This is, admittedly, a minority post since not many readers will have an American Express International Dollar Card or International Euro Card.
These cards are issued in the UK to people who would prefer to have a card which bills them in $ or Euros. If you have a bank account in those currencies, you effectively get your foreign exchange transaction in $ or Euro (depending on your card) for free as you won’t be paying any foreign exchange fees.
The Membership Rewards scheme is also more generous than the general UK scheme, since it offers 1 point per $ or per €, compared with 1 point per £. However, this is offset by poorer conversion rates to most programmes. Avios, for example, is a 3:2 conversion ratio instead of 1:1 from the UK scheme. (There are still some foreign airlines that allow 1:1 conversion from the $ card, though, although not Avios or Flying Club.) I will do a longer explanatory post on this in a day or so.
There is currently a semi-secret transfer bonus from the IDC card to Avios. I say ‘semi-secret’ because a HFP reader was emailed about it and passed the email to me. However, I never got the email and the offer does not feature on the IDC Membership Rewards website.
I rang Amex, though, and they said it was open to all IDC cardholders. I did a test transaction of 5,000 IDC Membership Rewards points and, indeed, I received 4,333 Avios (ie 3,333 at 3:2 plus 30%).
The original email goes:
Whether you’d prefer to fly further or upgrade the choice is yours. For example, if you fly return Economy Class New York City to London, it costs 40,000 Avios. Normally you would need to transfer 60,000 Membership Rewards Points to receive this. Right now, you only need to transfer 46,800* Membership Rewards Points (saving you 13,200 Points).
Avios are redeemable through British Airways or any of their oneWorld ® partner airlines; transfer your Membership Rewards Points today and decide where your Avios will take you.
Vice President, International Currency Cards
I am in the US soon, so I may put a few $ charges through my International Dollar Card and then transfer the points across to Avios before the end of August.
(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)