Use Finnair Avios to book Nordic / Scandinavian hotels at 2c per point or better


Booking hotels with airline miles is almost always an awful value, even when there is a “deal” to do so. You’re almost always getting very low value per mile, particularly if you’re comparing not just to the price shown on the airline booking platform but the lowest price you can find elsewhere for the same hotel. However, I picked up a great tip at The Travel Summit in Toronto recently: Avios can be used for very good value for a couple of hotel chains in Scandinavia. This is surely a niche redemption and unlike other great hotel award deals this one requires a cash outlay, but it’s cool to see a way to get north of 2c per point (in some cases well north) when using Avios toward hotels.

A niche opportunity with select Scandinavian brands

This opportunity is certainly one to be described as “niche”. The short story is that Finnair has a few hotel brand partners that offer the opportunity to get outsized value for Avios by purchasing a voucher (think like a free night certificate) for a fixed amount of cash and fixed number of Avios that can then be used on a night when a participating hotel is offering redemption. Actually, Finnair offers this type of opportunity with a few chains and also with several specific individual hotels, but for the purposes of this post I am focusing on the two hotels chains with the broadest use case rather than single-hotel vouchers.

You can find the page with full details of Finnair’s hotel partnerships here:

Finnair hotel partnerships page

Believe it or not, there are very good opportunities here, but I wanted to note at the outset that the most broadly interesting part of this boils down to a not-so-broad use case of two Scandinavian hotel brands:

  • Scandic Hotels. Wikipedia says that “Scandic Hotels is a hotel chain headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with its main operations in the Nordic countries. Alongside hotels in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, the company also has a presence in Germany and Poland. As of 31 December 2018, the company had 11,560 employees and operated 283 hotels with 51,693 guest rooms.”
  • Sokos Hotels. Wikipedia says that “Sokos Hotels is a Finnish hotel chain. It is the largest hotel chain in Finland, with a total of 48 hotels in 30 different cities and municipalities. Forty-seven hotels are located in Finland and one in Tallinn, Estonia.”

There are some other hotel chains and individual hotels and resorts that offer vouchers that may be of good value, though not all of them provide a booking code to easily search for availability until after you’ve purchased a voucher (which makes it harder to know whether they are worthwhile in advance).

Obviously a good deal on hotels that are only found in Scandinavia is not the most broadly useful deal we’ve ever covered. Still, I find this opportunity really interesting for two reasons:

  1. It represents a rare opportunity to get very good value out of airline miles for hotel bookings
  2. Hotels in Scandinavia can sometimes be quite expensive (and so can everything else in Scandinavia!), so saving a chunk of change on the hotel can help free up cash for other priorities.

Some (many?) readers won’t find this interesting for two main reasons:

  1. The scope of this is quite limited: the participating hotels are limited to Scandinavia.
  2. This isn’t a way to book hotels “for free”. There is an unavoidable cash component that won’t appeal to those who avoid using cash at all costs.

Nonetheless, for the novelty of a way to get good value out of airline miles for hotels, I had to dig into it a bit and write about it.

And as noted above, there are some other similar award night voucher opportunities with specific individual hotels that may be of value in some instances. It’s probably worth taking a look at the partnerships page if you’re planning a trip to the region. Just keep in mind that while the “exchange Avios” for points schemes aren’t going to provide terribly good value, the “award voucher” opportunities can probably, in at least some cases, offer the opportunity for outsized value (but not “free” hotel nights).

If you find an incredible redemption opportunity through one of the other partnerships, please let us know in the comments.

Finnair voucher system for Scandic & Sokos Hotels

The Finnair Avios hotel redemptions that provide good value function very differently from the way that most airline programs allow for hotel redemptions. Most airlines simply offer a booking portal where you can pay with your miles at some poor fixed value.

However, some of Finnair’s partners, including both Sokos Hotels and Scandic Hotels, operate in a very different way. Rather than booking your hotel through Finnair, you instead buy a voucher (think of it like a “free night certificate”) from Finnair for a fixed price that includes both a cash component and an Avios component. Then you redeem the voucher with the hotel program.

Conveniently, the Finnair site lists a coupon code you can search on either hotel chain website to find availability for use of a voucher so you’ll know whether or not you can use a voucher before you buy it. Here is the pertinent information about the vouchers available for these two brands:

Scandic Hotels Vouchers

Scandic Hotels has two different vouchers available:

  • Scandic Basic voucher: 68.21 Euro + 2,000 Avios. This voucher works at Scandic hotels except the following properties: Scandic Grand Central, Marski, Scandic Simonkenttä, Hotel Norge, Grand Hotel Oslo, Downtown Camper, Haymarket and Scandic Falkoner. Search for availability at with code VOY.
  • Scandic Premium voucher: 106.87 Euro + 2,000 Avios. This voucher provides an award night at the following hotels: Scandic Grand Central Helsinki, Marski, Scandic Simonkenttä, Hotel Norge, Grand Hotel Oslo, Downtown Camper, Haymarket and Scandic Falkoner. Search for availability at with code VOFINN.

Sokos Hotels Voucher

Sokos Hotels offer one type of voucher:

I don’t love the voucher system because there is at least some potential for trouble. Vouchers are also only valid for six months. If for some reason you need to postpone / cancel your trip, you’ll have to reschedule quickly or risk losing the value of what you paid entirely. That stinks (and for that reason, I’d only recommend buying a voucher close to check-in, though of course you never know when these redemptions could change or be removed).

Still, I far prefer this system to a fixed-point-value system where there is no chance at outsized value.

It’s worth noting that availability for voucher use varies considerably. Some properties I’ve checked seem to be frequently available with a voucher, others seem to frequently be unavailable. I wouldn’t expect this play to result in a room in the heart of peak season, but I did find numerous examples where it appears to yield very good value (and the person who shared the tip with me has used these before and indicated that they do work as intended).

Scandic Hotels example value

Scandic Hotels is a larger chain than Sokos Hotels that is found in several Nordic countries and also in Germany and Poland. You’ll use code VOY at to search for voucher availability.

Value varies quite a bit from one property and set of dates to another, but in almost all situations I checked, I found Scandic hotels to be a pretty good value when a voucher booking is available.

I searched for a Friday night this month in Stockholm and I found four Scandic hotels accepting a voucher. That’s not great odds compared to the 26 total Scandic hotels listed, but nonetheless there was some availability (an in other situations, I found many hotels with availability).

The first example above, the Scandic Victoria Tower, has a number of different rates available. As the voucher offers free cancellation and rebooking (but I imagine you can’t refund the voucher via Finnair), it makes sense to compare to the “free rebooking, non-refundable” rate, which at 2157 SEK for the member rate is about $198.55 based on the current exchange rate.

Paying less than $74 + 2,000 Avios seems like a fantastic deal there as you’re getting about $125 off the hotel rate with 2,000 Avios — a rate of 6.25c per Avios!

But it can actually get even better than that. After you put the Scandic Hotel voucher in your cart with Finnair, you can adjust the number of Avios you use to buy the voucher if you want to use fewer Avios. Note that you’ll need Avios in your account in order to get the voucher in your cart and adjust the number of Avios (I transferred instantly from Capital One to Finnair).

If you used the minimum number of Avios to buy the voucher, you’d actually be using 500 Avios to save about $118. I’ll leave it to the reader to do the math on that deal :-D.

I should note that voucher terms indicate that they are only valid Friday to Sunday, though when I searched for voucher availability, I sometimes found many different nights out of the week available. Here’s a look at a 5-night stretch at a Scandic property in Rovaniemi, Finland in October that is available each night with a voucher. Update: I’ve heard that the vouchers really are only valid Friday to Sunday, so you may run into problems if you try to redeem a voucher on another day of the week.

Unfortunately, availability for the voucher code (VOY) only extends 5-6 months. I couldn’t yet find any availability in November or December, which is of course when hotel rates skyrocket in Rovaniemi for those looking to visit Santa Claus Village. Still, I am going to keep my eye on this.

All the excitement aside, it is worth noting that this isn’t always a fantastic deal. For instance, on the same Friday in Stockholm referenced above, I found the Scandic Upplands Vasby available for a voucher, but the comparison rate here would be 1092 SEK, which is just over $100. I wouldn’t be as excited to to pay 68.21 EUR + 2,000 Avios for a hotel that only costs $100 (though maybe I wouldn’t mind paying 74.42 Eur + 500 Avios if it was a place where I wanted to stay).

Sokos Hotels

Sokos Hotels are a Finnish chain that only exists in Finland and Tallin, Estonia. Their properties are apparently divided into three different brand categories:

  • Original: Traditional hotels in city-center locations
  • Break: Resort-like properties
  • Solo: Higher-end, more personalized service properties

The properties I’ve checked out thus far get good reviews, though of course you’ll need to do your own research for specific properties. These don’t look like luxury hotels, but they look like solid mid-market options with a few that are probably well above average. Value varies, but there are definitely some opportunities to get a great deal using Avios.

Take, for example, the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni in Helsinki. Cash rates for a randomly selected date next month start at 232 Euro for 1 person in a “Solo Single”.

You can use promo code AYPLUS20 to search for voucher availability and see that the Solo Single, Solo Queen, Solo Twin, and Solo King room types are all available with the voucher from Finnair.

At the low end, you’re getting a room selling for 232 Euro for 84.41 Euro + 5,000 Avios. In that case, 5,000 Avios is saving you 147.59 Euro. That’s about $159 at today’s exchange rate — a value of 3.18c per Avios! That would be a great deal.

If you would book the Solo King, you’re saving and additional 21 Euro off that room type, getting $181.77 in USD off of the room rate with your 5,000 Avios for a value of 3.6c per point!

Similarly to how it works with Scandic hotels though, you can choose to pay a higher cash component and fewer Avios. That would work out pretty nicely here since just 500 Avios would save you ~129 Euro.

It is very rare to get that kind of value out of airline miles for hotel rooms.

To be clear, not all hotels offer as good a deal for the Avios. Value varies tremendously by date and location. For instance, I found voucher availability at the Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo for a date in early July 2024, but cash rates were so low that 5,000 Avios would get you less than 1cpp. Paying fewer Avios would still give you a good value per point, though maybe not such a compelling value as to go out of your way to save a few Euro.

By the way, if you’re looking at that hotel and feeling like that doesn’t look the way you’d expect given the “Break” classification (which is said to include resort-like amenities), you’re not alone. However, I was surprised to see that property does indeed have a water park and bowling alley, so I guess it’s more resorty than it looks.

Still, I probably wouldn’t be all that interested in a voucher for that property given the relatively low rates — I’d just pay the cash rate if I wanted to stay at the Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo (and I have to admit that I kinda do!).

Other properties seem like they could vary wildly according to season. For instance, there is an “Original” Sokos hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland, which you may remember from my final stop in the 3 Cards 3 Continents Challenge and/or from my review of our trip there with the kids this past winter to visit Santa Claus Holiday Village at Christmastime. I picked a Friday night at the beginning of July, and cash rates start at 173 EUR.

That makes a voucher a pretty good deal at 84.41 EUR + 5,000 Avios. In that case, the Avios are saving you about $95 USD, a respectable value of 1.9c per Avios.

Unfortunately, voucher availability with Sokos Hotels only seems to extend for two months into the future. That’s too bad because I wish I could see whether or not these would work when the hotel is charging in-season rates like this weekday in December.

I don’t think it’s possible to book more than 2 months in advance for a voucher rate with Sokos Hotels and that obviously limits the utility since it wouldn’t be possible to plan for a voucher far in advance. Still, if you’re planning within a couple months of your trip, some of the properties could work out to be a great deal.

Bottom line

Scandic Hotels and Sokos Hotels obviously won’t meet a broad need on the hotel redemption side of things, but on the flip side a knowledge of these redemptions could have potentially made my trip to Santa Claus Village last winter (or during the 3 Cards 3 Continents challenge!) much more reasonably-priced. While Strawberry Hotels (formerly called Nordic Choice and widely bookable through Choice Privileges) have long been known to be a way to get great value for points in Scandinavia, Scandic and Sokos Hotels present the possibility to get even stronger value per point for those willing to lay out some cash with their points. Given the broad coverage of these hotel brands in Scandinavia, I’ll certainly have my eye on Finnair’s partnerships the next time my travels bring me to the region.

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Sorry to be pedantic, but before an actual Scandinavian corrects you, as they did me 🙂 the last time I made this mistake, the region Scandinavia typically comprises Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, although some include Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Expanding the region to include Finland and Estonia would be properly referred to as the Nordic countries.


Iceland and the Faroe Islands are Scandinavian lands. Their languages and culture are Scandinavian, although they are not as closely related to the continental Scandinavian countries in terms of language at least. The Nordic countries indeed include Finland + the Scandinavian countries. Finland’s majority language historically has more in common with Hungarian than with Scandinavian languages — although hundreds of years of a Swedish union with Finland and the imposition of a Swedish aristocracy on Finland did have some lasting impacts and open the door to close ties between Sweden and Finland anyway even as the core of the Finnish language is basically indecipherable to the vast majority of Swedes. Finns — speaking of the majority that doesn’t self-identify as being ethno-linguistic Swedes — often still seem to have at least some basic Swedish language ability.

The article title could be corrected to indicate Scandinavian and Nordic hotels. The bulk of the Scandic hotels are in Scandinavia, even as there are Scandic hotels in Finland too.


The Scandic Stockholm properties mentioned here as available examples using the Finnair vouchers are unfortunately not the better located ones for visitors who want to be in “the heart of the city”.

Given the very weak Swedish currency nowadays, the pricing variability of more central Stockholm hotels, and alternative points redemption opportunities for hotels in Stockholm, shop around before considering locking up the airline points in the hotel vouchers if you’re interested in staying in Stockholm.


I am so happy I heard this on the podcast! We are going to be in Northern Norway next March. Thank you for sharing!
Right now, I know we definitely need a hotel in Tromso on our arrival night. Scandic has a 300 euro room available for the basic voucher. The only option is “pay later” so I assume we give them the voucher at check-in. I made the reservation. On Finnair, it says the voucher is only valid for 6 months. So am I correct in thinking that I can’t purchase the voucher until at the earliest 6 months out from March (September). Therefore, I run the risk of the voucher price increasing or disappearing. Correct? The room is fully cancellable until 6pm on day of arrival, so how close to that date would you purchase the voucher?


Yes, I was surprised there was availability. I first checked in September and saw rooms for the voucher available and then tried my date in March and there was availability for the weekdays, not Fri/Sat/Sun. Luckily, we needed a room on Thurs 3/7/25. Thanks again for the heads up!!


for those who don’t have CapOne – like me.

Coming: Transfer Avios between your accounts
If you have a British Airways Executive Club account, later in spring 2024 you will be able to link your Finnair Plus and British Airways Executive Club accounts and transfer your Avios between your loyalty program accounts. This means that your opportunities to collect and use Avios are significantly wider than previously, as you will have access to not just Finnair Plus awards but also British Airways Executive Club rewards. 

Furthermore, you can link a British Airways Executive Club account to Qatar Airways Privilege Club or Iberia Plus account, if you have one. This will widen your opportunities to collect and spend Avios even more and make your Finnair Plus membership even more useful to you.

on their website it says Amex MR can be used – but that seems to be on Amex Finnish cards.


great write up!


I was at Scandic Grand Central Helsinki. Very convenient location as adjacent to the Central train station of Helsinki. Direct link to the airport and only steps away from major downtown area. But the best thing about the hotel is its massive buffet spread. The delicious spread with variety is on par with the type of breakfast buffet you will get at a Grand Hyatt or Westin Marriott. I think breakfast buffet is included at all Scandic properties except in Germany & Poland.


Breakfast buffet is no longer included at all Scandic properties in Sweden. While most Scandic hotels in the country include breakfast for all checked-in guests, not all include breakfast for all guests. For example, Scandic’s Haymarket hotel in Stockholm has some direct sale rate plans that do not include breakfast, so you have to pay a higher rate or a supplement if you want breakfast at that Scandic. And it’s not the only Scandic in the country that at least sometimes does this. I was very surprised when I first ran into this situation with a Scandic hotel in Sweden several years ago since I had long been used to the brand having all its Swedish hotels including breakfast for all guests.