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.
The key upside was that the International Currency Cards have different Membership Rewards partners. These include Jumeirah One, 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.
Unfortunately, Amex has recently taken the International Currency Cards off the market. If you don’t have one, you’re not getting one.
If you DO have one, one of the benefits seems to have gone. Jumeirah One has disappeared as a transfer partner.
10 years ago this was the greatest deal around. Jumeirah resorts in the Middle East are ludicrously expensive but you could pick them up with a points transfer. I was getting 3p-4p of value per Amex point.
Sadly Jumeirah One went revenue based. Each point is now worth around 1.5p, so the 4:1 transfer from American Express ICC Membership Rewards became pretty pathetic. Plenty of transfer partners offered far more value, especially Singapore Airlines with its 1:1 transfer rate.
I am tempted to shut down my ICC card entirely. Even retaining the ability to transfer to Singapore Airlines at 1:1 isn’t necessarily worth the annual fee.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 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.
Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios 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
40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.