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Why earning Avios with Moneycorp at Terminal 5 is not a great idea

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I posted a couple of weeks ago that American Express Currency Exchange had resigned from its positions in Heathrow Terminal 5.  These booths, including the one in the British Airways lounge, are being replaced by Moneycorp.

The good news – if you are spending your employers money – is that Moneycorp is awarding Avios points for walk-up purchases at the rate of 1 Avios point per £1 exchanged.

The bad news is that Moneycorp is NOT giving Avios for pre-ordered currency.  American Express Currency Exchange remains the exclusive British Airways partner for pre-ordered currency.  However, it is now impossible to collect pre-ordered currency from Amex in Terminal 5.

How BA got itself into this mess I will never know.  The best way to earn Avios from pre-ordered currency is now to book yourself on an airline other than BA, since Amex Currency Exchange still has booths in the other Heathrow terminals!

You should never, ever buy currency at Heathrow as a walk-up purchase if you are spending your own money.  The rates are so poor it beggars belief.  The Travelex as you come through Terminal 5 passport control seems especially poor, with a ludicrously huge spread of around 20% IIRC.  I pity anyone who effectively pays Travelex £50 for changing £500 of $ or Euro into Sterling.

Your options for earning Avios from foreign currency are therefore (assuming you are flying from Terminal 5):

Use the Amex website (www.travelmoneynow.com/britishairways) and have currency delivered to your home or office.  Amex is still charging this as a purchase on Amex-issued Amex cards, which is a fantastic extra bonus.

Use Moneycorp at Terminal 5 as a walk-up – strictly not recommended due to the poor rates

Earn no Avios and pre-order from Travelex or Moneycorp for Terminal 5 collection.  You should still earn Heathrow Rewards points at the rate of 1 per £10 spent.

Details of BA’s new and confusing relationship with Moneycorp and Amex can be found here at ba.com.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 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. 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 BA Amex American Express card

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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) 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 Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – 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 card

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (23)

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

  • woggly says:

    For those that have access to a printer, and are willing to walk to heathrow central, ICE have the best rates.

    For example, as of this moment

    fairfx $1.5215 €1.1385
    ICE $1.5231 €1.1423

    the fairfx rate for $ is quite good, not so for euros

    • John says:

      If you have a printer and are coming from London anyway, you would be far better off going to Thomas Exchange in Hammersmith, Strand or Victoria.

      At close of business today:
      Thomas Exchange $1.541, €1.154
      ICE Waterloo $1.535, €1.15
      ICE Heathrow $1.521, €1.138
      fairfx $1.52, €1.1415

  • sarah gorman says:

    came across this issue a couple of weeks back just as hte change was happening. I called BAEC and spoke to someone in Customer Relations. I was polite but pointed out that I was losing out on points by not being able to use their recommended company in their own terminal. The lady was very nice and gave me 250 BAEC points as a gesture of goodwill. Might be worth phoning to make the same point in as much as losing out on the decent exch rate

  • R. Saunders says:

    Any employee that was this careless with company money would be reminded once and then…………….
    It doesn’t make it right to trash company money on a few Avios.

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

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