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Paying for non-sterling flights with sterling on BA.COM

Paying for non-sterling flights with sterling on BA.COM

Old Oct 24, 19, 6:59 am
  #1  
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Paying for non-sterling flights with sterling on BA.COM

I'm looking to purchase an ex-EU Club World ticket and bag all those extra Avios by using my BA AMEX on BA.COM

Anyway I can avoid the 2.99% foreign exchange fee... it's coming to around 65?

I called BA and they gave me the choice to pay in sterling (around 4k) or local currency (2k + 65 AMEX forex fee). Phone agent highlighted that the fare difference for exactly the same flight, for ex-EU, can be thousands pounds more sometimes, which was the case for my destination.

If there's no solution, I'll purchase the fare on Skyscanner or Expedia...

Thanks,
FCL
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:22 am
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:25 am
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I am a bit confused why it would cost significantly more in than the local currency for an exEU?

Basically as you noted ba,com prices using the local currency of the departure point. If you call BA they often default to pricing it in for UK members but it is just a matter of being converted using the standard exchange rates from the local currency. On that basis the price offered in should just be the converted local currency amount.
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Last edited by KARFA; Oct 24, 19 at 7:53 am
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:27 am
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How many extra Avios would you get for using the Amex?

I would always prefer to book direct with BA if I could. Dealing with a third party can be a PITA for irrops/upgrades etc.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:27 am
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I would have said probably they switched to UK "point of sale" which didn't have the availability you were looking at. Though then Expedia UK wouldn't either, so not sure!

Consider it a convenience fee? If you go direct then if there are any issues it'll be much easier to deal with BA than Expedia

You could also try using Skype to call the sales number in your country of departure
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by sammyg901 View Post
I would have said probably they switched to UK "point of sale" which didn't have the availability you were looking at.
Yes, that was one thought I had. However, really they should have priced it based on the departure point of sale, got the local currency quote, then just converted to . They shouldn't be changing to UK POS just because you want to pay with .

Maybe HUACA is the answer here?
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Old Oct 24, 19, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by firstclasslad View Post
2k + 65 AMEX forex fee
If the fare was 65, would you still book it?
Otherwise, call again and try to keep the departure locale, but get the conversion to GBP.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 8:02 am
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If you can, hold the booking on BA.com

Then call up and ask to pay the balance in GBP

This works every time for me, and avoids point-of-sale confusion.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Yes, that was one thought I had. However, really they should have priced it based on the departure point of sale, got the local currency quote, then just converted to . They shouldn't be changing to UK POS just because you want to pay with .

Maybe HUACA is the answer here?
I think the Regional call centre can only offer that country's POS? At least when I book flights originating in PEK, but want to pay in GBP, the price can vary dramatically due to POS issues. I haven't tried the hold and pay strategy suggested elsewhere in this thread...may do in future..

tb
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Old Oct 24, 19, 8:17 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
However, really they should have priced it based on the departure point of sale, got the local currency quote, then just converted to . They shouldn't be changing to UK POS just because you want to pay with .
ISTR insiders having said that the call centre won't do that. If you want to pay in GBP, you get UK POS. If you want the EUR POS, you pay in EUR.

Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong on that, though.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 8:29 am
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Can you get the same pricing on AA.com - hold and then call AA and pay? They're very amenable to use different currencies on the phone
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Old Oct 24, 19, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by firstclasslad View Post
I'm looking to purchase an ex-EU Club World ticket and bag all those extra Avios by using my BA AMEX on BA.COM

Anyway I can avoid the 2.99% foreign exchange fee... it's coming to around 65?

I called BA and they gave me the choice to pay in sterling (around 4k) or local currency (2k + 65 AMEX forex fee). Phone agent highlighted that the fare difference for exactly the same flight, for ex-EU, can be thousands pounds more sometimes, which was the case for my destination.

If there's no solution, I'll purchase the fare on Skyscanner or Expedia...

Thanks,
FCL
Funny isn't it? I pay with Amex and get the Avios for that. I treat any exchange charges as just a reduction on the saving that I have made buying an ex-EU. I really could not be bothered with all this faffing around on the phone to save a fraction of what I have saved. If that really is a problem then get a Halifax Credit card that does not charge this - another solution would be to have a Caxton card on which you can load your Euros or whatever at quite a good rate and use that to pay. I'm afraid that I am the sort that wants the transaction to go through as fast as possible. I was once booking a flight with Orangejet for HI and before I could finish the transaction it smugly told me that the seat that I was after had gone. I was furious and vowed I'd not let that happen again and will never fly with them again. So there!
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Old Oct 24, 19, 9:02 am
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Easier just to pay with Curve attached to a points generating card - I use Hilton Barclaycard or IHG. The 3x Avios you get on BA Black get wiped out in value by the charge so you might as well take some additional points from somewhere else.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
Easier just to pay with Curve attached to a points generating card - I use Hilton Barclaycard or IHG. The 3x Avios you get on BA Black get wiped out in value by the charge so you might as well take some additional points from somewhere else.
For me, it's the travel insurance benefits of the UK-issued Amex that is attractive: the points definitely aren't worth the forex fee!

tb
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Old Oct 24, 19, 10:14 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
I think the Regional call centre can only offer that country's POS? At least when I book flights originating in PEK, but want to pay in GBP, the price can vary dramatically due to POS issues. I haven't tried the hold and pay strategy suggested elsewhere in this thread...may do in future..

tb
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
ISTR insiders having said that the call centre won't do that. If you want to pay in GBP, you get UK POS. If you want the EUR POS, you pay in EUR.

Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong on that, though.
Thanks to both of you. Apologies if I have got it wrong.
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