A couple of days ago I wrote about American Express’s new promotion of 5,000 Membership Reward points for making a £100 foreign exchange transfer.
At the time, I posted:
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.
Well, the first part of the experiment has worked.
I sent £105 (in Euros) via the American Express foreign exchange website to my MBNA bmi credit card account. I used the IBAN number on their website.
A few days later, a credit of £102.15 has appeared on my MBNA online credit card statement.
My total cost has therefore been £12.85 – ie the £2.85 FX loss taken by MBNA plus the £10 Amex fee.
So, if the transfer does work for the purposes of this promotion, I will have earned 5,000 Membership Rewards points for £12.85. Given that those are worth 5,000 Avios or plenty of other things, it will be a good deal. However, I need to wait some weeks to see if the points post …..
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2022 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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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
60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.