying in. Also, it’s €5/€10 per 5,000 points converted, so €100 to convert the full 50,000 tier points. If doable, sounds interesting for any AA elites who didn’t get around to requalifying.

  3. A couple of questions:

    (1) Who can use the upgrades? The member, a travel companion, or anyone designated by the member?
    (2) Does this count as an airline purchase with bonus miles on certain credit cards? I’d love to squeeze another 15,000 Amex points out of this, if I could.

  4. gary are you sure of the buy in (the 2nd part) to get to Platinum from No status at all?

  5. I just checked. A tracking period always lasts 12 months and recurs automatically. When you reach a new tier, that tier membership will continue for the rest of your previous tracking period plus the next 12 months.

    Meaning to say if you buy the miles and got to Platinum status by December 27, 2021, your tracking year starts on December 27,2021 if you registered your account by that same date that you bought the miles. So which means you will have Platinum Status from December 27,2021 till December 31, 2022 tracking year (because FinnAir plus tracks on monthly basis irregardless if you start on Dec 1st or Dec 31st) PLUS 12 more months of platinum which means will last until December 31, 2023 at least. My Platinum status last till 31st January 2024.

  6. But this access will not get you in to AA Flagship First Dining…a separate lounge within Flagship Lounge?

  7. So I am nuts… I am considering this just to get Flagship access (I fly out of ORD very frequently)… But how would this work when I walk in to the club?
    Do I need to start putting my Finnair account on my American Airlines ticket (to permit access to Flagship?
    Do I show them something different?

  8. I did this, but I have mixed feelings about it. This costs $2900. At the end of the process, you’ve got 250,000 Finnair miles and Platinum status, plus Gold status for someone else. The miles equate to around $1800 of that. Realistically, given Finnair’s award chart, 250,000 Finnair miles are probably equivalent to something like 140,000 American Airlines miles, if used on OneWorld partners. The equivalent of 140,000 miles for $1800 (1.29 cents per mile) — pretty good, but not the steal of the century. The other part of this is more difficult to assess: Platinum/Gold for two years for $1100, plus a “soft landing” Gold, possibly, in 2024.. That includes domestic/foreign AA/BA lounge access (it seems), and (Plat/Gold together) 2 long-haul upgrades and 8 European upgrades, or 4 long-haul upgrades instead, apparently each year, on Finnair only. A single long-haul upgrade, if actually used, is probably worth something like $1500. The lounge access probably is worth $400 per year. I’m not going to assign any value to the shorter lines, heavier baggage, etc. So if one actually used at least one of the transatlantic upgrades, this part of the deal looks very good. Since Finnair apparently allows upgrades of award tickets, the best deal may be to book award tickets on Finnair in coach, and then upgrade using the upgrades. That would stretch the value of the 250,000 miles, because a transatlantic economy RT ticket on Finnair is “only” 90K miles. So if one did everything right, and there were availability, one could squeeze out almost three roundtrip transatlantic business class Finnair tickets (needing another 20K miles) this way, which of course would be worth much more than $2900.

  9. Has anyone successfully done this to get up to platinum? Whenever I go in the store, it only shows an option to convert up to 45,000 status miles.

    Also, there’s no urgency to convert, right? The only part of this promo that’s limited-time is, I think, the points bonus. So maybe I just need to let my status propagate through their systems before it will show the option to buy 50,000 status miles.

  10. @ Adventure NML:

    You have to do it in two pieces, if you convert to Platinum online. You also, apparently, can do it in one phone call. It won’t show you an option to convert 50,000 miles at one time.

    Apparently, there is a ‘hard stop’ at the end of this process, after two years, so to the extent that you let time go by, you are abbreviating the time that you will have at Platinum status.

  11. @ Joey

    The American Airlines website says that anyone non-AA OneWorld member can use the lounge when traveling on any OneWorld (including AA) flight. As to how, I imaging that you would show your OneWorld credential on the Finnair phone app, but you might (or might not) have to code Finnair on your ticket (the AA website doesn’t say that this is required).

  12. i tried calling today , waited on hold 2 hours and then the recording said that they cannot pick up the call. I too have a 40 k max option. The website says you can only do one online exchange in a tier period so I don;t know how you can do it twice. I think we got bad info. besides the miles i did it to get the emerald status.

  13. @Peter – A number of people have reported that the “once per tier period” rule is not enforced, and that was my experience, too. You just have to log out, and then log back in, between transactions.

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