Back in November, American Express was offering 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points to anyone who signed up for its foreign currency transfer service and made one payment.
Two new versions of this promotion have now been launched:
This link is for Platinum cardholders and offers 2,500 Membership Rewards points
This link is for Gold and Green cardholders and offers 1,000 Membership Rewards points
Unfortunately, this promotion is nowhere near as lucrative as the one last year. Amex is now insisting on a minimum £1,000 transaction for Platinum and £500 for Gold / Green. Last year it was only £100.
However – for American Express Platinum cardholders – 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 an OK 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 3,500 Membership Rewards points. (You get the 2,500 bonus points plus 1,000 base points for moving £1,000.)
To be honest, the Gold and Green deal is not worth it. The £10 fee wipes out the value of the 1,500 points before considering the foreign exchange spread. (You would earn 1,000 bonus points plus 500 base points for moving the minimum £500.)
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. It is not clear if the transaction, on a credit card, counts as a purchase or cash advance.
You don’t even need to send money abroad
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.
Last time this promotion ran, I did a £105 payment in Euro to my bmi credit card account, which MBNA automatically converted into Sterling. I received the 5,000 bonus points without any trouble. Amex clearly treated it as a foreign payment even though it was going to a UK bank account.
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.