A couple of weeks ago I wrote this piece on Avios dropping their relationship with Travelex and jumping into a metaphorical bed with American Express Currency Exchange.
A reader has been in touch to tell me about his experience with ACE at Heathrow. As I recommend, he had pre-booked his currency online beforehand to get the best rate.
The two interesting things to note, which I didn’t mention in my original piece, are:
- He was allowed to give his BAA WorldPoints card for swiping, so he double-dipped with both Avios and WorldPoints on the same transaction
- He was told by ACE staff that if he paid with his Amex card he would earn 1 bonus Membership Rewards point per £1 spent. At the time, our reader thought that this was some special bonus promotion deal Amex was running. However, now that the transaction has posted, it seems that he has earned the 1 point per £1 because Amex treated the transaction as a purchase, not as a cash advance.
Now, I would want to see some more people try this before making any firm statements. However, if Amex Currency Exchange at Heathrow is treating paying for pre-booked currency as a purchase and not a cash advance, this opens up a lot of interesting options – including a quick way for people to hit their £2,000 spend target to trigger the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum sign-up bonuses.