Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Earn Avios with Travelex at Heathrow – but it is a really bad idea

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At the end of May, Moneycorp – the British Airways bureau de change partner – lost its offices at Heathrow.  Travelex took over, making it the de factor monopoly currency provider.

A few years ago, Travelex lost the British Airways partnership contract to Moneycorp.  With Moneycorp now out of Heathrow, the two partners have been forced to make up their differences.

Since May 30th, you have been able to collect Avios points from Travelex at Heathrow.

Full details can be found on the Travelex website here.


You will earn 1 Avios point per £1 exchanged.  In addition, if you change £500 or more during July, you will be entered into a competition to win a weekly prize of 25,000 Avios points.  One person who exchanges over £1,000 will win a price of 50,000 Avios points at the end of July.

However, under no circumstances should you enter this competition.

You can ONLY earn Avios points from Travelex for walk-up purchases.  Currency which is pre-booked via the Travelex website does NOT earn Avios points and does NOT get you into the competition.

Your currency will, however, be SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper if you pre-order.  On a €500 currency purchase, I estimate that you would be around €35 better off by pre-ordering.  There is no way that 500 Avios points are worth €35.

There is no way, at the moment, of earning Avios points for pre-ordered currency at Heathrow.

I will be taking an in-depth look at how to earn other miles and points when ordering foreign currency later this week as part of our ‘Holiday Tips’ series.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

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. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (9)

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

  • Volker says:

    I will never understand why people would fall for these “deals”. For years I have been buying FX from Tescobank, using my Tesco CC. Last week I got Euros worth £500 at a rate of 1.37 (spot rate was 1.40 that day). I received my money 2 days later by free Royal Mail special delivery, earned 125 CC points = 300 Avios and this is treated as a purchase rather than a cash advance. What I also like is that they always send me plenty small notes (€5, €10) so that you don’t have to annoy the newsagent by paying your paper with a €100 note. Handy for tipping as well.

    I look forward to your upcoming piece on alternative ways of buying foreign currency, Raffles.

  • Phillip says:

    I don’t know if this is still the case, because I haven’t used Travelex in a long while, but staff at the Travelex desk were always happy to swipe my BA card (and BAA/Heathrow Rewards) card even for online purchases. Admittedly this was some years back, so I don’t know if it has become more regimented now!

  • Ian says:

    The point is that airport rates of exchange are notoriously poor. If you calculated the difference between a high street bureau de change and what you’d get at the airport, it would probably make this the most expensive possible way of “buying” Avios.

  • Tord says:

    Surely this is a better way to earn avios off currency?

  • Peter says:

    If you have a Heathrow Rewards card, Travelex offer slightly improved exchange rates as well as earning heathrow rewards when ordering online, which can be converted to Avios. All done through the heathrow website.

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

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