I posted a couple of weeks ago that American Express Currency Exchange had resigned from its positions in Heathrow Terminal 5 (EDIT May 2014: Amex has now been replaced at all other terminals as well). 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.