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For 2 weeks only … you can earn Avios when buying currency in Terminal 5

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Earning Avios when buying foreign currency has become increasingly difficult recently when flying from Heathrow Terminal 5.  To summarise what happened:

American Express Currency Exchange opened a number of outlets in Terminal 5

British Airways switched from Travelex to Amex Currency Exchange as its Avios partner for foreign exchange

Amex Currency Exchange closed its outlets at Heathrow, which became Moneycorp branches

The situation for earning Avios is therefore:

Currency pre-ordering – you can ONLY earn Avios on pre-ordered currency via Amex Currency Exchange.  Unfortunately, Amex Currency Exchange no longer has any outlets in Terminal 5 for collection.  All you can do is pre-order for delivery to your home.

On-the-spot purchase – you can ONLY earn Avios from on-the-spot purchases via Moneycorp.  You are not allowed to pre-order currency and earn Avios!  Because of the truly shocking exchange rates for walk-up purchases at Moneycorp, I cannot recommend this route.

Until the end of February, though, there is a compromise!


If you pre-order £400 of more of foreign currency via Moneycorp you will earn 500 bonus Heathrow Rewards points.  These will convert to 500 Avios (or Miles & More miles, or Virgin Flying Club miles).

Because you will be pre-ordering, you will get a substantially better rate than being a walk-up customer.

Here is the small print:

500 extra points for any in-bureau foreign currency purchase over £400 or through online reserve at Online reserve purchases must be collected at any Moneycorp branch at Heathrow from 4 to 28 February 2014 inclusive. In-bureau purchases are over-the-counter transactions completed at any Moneycorp bureau de change branch at Heathrow from 4 to 28 February 2014 inclusive. Valid Heathrow Rewards membership number must be provided upon collection for online reserve transactions or presented at the point of sale for in-bureau purchases for points to be awarded. The offer does not apply to Sterling Travellers Cheques. There is no cash or alternative extra points offered. This promotion is not available in conjunction with any other Moneycorp Currency Exchange offers or promotions. 

You should, of course, double check the Moneycorp pre-ordering rate with the Travelex rate.  Remember, though, that Travelex is only available landside at Terminal 5 so you need to remember to pick up your money before going through security.

(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 (9)

  • Martin says:

    A very useful post as ever! However I am pretty sure there is a Travelex airside at T5A, just beyond the BA passenger services desk on the way to the South lounges (near the Caviar House). I got my Turkish lira there last week having forgotten to pick up landside. The walk up rates were predictably eye-watering, though.

    • Rob says:

      I had a similar feeling but I was working off a list I found online. I know what you mean.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes there is a Travelex airside in T5. it’s down the escalator from the South lounges, the continue a short while towards the North Lounges and it’s a very dominant bureau de change that you will come to quickly. I was there today. There’s also a Travelex landside a few shops along from the Marks and Spencer food outlet near the exit to Sofitel. Maybe others also but I didn’t notice them

      Btw Moneycorp say on their ordering page that pre-reserved currency does not get the extra. So presumably whoever is publishing the terms and conditions saying pre-reserved does qualify, will have to honour it anyway?

      • Rob says:

        I assume Heathrow Rewards gives the bonus automatically on any transaction of the correct size and cannot tell whether it was pre-ordered or not.

  • Noqueuing says:

    Very useful post Raffles.
    As I change money (euros) several times a year I couldn’t resist and had to do a little exercise.
    I’ve often used Best Foreign Exchange. They tend to have the best rates and are very reliable – door to door delivery.
    So – 600 € would cost me £503.86 this morning at Best Foreign Exchange. This includes the 3.9£ insurance / delivery charge they always charge for door to door deliveries.
    At Moneycorp 600€ will be GBP 506.37.
    Moneycorp being £ 2.51 more expensive.
    But you get the 500 bonus Avios, meaning you’re effectively paying 0.5 c / Avios.
    It’s actually even better than that, as with Best Foreign Exchange you can’t pay with American Express – so in this case the price per Avios would come down to 0.25c/ Avios just with your basic Amex Card where you receive 1 Avios per £1 spent. Even better with the primium cards.

    Sounds like a good deal to me, I’m not even bothering with any further calculations.. 🙂

  • S says:

    how about £500 on your Tesco Visa via Tesco Travel Money, no cash advance charge, 500 clubcard points = 1600 Avios, plus maybe a CC bonus Tesco Finest for grandfathering (although need a PHD to work out ratios) ?

  • SOC says:

    It’s also worth noting that MoneyCorp has gone progressively worse for point accrual.
    – They don’t allow you to double dip on Avios and Heathrow reward points like Amex did
    – As of Jan they no longer let you get avios if you buy their buyback

    And their service is generally shit.