British Airways is running a special promotion in conjunction with its two foreign exchange partners, American Express Currency Exchange and Moneycorp (Terminal 5 only).
From today until 6th January, you will receive 3 Avios per £1 exchanged. You must exchange a minimum of £400 to qualify.
P-l-e-a-s-e, though, do not take up this offer with Moneycorp. Due to the terms of BA’s agreement with Amex Currency Exchange, Moneycorp will only award Avios points for ‘walk-up’ purchases. The ‘walk-up’ rate at Moneycorp – and indeed Travelex – at Heathrow is absolutely shocking.
If you pre-order for collection at Moneycorp in Terminal 5, you will not receive any Avios points. You will, though, save a fortune, so I recommend you take that route.
American Express Currency Exchange (website here) will deliver to your home, and delivery is free if you spend over £500. You can also order for collection at Edinburgh and Birmingham airports. They are closing all of their Heathrow outlets – Terminal 5 has already gone and T1, 3 and 4 are following soon if they are not already closed.
Remember that pre-order and home delivery purchases at American Express Currency Exchange on an Amex-issued American Express card are treated as a purchase. This means that you will also earn SPG points / Avios / Membership Rewards points on the transaction, and spending counts towards any sign-up bonus.
(Whenever I write this, someone rings Amex to check that I am right. The Amex call centre tells the caller that I am wrong. I am not. Trust me.)
For clarity – ONLY Amex-issued Amex cards are treated as a ‘purchase’. If you use an MBNA Amex card (eg BMI, AA, United) or Lloyds Amex card, you will be charged the 3% cash advance fee and you will not earn any miles from your credit card. Be warned!
American Express Currency Exchange will also sell you Sterling Travellers Cheques for a 1.5% fee. Most banks will allow you to pay these into your account directly. It is not clear if these count for ‘triple Avios’ or not – in theory, £ travellers cheque purchases do not give Avios. The transaction does count as a purchase on your Amex-issued Amex credit or charge card, though.