American Express has launched an interesting promotion to promote its foreign currency transfer service.
Full details can be found here (deleted as now dead).
5,000 Membership Rewards points are good for 5,000 Avios or points in 15 other programmes. See here for my guide to spending Membership Rewards points.
If you have an overseas bank account (or have a friend or family member who is willing to accept a payment from you) then this is a good deal. There is a £10 fee and you will take a small foreign currency loss to cover Amex’s spread, but this is still a good deal for 5,000 Membership Rewards points.
(If you have a Starwood Amex, you can still register and receive 5,000 SPG points instead. The same goes for some other Amex cards as well, but not the BA ones – see the small print in the link above.)
You will need your passport or driving licence plus your Amex card number to register. Ironically, you cannot fund your transfer from your Amex card. You need to use a debit or Visa / MasterCard credit card, or do a bank transfer to Amex.
I am trying a little experiment which, if it works, you can try later.
MBNA credit cards (bmi, American Airlines, United etc) accept payment by IBAN – ie, by a payment to their International Bank Account Number. If you search the FAQ on the MBNA credit card site it will give you the account details.
I have done a £105 payment in Euro to my bmi credit card account, which MBNA will automatically convert into Sterling.
Now, does this count as a foreign payment? It is, after all, going to a UK bank account. However, the payment is in Euro and went to an IBAN, not a standard account number.
We will see. Hopefully the 5,000 MR points will post before 31st December, which would give you the chance to try it as well before the offer closes.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our May 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
If you have your own business, don’t miss our EXCLUSIVE offer on the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card, worth 29,900 Avios. See below.
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:
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
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
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
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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 offers.
Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
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.