Daily Mail writes about (a HfP reader?) buying Royal Mint coins for Avios
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Well, I never expected this story to reach the hallowed pages of the Daily Mail, but there you go.
I have, a couple of times, mentioned that it is possible to buy face value commemorative coins from the Royal Mint using a credit card. I have never made a big deal of this because:
the Royal Mint doesn’t take American Express, so it was only really worthwhile if you had a ‘no longer available to new customers’ Visa or Mastercard such as the BMI Diamond Club one which pays 2.5 Avios per £1
you were 100% dependant on finding a willing bank if you wanted to pay in the coins. It was never totally clear what the legal position was.
We now know, thanks to the Daily Mail, what the legal position is.
You should read the article in full, but here are some extracts:
The reader, who wishes to be known simply has James, would buy high value commemorative coins from the Royal Mint in bulk to gain air miles on his credit card before cashing them in at the bank.
However, the Royal Mint appears to have cottoned onto his system by writing to banks and telling them not to accept the coins, which are deemed ‘legal tender’.
James said: ‘I am someone who has a bit of an addiction to frequent flier miles. I’ve done various things over the years to generate more miles – and the only way to generate such things is by spending on a credit card.
The coins, such as the £100 ‘face value’ Buckingham Palace coin issued last year are limited edition and are described by Royal Mint as legal tender. They also have a 14 day returns policy.
But its terms and conditions section on the website describes legal tender as having ‘a very narrow and technical meaning in the settlement of debts.’
It adds: ‘In practice this means that although the face-value UK coins in denominations of £5, £20, £50 and £100 are approved as legal tender, they have been designed as limited edition collectables or gifts and will not be entering general circulation.
‘As such, UK shops and banks are not obliged to accept them in return for goods and services.’
A recent letter sent to a bank branch from the Royal Mint, published below, has told staff to no longer accept coins over the counter and that customers should be referred to them instead.
James adds that when he entered his local HSBC branch, as he usually would to cash them in, the bank accepted the deposit. This is Money has seen the deposit slip.
The branch manager then chased after him as he was leaving the branch and advised that it could no longer accept them.
It is a great story but, to avoid copyright issues, I recommend you head over to the Daily Mail site and read it in full for yourself.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.