Let me say up front that this opportunity is only relevant to a small part of our readership, but it will be valuable if it does apply to you.
Amex has a payments business called, with no great leap of imagination, American Express FX International Payments (full details here).
Your business can make payments to other businesses (minimum £1000) in 80+ currencies to 100+ countries. Everything is handled via an online platform. You can even have Amex issue you with a draft for any suppliers who insist on cheque payment.
Here is the key bit. You also earn Membership Rewards points – 1 point per £20 transferred up to a maximum of 5,000 points per payment. Payments over £100,000 can be split to avoid the cap.
The website implies that you need a Business American Express card to take advantage of this, but this is not stated explicitly. We reviewed American Express Business Platinum here and reviewed American Express Business Gold here.
This is what the small print says:
If you have an American Express Card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program, your business can earn points on eligible money transfers of £ 5,000 or more. Once you have registered your Card with both the central American Express Membership Rewards Programme and the FX International Payments Membership Rewards Programme, you can earn points on foreign currency transactions between the value of £1,000 to £100,000. For every £20 transacted, you will receive one Membership Rewards point, which will be automatically credited to your American Express Card. You can earn a maximum of 5,000 points per transaction. Please note, same currency transactions are not eligible. Points will be credited within 12 weeks after the transaction is completed.
You may be expecting that this service is poor value for money. However, a reader sent me this note last time we mentioned this:
“We send money to suppliers in China, paying in $. We buy our currency on spot rates as and when required with the odd forward contract. AMEX offered me both options.
I assumed, since they rang me and were giving away Membership Reward points, that the rates would be poor, but amazingly they are the best I have received off any company since starting to work with with Chinese suppliers 5 years ago. They have agreed to a spot rate of just 35 bips below live market rate fixed for the life of my agreement with them. All of this is trackable on an online platform.
We send about £2,000,000 a year to China so that will be 100,000 Membership Rewards points and a cheaper way to transfer funds (approx £9000 a year from our current supplier). This seems to be a ‘win win’ for anyone moving money around the world. There is a £5 transaction fee per payment but that’s it.”
You can find out more on the American Express website here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
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
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.