Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Amex Currency Exchange closing down at Heathrow Terminal 5 today

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Poor old British Airways.  Sometimes they just back the wrong horse.

Back in September 2012, they moved their currency partnership away from Travelex and across to American Express Currency Exchange.  ACE became the only place that you could earn Avios from travel money.

(More importantly, as I wrote here, ACE treated your transaction as a purchase if you used an Amex card to pay for it, so you also earned credit card miles with your transaction!  This was especially good if you had a sign-up bonus to reach.)

But now, Amex Currency Exchange has been given the boot by BAA, the owners of Terminal 5.  Today is either the last day of operation or the first day of closure, depending on how you interpret the message on their website!

ACE will continue to operate out of the other Heathrow terminals.  It will also continue to supply foreign currency for home delivery.  BA’s FX partner, though, will no longer be able to supply you with currency in BA’s home terminal!

PS.  I believe that Moneycorp is taking over where Amex left off.  Let’s see what sort of BA relationship they have.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

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.

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, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (18)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mark says:

    I seem to recall advising of this change months ago! At the time my comments were dismissed in a round about way by the author – oh well.

    • Adam W says:


      Good call, Mark. It was over 6 months ago that you broke this news! 4th February to be precise!

    • Rob says:

      Indeed you did! Do you have any idea about Amex leaving the other terminals? You can still order for collection at those as of today.

  • Kiran Kaja says:

    How annoying! I just got my BA Amex Premium Plus card this month and was hoping to use it for buying some foreign currency. I would also need about £2500 in travellers checks for a long trip to southeast Asia. I guess I will have to just order them for home delivery.

    BTW, while we are on the topic of Amex cards and buying foreign currency, customer services tell me that I am not enrolled for cash withdrawals but I managed to place an order for £500 with TravelMoneyNow on the BA Prem Plus card. Therefore, I don’t know what my cash withdrawal limit really is. Customer services tell me I have to wait 6 months to get cash withdrawal. Very annoying considering I have held other Amex cards for nearly 4 years with a clean payment history. But the question is why did the TravelMoneyNow order go through if I am not enrolled for cash withdrawal?


    • Rob says:

      Because it isn’t a cash withdrawal. If it was, you’d be paying the cash fee and not getting miles! However, sometimes people not registered for cash withdrawals can’t buy FX … it’s all very odd.

  • Susan says:

    I’ve used the Moneycorp service at Gatwick and received my points without any problems. Also counted towards my spend.

    • Rob says:

      That’s good to know, thanks.

    • Rebecca says:

      I emailed and who said, I quote: “Moneycorp will be taking over the locations within Heathrow Terminal 5 and we believe they will offer a walk up service where you can visit the bureau
      counter directly to purchase currency, and collect Avios. They will not be offering an online ordering service as this will continue with American Express.”
      So unfortunately, it seems we will lose out on the preferential exchange rates as we can’t pre-order even they honour Avios. Has anyone tried placing the order? I tried calling Moneycorp at T5 to ask, but the line is not connecting. The website says they open on August 15th.

  • Kiran Kaja says:

    Susan, What do you mean when you say “Also counted towards my spend”? Did you use BA Amex to buy foreign exchange and it posted as a purchase? Are you talking about some other spend?

    • Rob says:

      That’s how I read it – that Moneycorp treated the transaction as a purchase rather than a cash advance

      • Susan says:

        Yes, exactly. I used my SPG Amex for payment, was treated as purchase.

  • Matt says:

    Interestingly Moneycorp add a surcharge for paying by credit card but not by Amex, never seen that before

    • Kiran Kaja says:

      Good to know that Amex can be used with Moneycorp. However, Moneycorp don’t seem to be doing Travellers Checks. This will be a problem for me.

  • Shadow Captain says:

    I used them on Monday for the first time. The service was terrible. I wasn’t sure what the deal was and asked the chap if it was best to use my BA Amex to buy currency, or just use my debit card. He shrugged his shoulders and told me to phone my bank and ask them. Utterly useless and he cost me money and avios because he didn’t know what his own product was offering. Still fuming about that.

    • Rebecca says:

      Did you them in Terminal 5? I’ve placed an online order through the Moneycorp website and asked to be able to collect it at T5. They have sent me an email confirmation and stated they had 3 locations: landside near WHS, airside (Huxleys), or in the BA lounge. But the website did have some small print that partner offers and promotions are not valid with pre-ordering…so who knows if that means Avios will be awarded… Have emailed them to ask – no response yet.

  • Dave says:

    BAA is now HAH! Heathrow Airport Holdings will always be a laughing stock!

    Does this include the Amex within the Galleries lounge complex? Does HAH have any control of that space? I thought they’d have leased the whole lounge area to BA.

    Have they been booted by the airport or just decided not to renew their lease? Does BA not get a say at all about the tenants in their flagship terminal? Why doesn’t VS open up a sales centre in T5 promoting their product?

    • Rob says:

      Been booted by HAH. BA has no control over the retail at all, even the currency booth in the lounge.

      And I’m pretty sure that I have seen other airlines promoting their seats in T5 before now ….

  • jason says:

    Have been struggling to order currency on-line for a couple of days. Keep getting error that card processing is down have spoken to them on a couple of occasions but no joy. Card is activated for cash advances, anyone ordered over the phone successfully without getting charged cash advance fee etc..


This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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