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? – December 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.