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 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 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.)