(EXPIRED) Buy oneworld Emerald status through Finnair through 12/27

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About a week ago, One Mile at a Time flagged that Finnair is offering a promotion that I haven’t been able to fully analyze, but a number of readers have asked about it and I know that others may not have heard about it at all, so I wanted to write a post quickly recognizing that there is an opportunity to effectively buy oneworld elite status through a current Finnair bonus on purchased points (and the chance to buy enough points for a few cheap award tickets).

a seat in an airplane
Finnair business class looks pretty nice and you could buy the points to fly this transatlantic business class 5 times for less than $3K with this promotion.

The Deal

  • FinnairPlus is offering a bonus on points purchases as follows through 12/27 (note that this ends based on Finland’s time zone, so really Monday afternoon here):
    • Buy 5,000-49,000 points, get a 40% bonus
    • Buy 50,000-99,000 points, get a 60% bonus
    • Buy 100,000-149,000 points, get an 80% bonus
    • Buy 150,000-200,000 points, get a 100% bonus
  • Additionally, you will receive tier points equal to 25% of the number of points you purchase. This is based on the total number of points purchased including bonus points. For instance, if you purchase 200K points, you’ll get a 100% bonus in redeemable points (200K additional redeemable points) for a total of 400K redeemable points. Then you will also get a 25% bonus in tier points — i.e. 100K tier points (which are used for determining elite status)
  • You can also convert redeemable points to tier points at a ratio of 3 redeemable points to 1 tier point, which means you can end up with additional tier points (subject to a limit of 50% of the tier points for a required elite status level)
  • Direct link to this promotion

Key Terms

  • Transactions must be completed between 15 December (00:00:01 EET) and 27 December (23:59:59 EET) 2021 to receive the Finnair Plus points bonus. (Note the time zone — the promo is on until 4:59pm Eastern time on 12/27/21)
  • Finnair Plus award points bonus is only eligible on transactions of 5,000 points and above.
  • Whilst the promotion is active (15–27 December) The maximum amount of points Finnair Plus members can purchase for themselves or friends as a gift is 200,000 points. This limit is in addition to any points bought so far in the calendar year.
  • Finnair Plus bonus award and tier points will be awarded to the recipient instantly, at the time of transaction.
  • Tier points are valid until the end of your current tracking period.
  • All other Buy/Gift Finnair Plus points terms and conditions apply.

Quick Thoughts

The basics of the promotion are are as follows:

  • If you buy 200K points for $2,909, you’ll get a total of 400K redeemable points and 100K tier points, which is enough tier points for Finnair Gold / oneworld Sapphire status. That gets you American Airlines flagship lounge access even when traveling domestically.
  • You can then convert 150K of your redeemable points to 50K additional tier points. That would give you 150K total tier points, enough for Finnair Platinum / oneworld Emerald status (top tier). Finnair Platinum gets you two one-way upgrade vouchers for transatlantic travel.

The thing that makes this interesting is the ability to essentially buy oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status quite cheaply. The key AAdvantage of that is that oneworld Sapphire members who have status from a foreign program get access to American’s flagship lounges even when traveling domestically within the US. Those who go after oneworld Emerald will also enjoy oneworld first class lounge access.

One thing I’m not sure about is the official policy on lounge access when traveling on an AAdvantage award ticket. From comments I’ve read, it sounds like showing your oneworld Emerald status at the door may be enough to get you in to AA lounges, but I’m not sure if that’s on a case-by-case basis. If you are on a paid ticket, you could of course credit the flight to Finnair and associate your Finnair Plus number with your ticket and then I would expect lounge access to be automatic. However, I know that many of us are expecting to be very flush with American Airlines miles any day now and may be looking at more AA award bookings in the year to come.

Speaking of the year to come, from what Ben says, it sounds like elite status from the promotion may last until August of 2023, so you do get quite a while to enjoy benefits.

On previous glances at the Finnair award chart, I’ve never been very impressed. Most awards are downright expensive, but One Mile at a Time points out two sweet spots that might make this deal worth it for some:

  • Finnair Plus charges 80K miles for a one-way business class transatlantic award. If you bought 400K points for $2,909, you would have enough for 5 business class transatlantic (or Europe-to-Asia) one-ways. Alternatively, if you leverage 150K redeemable points to pick up oneworld Emerald status, you’ll still have enough points (250K remaining redeemable points) for 3 transatlantic one-ways in business class.
  • Using points to upgrade from economy class to business class on Finnair paid flights can also be reasonable (e.g. 50K points to upgrade on an intercontinental flight)

I could imagine some people being intrigued by the ability to essentially buy oneworld Emerald status, three transatlantic business class one-way tickets, and a couple of transatlantic one-way upgrade vouchers for $2,909. Personally, I’m not one of those people, but it isn’t hard to imagine that it would be a good deal for some.

I’m not particularly interested in this promotion for a few reasons though.

First, when traveling internationally, I am almost always flying in business or first class on an award ticket. I therefore already have lounge access in those situations.

Second, if I wanted American Airlines lounge access domestically, I’d probably get the Citi American Airlines Executive card that comes with lounge access and the ability to add a number of authorized users for its $450 annual fee. That’s a much cheaper way to access the lounge.

However, a reader pointed out that you won’t get flagship lounge access with the Executive card, so if that makes a difference to you this promotion might make more sense.

But the key reason I’m skipping out on this deal is of course the fact that I just invested heavily in buying American Airlines miles. While the price per mile here and the benefits might both be “deals”, I’m not looking to approach five figures worth of miles purchased this month. Between what I expect to earn via SimplyMiles and the never-ending Amex Points Parade, I just don’t need to invest this much more cash for a “deal” at this time. However, others will certainly disagree.

For more analysis on this deal, I strongly recommend checking out the One Mile at a Time post about this promotion as well as the comments on that post. I’m not diving into this one myself and won’t get around to any further analysis before the promotion ends on Monday, so One Mile at a Time is a good resource for those interested in this one.

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Chris N

I purchased mine on 26th Dec, everything went fine with credit card authentication and received a receipt instantly, however they canceled my transaction on 28th Dec with an email with no reason behind – just couldn’t complete the transaction. 🙁
I used my family member’s card to purchase and she lives in a different address, which is different to my mailing address on my profile. The Customer Service team said this could be the reason but they need to wait for the FinnAir plus team to find out the real reason.
I wish they had communicated this earlier to me, so that I could re-purchase the points under the promotion.
I have been trying to get in touch with them, and hopefully they will honour this.


This was a great deal for US and we bought the 400k pts. We did not convert for the higher status as Sapphire OW is great and works on domestic US too! Our airline status has lapsed due to health issues. We also do a lot repositioning cruises so one way business class trips are PERFECT! Helsinki and Stockholm are beautiful cities and we can stay for a few days before moving on if we want. They give you 4 SH upgrade certs as well. We live in FL so Miami and JFK are easy to get to with reasonable availability.

Like so many deals they don’t fit everyone and after a lot of research for the pitfalls we purchased. Delta Platinum AMEX has an opportunity to use their PLAN IT feature for pay it over 12/18/24 months with no fees if you used by 12/31 so our $2911 cost will be paid over 24 months.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ann

@ Nick — There is absolutely no reason to think that this status won’t gain you admission to AA lounges on AA award tickets. I’m not even sure where you get that idea. There are some good spots on Finnair’s award charts — I’ll let people do their own research. Finally, for a brand new account going for Platinum, this should be good for 24-25 or 36-37 months’ AA/AS domestic lounge access.


In this case, I would think AA would be happy to have Finnair pay them for the lounge access. Personally, I have never encountered any resistance from an AA agent to switching the FF number on a BA reservation, although I have never done this on a coach award where I might have received an upgrade or other benefit. I think worst case here will be HUCA…


What is the best way to change AA FFN to Finnair FFN before or after booking a AA award flight using AA Miles? It always defaults to the AA FFN when becoming from my AA account? Thank you


For me the status component benefit is marginal (already have Sapphire via Alaska), so that does not move the needle for me. The miles deal is a good one in itself (73 cpp!) but for those who can actually use the miles, which for me unfortunately is not happening anytime that I can see reliably.

The AA simplymiles deal did not show up in my account so could not take advantage of that 240x. But would have much rather sent $ 3K that way for 720K AA miles.


The only thing that gave me pause is that on the OMAAT thread, some people commented in how hard it was to use Finnair miles or Finnair J availability.

Great deal if you know you can get $3000 worth of flying from 250k points. Otherwise you are paying quite a bit for Oneworld status.

Can anyone comment in the real world application difference between Sapphire and Emerald? Do you notice the difference while traveling or do you have to go out id your way to find those First class lounges?


I took advantage of this. Just had AA Twitter swap my AA FF number for my Finnair number on an AA award ticket. Expect full benefits while flying next week.

Reno Joe

Having lounge access through both AA and BA, there is only one airport that I regularly use that does not have a lounge via these two programs. At that one airport, there is an AMEX affiliate lounge. I have never needed to use a Priority Pass lounge. Anyone else in the same boat?


I bought the 400,000 and converted to Emerald expiring 31 Dec, 2023. Had to make two conversions of pts to tier pts which was a little confusing as I had to log out and log back in to complete the second transaction.


Opted for buying 320k Finnair Plus miles for $2337 then booked two RT business tickets nonstop to HEL.

On top of that…
-Oneworld Sapphire through Jan 2024
-Access to AA Admirals Club, Flagship First and Alaska Airlines lounges even in domestic economy.
-Also plan to use status at the nice São Paulo Admiral’s Club for a short BA flight to EZE.
-AA Main Cabin Extra and AS PC extra legroom seats and extra bag check-in for no charge.
-Live in DFW so these are great perks for those AA short-hauls to the Caribbean and Central America (thinking BA Avios for AA economy with free lounge, luggage and extra legroom to like Costa Rica). Hope to focus the SimplyMiles windfall on the Qatar type long-hauls.
-Just made a BA seat assignments for no charge. Unfortunately have two BA pandemic-era eVouchers so will do so again.
-Plan intra-Europe flight from Frankfurt in spring. One world Sapphire has access to JAL First Class Sakura lounge at FRA if in business (Avios).

Reno Joe

Flagship Lounge, yes. Flagship First, no.




Interested in, “Just made a BA seat assignments for no charge.” What status gave you that ability, OneWorld Sapphire, Emerald or ??? I made a post on another site looking into this b/c this Finnair deal helps me if I’m able to book BA seats for free using the status I gain – have no status anywhere right now but anticipate AA and BA award travel for next 2 years.


I wonder how it would play out for those of us that were shutdown by AA 😀


Probably very well. Nothing here has anything to do with AAdvantage.