American Express has, for many years, issued two cards for anyone globally who would prefer to bank in US$ or Euros rather than their home currency. This includes UK residents.
These cards are known as International Currency Cards, with the individual cards known as the International Dollar Card (IDC) and International Euro Card (IEC). Each is available in Green, Gold and Platinum versions. The cards are run from Brighton which is very convenient if you have any issues.
There was no sign-up bonus for the Gold or Green card. However, the Platinum International Currency Card offered a sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points.
This was very handy, because you could get this bonus irrespective of any other American Express cards you held. It would also not impact your future applications for UK cards.
There was some small print, but it was manageable.
- The key downside was that 30,000 Membership Rewards points did NOT get you 30,000 Avios. The International Currency Cards have their own separate Membership Rewards programme. The conversion rate to Avios is 3:2 so your 30,000 point bonus is only worth 20,000 Avios or Virgin Points.
- The key upside was that the International Currency Cards have different Membership Rewards partners. These include Jumeirah One Rewards, Qatar Privilege Club (less useful now that Qatar has adopted Avios) and Malaysia Airlines. They also retain a 1:1 conversion rate with Singapore Airlines which beats the 3:2 rate offered by the UK programme.
This is all moot now, however. American Express appears to have (temporarily?) removed the International Currency Cards from the market. Potential customers are being told that you can only apply if you are a customer of one of the private banks which has a relationship with Amex to promote the cards to their customers.
Full details can be found here but you will see that application links have been removed.
We’ll let you know if/when the cards are available again.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2022 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.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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:
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
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.