Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Moneycorp

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.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

Comments (23)

  • 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.