NEW – earn Avios when ordering foreign currency from Travelex

Amazingly, for the last year or so, it has been impossible to earn Avios when purchasing foreign currency.  At some point British Airways has had deals with Travelex, Moneycorp and American Express, but was left stranded when it split up with Travelex only to discover that it was taking over the American Express positions in Terminal 5.

Avios and Travelex appear to be best buddies again.   You can earn Avios points when you pre-order foreign currency via the Travelex website for collection at the airport or delivered.

The webpage you need is here.   This drops you straight into the currency calculator.   Don’t go via the Travelex homepage as there is no option there to add your Avios account details.

Travelex Avios partnership

Travelex lets you pre-order over 40 currencies and collection is available with as little as four hours notice.

This is what you need to know:

You collect 1 Avios for every £1 when exchanging over £300

Collect 1 Avios for every £2 when exchanging below £300

You must pre-order via the Travelex website here, for airport collection, for Travelex store collection or delivery

Home delivery is free if you exchange over £500, chargeable if you exchange less

You can credit your Avios to BA, Iberia Plus or avios.com

Avios will be added within 14 days of collection or delivery

It is good to see that pre-ordering is required.  The walk-up exchange rates at Heathrow are, frankly, shocking and you should never exchange money without ordering in advance.  You will receive a substantially better rate this way.

The ability to credit to Iberia Plus makes this a way of activating an Iberia Avios account.  (You cannot move Avios in or out of an Iberia Plus account until the account has ‘earned’ 1 Avios.)

The special Avios / Travelex ordering page is here.

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Comments

  1. Does the BAPP count this as a purchase ?!

    • Genghis says:

      Do Travelex even accept Amex?

    • Use post office if you want to charge to Amex as purchase

      • the real harry1 says:

        interesting – so the Post Office treats purchase of foreign currency as counter services? in that case it would not be seen as a a cash advance

        the PO does have some shocking exchange rates, though (certainly in store, not sure if you can order online)

        • the real harry1 says:

          http://www.postoffice.co.uk/foreign-currency
          £2000 = EUR2220 ie £1 GBP = €1.1073 EUR

          vs Travelex
          £2000 = EUR2202 ie 1 GBP British Pound = 1.1010 EUR

          so the Post Office is a lot better, minus the 2000 bonus Avios @ Travelex – but possibly earning 2000 Avios on PO counter services purchase

          so can you use Amex @ Travelex yes or no?

          • the real harry1 says:

            as usual, not so simple – looks like PO FX online won’t accept Amex plus there’s a 1.5% CC fee

            in store @ PO, you’ll get a horrible exchange rate, even if Amex is accepted (which nobody after BA has confirmed)

          • the real harry1 says:

            just to complete this thread – I checked inside the PO and they do take Amex for FX bought over the counter

  2. OT: Got an email from BAEC yesterday offering 10,000 (total) Avios for taking out the free BA Amex and hitting the spending trigger. It’s tempting, for me.

    • My wife also got this offer via the BAEC in her maiden name (still hasnt updated her passport) – as she has the free BA Amex in her married name, dont think we can take up on this offer!

  3. These click through’s never seem to work for me. I guess my online security block them. Any idea’s on other ways to access the page?

  4. the real harry1 says:

    fwiw LY I bought £1500 of FX through HIFX on my Tesco credit card & that was treated as a purchase – @ excellent exchange rate vs Travelex

    HFIX delivers to your foreign bank a/c, so not so useful if you just need holiday cash – it does give £21 cashback to first time users on t C B, though

  5. Very annoying, not accepting Amex, just tried to buy as we need euros….what a pain. Thinking a good way towards a Bonus spend, but there’s always tesco gift cards, thank goodness. Then though about the PO but awful rates…wonder what reason is behind not allowing Amex.. No deal?

  6. Unless you want to predict where the rate is going i can’t see any advantage over using Halifax clarity. Even then Thomas exchange provides a better rate (in London anyway)

    • the real harry1 says:

      cash economies? hairdresser, gardener, tradesmen etc won’t take cards out @ our place in the sun :)

      • the real harry1 says:

        though with Clarity, provided you pre-fund the card (naughty) or immediately fund the card after the withdrawal, you can get perfect exchange rate @ ATM withdrawal abroad with no fees and zero/ negligible interest payable

        • I used clarity in Spain and got stung for charges. It seems that Spanish banks charge a transaction fee if you’re using a card not issued by that particular bank.

          • RIcatti says:

            Spanish banks enable Dynamic Currency Conversion on payment terminals.

            Make sure the transaction is charged to your card IN EURO, and that there is no small print about conversion to GBP on the transaction slip from the terminal.

          • Michael Jennings says:

            Any organisation that does Dynamic Currency Conversion is obliged to give you the option of not using it – which normally means charging you in local currency. You should always say no to it. It’s basically just a scam. If the ATM or merchant does not give you the option, then you should complain to your card issuer, and ideally do a chargeback for the difference. The more people who do this, the less they will be able to get away with this.

            I second the recommendation for use of the Halifax Clarity card for foreign cash withdrawals. Personally I make a withdrawal from the ATM using the card, and then make a payment of the equivalent amount of Sterling to the card instantly if possible, and anyway at least within 24 hours. The foreign exchange then costs me nothing.

            Really, there are certain kinds of low margin transactions for which you shouldn’t be thinking about getting miles/points, and should just be looking for the best possible price. Currency exchange is one of these things.

          • Genghis says:

            Fully agree Michael. To add, remember to check after a couple of days once the cash withdrawal has been processed and appears on statement as you may need to true up the payment.

          • To add, there was no DCC when I used in store, my problem was at an ATM

          • Michael Jennings says:

            An ATM must give you the choice, just as a store must. ATMs in Spain are often quite pushy about it, and often make you answer “no” more than once, but they normally do give the choice. I *have* encountered dodgy ATMs that do the DCC without giving the option of refusing it, but these are clearly in breach of Visa/Mastercard rules and need to be reported to Visa and Mastercard.

        • And remember statement amounts take priority over cash withdrawals – so make sure you clear any statement balance first.

    • Genghis says:

      Thomas exchange provide a rate better than the MC wholesale rate? Which currencies? I know Thomas Exchange are good but surely not THAT good? I’ve always wondered how they make money…

      • a better rate than Travelex, I should have said

        Anyway I do all my cash currency exchange in Poland, Thailand and Hong Kong now, or with other private individuals.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Metrobank all the way for europe cash withdrawals that is after you have used your limit on Curve linked to a Lloyds Avios card :)

  7. Flightdoctor says:

    So, I just ordered £2K worth of USD via the Tesco Travel website last night using my Tesco MasterCard to collect in store. I believe I don’t get any ClubCard points for this transaction, as its a cash purchase? So, whilst it will cost me an extra £25 if I cancel with Tesco and reorder with Travelex (due to worse exchange rate) , I would get 2,000 Avios. Worth it?

  8. Can you also earn Heathrow rewards if collecting at Heathrow?

  9. Cant see the option to add buy back for £3.99, Is this not available when earning Aviois, permeably to stop people earning 000’s points for £3.99…

  10. Cant see the option to add buy back for £3.99, Is this not available when earning Avios, permeably to stop people earning 000’s points for £3.99…

  11. Adrian says:

    OK I may need help with my maths here, but isn’t this a lousy deal?
    As we are always in the states my example is to US$
    On Travelex the rate with avios is 125.41 for £1000, their own site offers 126.42 for £1000, so the avios aren’t free to start with, this isn’t a bonus or special offer. The MC rate is 129.08 and I can potentially get 128.79 on weswap (sorry Rob, know you don’t like them). So my £1000 spend for 1000 avios costs me up to $36 have I got that right?

    The big thing for me isn’t the ability to earn avios with a fx transaction, there are numerous ways to earn avios, it was the ability to have a fx transaction that AmEx accepted as SPEND, I got 75% of my first BAPP spend from buying dollars for our holidays, cancelled the card early (after checking on here) and saved the card fee. I was excited when I started reading but that quickly dissipated.

    • Genghis says:

      Maths looks about right to me. The strange format of the rates / prices don’t, however.

    • Mr Dee says:

      If you are exchanging a lot of currency for countries outside of Europe it maybe worth considering options such as the Nationwide Flex Plus account that lets you take cash out at the spot rate, it does cost £10 a month but has other useful benefits.

      If you are wanting to earn points I think the Lloyds card is the best option and use it for spend as opposed to cash.

      There is weswap but who knows how long they will be around for.

      • Given Revolut’s stonking losses they may not be too long for this world either. £7.1m loss on revenues of £2.3m last year. Theresa May is not the only one to believe in the magic money tree because Revolut seems to think they will find a way of generating some revenue soon too. Much of £2.3m is non-recurring £5 card issuance fees.

        • Mr Dee says:

          Very solid point there, I saw their recent premium monthly offering which looked like a complete waste of money that also then entitled me to be eligible to invest in the company, maybe they can get some of Curve’s investors on board.

          Speaking of Curve, would be interested to hear their latest statistics :)

        • I found Revolut CS pretty poor. Monzo much better by comparison. Curve just had $10m in Series A funding.

          • Yes, saw that – might drop it into an article.

          • If they got Amex back it would obviously be a biggy, but regardless I’ve found their app and CS have matured over the past few months, much more reliable now.

  12. Travelex has a pricematch – tell them the rate you could have got, and they refund the difference. Match to bestforeignexchange or Thomas Exchange (2 names, 1 company), send an email and receive a refund by BACS/cheque within a day or 3. See https://www.travelex.co.uk/offers/price-promise

    • Graeme says:

      +1 Used the price match before and can confirm it’s simple and they honour quickly and without quibble in my previous experience.

  13. Michael_S says:

    I almost always use Lloyds avios rewards abroad. Can’t really get the idea of carrying thousands of cash when i’m travelling. Then I withdraw something like £200 equivalent from the airport atm after I land

    I would say I spent like maybe £10-15k per year om foreign currency card transactions

    Can someone smarter than me who did the math let me know if I’m giving up a lot of avios here?

    Thanks!

    • the real harry1 says:

      depends on your card

      • Genghis says:

        What card are you withdrawing cash on? Lloyds MC IIRC charges a c.3% cash fee + interest on cash withdrawals. Ie. Don’t use it. Better off with a Halifax Clarity for cash withdrawals. Can link curve to Lloyds MC and set to country currency for £200 pcm. Getting FX cash it’s usually better to save money over trying to gain a handful of points.

        • Lady London says:

          If you’re using Metro be very wary of doing FX transactions outside of Europe now. They’ve just upped the commission they take to 2.75% of transaction value from 23 August PLUS additionally, they’ve said they are adding an additional flat fee of £1.50 on every transaction as well.

  14. Whiskerxx says:

    Bought a small amount of currency yesterday using link via Avios website.
    I missed adding my Avios ac number to my order.
    I had a call from Travelex this morning asking if I wanted to add my Avios number to ensure I got the credit.
    Very impressed.

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