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Bits: Earn points when Amex pays your suppliers via BACS, Business Class to Jo’burg for £1040 with SWISS

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New in brief:

Earn points when paying your suppliers with American Express

We’ve come across American Express AccessLine which is a payment service for companies who want to pay any supplier with a charge card to help their cash flow. Obviously this only appeals to a small number of HFP readers who are small business owners, but we thought it was worth mentioning regardless.

Corporate card members with an American Express Corporate Green Card, American Express Corporate Gold Card or American Express Corporate Platinum Card can use this payment service for domestic and international payments.

It is basically a corporate version of Billhop, scaled up for the demands of small companies.  Amex pays your suppliers directly into their bank account and then adds the cost – plus a transaction fee, of course – to your card bill.

As well as having up to 55 days to pay the Amex bill, you will earn 1 Membership Rewards point for each eligible £1 spent.

If this is of interest, the website with more information and to sign up is here.

Prague – Johannesburg in Business Class from £1,040 with Swiss

If you want to plan ahead to escape the English winter this year, SWISS has some great Business Class fares to South Africa.

Selected flights in November and December are only £1,040 for a return flight from Prague to Johannesburg in Business Class. You need to be a bit flexible when booking these fares and you need to stay a minimum of six days.

When I checked the website there were still 2 seats for £516 on 27th November from Prague via Zurich to Johannesburg.  (The screenshot below shows 24th November but those seats went late last night.)

Swiss cheap business flight prague johannesburg

and return flights on 3rd December for £524 available.

Swiss cheap business flight prague johannesburg return

The SWISS website is here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Rob –
    Another question about Curve Card. I have an IHG premium card and use it (& others) via Curve – it works fine BTW.
    But I wondered, would I get the double points bonus for IHG and foreign spending via Curve, that I do using the IHG card directly?
    I suspect not, as Curve will be seen as normal UK spending, whoever the ultimate supplier is?
    The same would apply to any ‘bonus points’ benefits with other cards like the John Lewis card (double points at Waitrose etc). So maybe Curve is not quite as useful as I thought. Or am I missing something?

    • If you are right, which I agree is likely, then for foreign currency transactions:

      IHG Premium credit card per £ foreign currency spend = 4 IHG points and 2.99% foreign transaction free
      Curve with IHG Premium per £ foreign currency spend = 2 IHG points and 1% foreign transaction fee

      Given Rob’s 0.4p valuation for IHG points, you’re still better off using Curve.

      This may of course not be the case for all bonus points benefits on other cards, especially within the UK.

  2. Corporate Cards can only be issued to Company’s that have a turnover greater than £2M
    This is required to use Access Line as a method of payment.

  3. OT, as this is bits – going to Delhi in a couple of weeks, and I have booked a tour with a local company. Payment is on arrival, and they take Amex. However… they have quoted in INR, but will add 5% to credit card payments in INR. No surcharge for payment in GBP.

    This seems counter-intuitive, as I would normally always opt to pay in local currency. Obviously if I pay in GBP, I will be at the mercy of their forex rate. I guess if this works out to less than 5%, I’m better off accepting that. I don’t know that there is any way to find out what their rate will be.

    Anyone any experience of anything similar? Thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    • Craig Strickland says:

      I’ve used it before but had negotiated that they reduce the tour cost by 5% because I said I was worried about carrying large amounts of cash. I’m in the same position in a few weeks time for the next trip.

    • Dynamic Currency Conversion (where the merchant’s bank “helpfully” converts to your home currency) generally adds about 7%.
      Two hotel bars in Bangkok have tried this on me this week.
      I suspect that in this case it would be even more – they are just using the 5% surcharge to push you to suffer on the exchange rate which is less visible.
      Amex would charge you 1% spread + 3% fee.
      Unless you are chasing a spending target, I suggest you use a Visa or Mastercard with no/low exchange fees – you would be better off buying Avios from BA.

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