Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

When is Sterling credit card spend treated as foreign spend and earns double points?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I had an email from a reader who has the Priority Club Black Visa card. This gives double points (4 points per £1) on overseas spend.

He has noticed that both Amazon and Expedia were giving double points, even though the transactions were in Sterling. This is presumably due to the fact that (for VAT reasons and corporation tax reasons), Amazon processes your transactions in Luxembourg and Expedia processes your transactions in France.

There are a few credit cards which offer double points for foreign spending:

It would be interesting to hear of any other experiences with £ spend being treated as FX spend. Hotels.com seems to be treated as foreign spend on the Amex Gold card, for instance, although oddly parent Expedia does not.

I have heard that you also get FX double points for £ spend on the Amex Gold with American Airlines (UK £ site) and Hotelopia. Actually, these three all post as 3x with Amex Gold because you get the travel bonus as well as the FX bonus.

In particular, if you have the Amex Gold card, it would be interesting if you could go online and look at your Membership Rewards statement. This is because Amex shows you the points you earn on a transaction-by-transaction basis, so it is easy to see if a particular merchant comes up as double points. What else works with that card?

EDIT: Based on feedback so far, we have:

Companies treated by Amex Gold as foreign spend (and of course travel spend as well, so 300% bonus): easyJet, hotels.com, ebookers, American Airlines, Hotelopia, iTunes, Apple Store, lastminute (may treat non-travel as travel spend), Ocado, BA (one-off? only one report)

Companies treated by Priority Club Black as foreign spend: Amazon, Expedia, Paypal

The Lloyds TSB Avios Duo card does NOT treat Amazon as foreign spend (my own observation)


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (11)

  • Jamie says:

    The inconsistency with the bonus points is very strange.

    The weirdest one I’ve found is on my Oyster top up which comes of my Amex gold card. The card loads £20 when I run out of money. If I the top up is done on the tube the points come through with a 200% bonus, if I run out while on a bus the top up is different and I only get a 100% bonus !!!

  • jimthehorsegod says:

    I might add that Paypal payments to many destinations, including (I think) all personal accounts, have a LUX country code and post double on my PCR Black Visa despite being in sterling