A new entry in the points for games market


Looking for new ways to redeem small numbers of points? If you’ve got a trivial balance in the Finnair Plus program there’s now a way to redeem them for something rather than letting the balance sit idle. Thanks to a new partnership with Social Party the Finnair Plus program now has a digital media store where points can be redeemed for games, apps and gift cards. The platform claims to be the first offering digital redemption focusing strictly on the best selling and most popular mobile and video game entertainment.

Based on that it should be no surprise that Angry Birds is a big part of their offering.

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There are also iTunes and Facebook gift cards available in a variety of denominations and currencies:

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From a valuation perspective the numbers vary, though none are especially spectacular. The PC version of Angry Birds comes in around a penny per point while the Bad Piggies iPad game appears to retail for $0.99 making the points valuation less than a quarter cent per point for that purchase, a decidedly bad rate (or I missed something, but I don’t think I did).

According to company chairman Olli Kallioinen the pricing for the redemptions is variable based on the prices for the apps and such in the portals. This process is automated so that the company can simply set the conversion rates and then let the portal handle the transactions, including adjusting the points required as the app vendors adjust their pricing.

Kallioinen sees the offering as unlocking small award balances, adding value to the programs for the very occasional customer:

This also helps loyalty programs and FFPs to reward majority of their loyalty members and casual flyers having only small amount of points or miles. In Finnair’s Game Shop you are able to redeem Angry Birds Star Wars II with only 400 points which is less than you could earn from one-way domestic flight here in Finland. Rewarding low points holders isn’t possible in traditional FFP stores where huge amount of points and cash are needed + shipping fees.

It is true that the traditional programs have something of a sliding scale where a very small points balance has essentially zero value while large balances have much higher per-point valuation. Approaches such as this one do increase the value for those very small balances. A scenario which lets more people redeem a few points every now and then should be good for most. So long as it doesn’t shift the balance of redemptions such that the programs end up reducing the value at the higher end stuff. Then again, redeeming a lot more people a little bit rather than a few people a lot is probably better for the programs anyways. So maybe we’re going that direction on purpose.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .
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