Finnair run a campaign back in November (read more here) that allowed Finnair Plus members to buy points with a 100% bonus and earn up to 75,000 elite qualifying points in the process.
With the elite qualifying points earned and the ability to convert regular points to elite ones, Finnair Plus members could essentially buy a Platinum status (Oneworld Emerald) with all the vouchers it comes with (+ Finnair has to keep extended tiers due to travel bans in place) and even points left for later use.
You can access Finnair’s page for buying points here.
Here’s the story back from December:
Finnair says that this was their most successful points sale even. 3,000 members bought points, and the average transaction was 72,000 (unclear if this was BEFORE the 100% bonus).
I was in touch with Finnair about how much revenue this brought in, but they didn’t feel comfortable elaborating more than they did on their published article.
You can do a back in the envelope calculation with an average points purchase of 72,000 points (assumed BEFORE bonus) and 3,000 buyers, that it should be roughly 3 million euros less the fees that Points.com, a Canadian company that processes these purchases for Finnair and many other airlines and hotels, charges.
Here’s an excerpt from the Finnair story:
In November 2020, Finnair ran its most successful ever points campaign, showing that even while travel remains limited, members are still keen to rack up points and look forward to the future.
During the two week long campaign, members could buy Finnair Plus award points and earn up to 100 percent bonus award points, as well as 25 percent bonus tier points on the total award point transaction. So a purchase of 150,000 award points meant securing another 150,000 award points as a bonus and a further 75,000 bonus tier points. 3,000 people bought points, with an average transaction of 72,000 award points.
“The November points campaign was our most successful ever by some distance and showed that members are very hungry to invest in future travels and status, despite the current situation,” says Karolina Baszarkiewicz, Head of Finnair Loyalty.
“It shows that members believe in the future of Finnair and air travel and they want to invest now in order to save later. Award points will never expire if you have a single points transaction at least every 18 months.”
By buying new points, members were able to move through the different membership tiers and gain extra benefits, such as business class check in, priority security at the airport, free internet access in the air and additional baggage allowance. “Members were able to jump from basic membership to Gold status thanks to the tier points on offer with this campaign,” adds Karolina.
Members can spend their award points on upgrades, lounge access and award flights. We caught up with three Finnair Plus members to see how they plan to use their points once travel restrictions ease.
The story also features some Finnair Plus members and their travel plans once the pandemic is over.
Not sure what is the usual uptake on these Finnair points sales that we cover? It seems that if you try to be a bit more innovative than just offering a bonus, it creates buzz and better incentivize members to open up their wallets and spend some cash.
Considering how depressed the travel and hospitality sector has been for the past 12 months, why wouldn’t airlines and hotels offer elite qualifying points and miles for buying their loyalty currency as Finnair did in late 2020?
Let’s hope that Finnair and other travel sector companies offer promotions like this in 2021!