Foreign Usage with Amex-UK issued card?

Old Mar 18, 19, 8:56 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 116
Foreign Usage with Amex-UK issued card?

Hello.
Just waiting for my first ever Amex to arrive (Preferred rewards gold).
Couple, of queries please:
1. If I purchase airline tickets directly from a non British airline website, do I get charged 2.99% for using my Amex? I understand I will receive 2* points for this.
2. If the foreign airline website charges me in Pounds Sterling, do I still get charged the 2.99% fee, but would I no longer get 2* points? A bit confused on this.
3. I am going abroad soon. Is it worth me taking and using my Amex and spending 2000 on it (I estimate I will be spending at least that amount while abroad regardless), thus achieving the milestone for the rewards bonus trigger, or is it not worth getting hit with the 2.99% fee (around 60 I think?). I understand the 2000 spend will also net me double points. So I guess what I am asking is is it worth me paying around 60 in fees to receive 4000 points and also hitting the trigger for the 20k bonus (and therefore enabling me to move onto another card soon after)? I have a Halifax Clarity card (no foreign usage fees) which I was going to use, but want to see your opinions.

Thanks.
Aston100 is offline  
Old Mar 18, 19, 1:01 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: BAEC (Blue4life), AMEX
Posts: 23
In answer to your questions:

1/2: In my experience it will depend on if your are charged in GBP or not. If you're charged in GBP you will not be charged 2.99% FX fees and will get x2 points. If you are charged in EUR for example, then you will be charged 2.99% but you will still get the airline bonus and the foreign transaction bonus too. So, in that case you'll get x3 points

3: This is entirely up to you if you want to spend 60 in fees but get extra points in exchange. What's more important to you, 60 or 4000 points? IMO if you're needing the extra for a specific trip go for it, if not, save the 60 (that's 15-20 holiday pints!!), assuming you can hit the 20k bonus on your return

FYI the above is based on using my card which is the no longer openly available gold charge card but I can't see them changing the system for what is basically the same card but with the facility to carry a balance over
sjrk1 is offline  
Old Mar 19, 19, 9:18 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by sjrk1 View Post
In answer to your questions:

1/2: In my experience it will depend on if your are charged in GBP or not. If you're charged in GBP you will not be charged 2.99% FX fees and will get x2 points. If you are charged in EUR for example, then you will be charged 2.99% but you will still get the airline bonus and the foreign transaction bonus too. So, in that case you'll get x3 points

3: This is entirely up to you if you want to spend 60 in fees but get extra points in exchange. What's more important to you, 60 or 4000 points? IMO if you're needing the extra for a specific trip go for it, if not, save the 60 (that's 15-20 holiday pints!!), assuming you can hit the 20k bonus on your return

FYI the above is based on using my card which is the no longer openly available gold charge card but I can't see them changing the system for what is basically the same card but with the facility to carry a balance over
Thanks for the reply.
I just spoke to customer services (so friendly & helpful!).
They've said the foreign usage and airline purchases do not stack. So if I bought for example Qatar tickets to fly out of AMS, I would be charged in Euros; incur a 2.99% fee; receive double points (not triple or quadruple).
If the airline charged me in GBP/Sterling then there would not be a 2.99% fee but I would still receive the double points.
So that's that sorted then.

Hoping others can jump in with their opinion on whether it is worth incurring a 60 fee for spending 2000 overseas to receive 4000 reward points, if the aim is to get the 20k points bonus as quickly as possible and immediately move onto another card.

Thanks.
Aston100 is offline  
Old Mar 20, 19, 10:35 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Programs: BAEC (Blue4life), AMEX
Posts: 23
Ahh, they must have changed the T&Cs for the gold credit card because looking at my last statement, I got x3 for air tickets bought in EUR/USD (or I've always got lucky!!).

I tend to convert my points to avios which I value at a 0.01ish, so you'd be spending 60 to gain 40, so not ideal but if the idea is to earn and move on to another card then go for it.
I don't open and close accounts for the bonuses, so the concept is alien to me!
sjrk1 is offline  

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