Travelex Supercard relaunches and it’s still FREE – should you get one?

I dropped in an extra article during the day yesterday to cover the relaunch of the Travelex Supercard.  You can download the free app here.

If you read that article, some of this piece will sound familiar.  I have repeated myself for the benefit of our email subscribers, who didn’t get the original article, and for those people who only check Head for Points first thing in the morning.

What is Supercard?

When Supercard originally launched its trial scheme in May 2015 it was a totally revolutionary payment product.

As you (hopefully) know, almost all UK credit, debit and charge cards add a 3% fee when you buy something abroad.

There are only a handful of cards which waive this fee. There are a few free options, such as Halifax Clarity, Creation Everyday and MBNA Everyday. There is only one credit card in the UK which offers reward points and no FX fees and that is the Lloyds Avios Rewards card (review here). You need to pay a £24 annual fee for that.

Supercard is different.   You can apply by downloading their free app.  It can be used anywhere where a MasterCard card is accepted. Your purchase is translated into Sterling as the standard MasterCard wholesale rate and charged to any UK Visa or MasterCard you nominate. You will receive the usual rewards from that card.


Let’s imagine spending $150 in New York. If you use your Tesco MasterCard, you would be charged £103 based on a $1.50 exchange rate. Use Supercard – with your Tesco card linked to it – and your Tesco card would be charged just £100.

Supercard does away with the need to keep a separate credit card just for overseas purchases. You would earn reward points on every overseas purchase (assuming you linked a rewards credit card!), you would have spare credit available – by cancelling your Halifax Clarity, MBNA Everyday etc card – to apply for another rewards card and you would have one less bill to manage each month.

What are the benefits of Supercard?

Here is a summary of the card benefits and how it differs from the pilot programme.

Note that if you were on the pilot programme you must still make a fresh application.  To apply, download the app.

Supercard remains totally free.  Free to apply, free to use – although it requires a smartphone to operate.  I must be honest, I expected them to start charging but I was wrong.

It is a MasterCard.  This is a change from the pilot programme which operated on Visa.  As MasterCard FX rates are generally better than Visa, this is to your advantage.

There are NO FEES when using the card for purchases abroad.

There is a 2.99% fee for ATM withdrawals abroad.  This is a change from the pilot programme where ATM withdrawals were free.  Halifax Clarity, Creation Everyday and MBNA Everyday Plus are, I think, the only UK credit or debit cards which allows fee-free global ATM withdrawals.

Supercard is not a credit card so there is no credit check.  They will take steps to verify your identify to comply with general money laundering and compliance rules.

Whilst UK use is not banned, purchases or ATM withdrawals will incur a £1 plus 1% fee which makes them relatively pointless.  The only exception would be if you had a generous card like my old ‘2.5 Avios per £1’ bmi MasterCard – I could withdraw £200, pay £3 in fees and earn 500 Avios.

Transaction limits are generous – £500 cash per day, £50000 in total annual spend and various daily / monthly caps

How does Travelex Supercard compare with Curve?

The Curve card, which we have discussed extensively recently, has similar functionality to Supercard.  Supercard is superior to Curve in a number of ways:

Supercard is free, Curve has a one-off £35 fee

Supercard has no FX fees on overseas purchases, Curve has a 1% fee

Supercard has higher transaction limits than Curve

Supercard now uses the same payment processor, Wirecard, so they are likely to be equally good (or bad) in terms of declining transactions.  Supercard had problems here during the pilot and Curve performed better.  I would imagine that both will now be the same.

Supercard is cheaper than Curve for overseas cash withdrawals under £100 (3% vs £2 + 1%)

Supercard is open to everyone whilst Curve is targetted at those running a small business who would use the card for business purchases

Curve is better in the following scenarios:

UK use, as it charges no fees for purchases and no fees for your first £200 cash withdrawal per month via a credit card.  When Curve Rewards launches, it may become very interesting for UK Visa or MasterCard spend as you would ‘double dip’ with Curve Rewards and rewards from your underlying card.

For overseas ATM withdrawals of £100 to £200, Curve is cheaper (at £200, Curve charges £4 whilst Supercard is £6).  £200 is the daily Curve ATM cap IIRC.  The Supercard ATM cap is £500.

If you need the detailed transaction analysis data which can be downloaded from Curve

If you only want to use one card for both domestic and overseas transactions whilst having a reduced FX fee compared to a standard credit or debit card

How do I apply for a free Supercard?

Download the app via this link to order a free Supercard.  Even if you already have a ‘no FX fees’ credit card, Supercard could still be a better deal if you link it to a Visa or MasterCard which has richer rewards.

Don’t ask me how Travelex makes any money on Supercard because I don’t know!  There is probably an arbitrage on the interchange fees and some data mining opportunities.  The pilot programme must have convinced them that it does have serious long term potential.

(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.)

Bits: Iberia running BA Madrid flights this Summer, free entertainment downloads in T5
Plaza Premium lounges now allowing direct access for Amex Platinum cardholders
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  1. Genghis says:

    And Supercard did appear on MSE this week so apply while you can to avoid a seriously long wait.

  2. “you would have spare credit available – by cancelling your Halifax Clarity, MBNA Everyday etc card”

    I don’t think this is how credit scoring works – cancelling credit cards is more likely to have an adverse effect. Reducing debt helps, reducing the amount of a line of credit you are using can help – reducing your lines of credit is unlikely to help.

    • Furthermore, it’s easier to charge back when you buy something directly on a card. I’d only use Supercard / Curve for something that won’t be refunded. I wouldn’t give it to a hotel or car hire agency for example.

      I don’t know what the typical HFPer is like, but I have 14 credit cards in 3 countries and 36 current accounts in 5 countries, so cancelling one or applying for a new one is neither here nor there. The only thing I churn is Amex Gold in the UK.

      • Richard says:

        Totally agree John, I have had refunds through Curve and they went through fine.

        • I’ve had refunds from Curve for Pre Authorisations or Declined transactions after 10 days. which completely messes up my credit card statement/credit limit and cashflow.

          Lets also not forget that Curve is meant for businesses and when you are making purchases for personal reasons the merchant/retailer is being done over with the higher percentage, its not really something to base a business around and that is why Amex knocked them out as well as the above reasons.

    • But isnt it the case that I can’t get a Virgin card because I already have 5 other credit cards?

      • They care more about how much of your credit limit you are using and I believe it’s best not to exceed 20-25% of it. Having three cards and using 20% of each limit is better than having one card and using 60% of the limit (ie this would not mean you had freed up three ‘slots’)

    • Genghis says:

      As an example, I believe that MBNA only provides a certain level of credit across all card types so you could argue that by cancelling the Everyday card you could apply for another MBNA card.

      • That’s about spreading one line of credit with MBNA between different cards.

        • Genghis says:

          No. If you cancelled the MBNA everyday card because you had hit your max MBNA credit line and you wanted the Virgin Amex for example “you would have spare credit available” albeit with one provider.

  3. I think I applied yesterday via the new app. After inputting my details, I saw a message saying something like “I got the email, now log in”, which I pressed before checking my inbox. A day later, I still have no email and can’t log in with the email/password I set up. I’m assuming this is normal?

    • Genghis says:

      For me it is..

    • Very normal as it stated after you applied and also in the article that they needed to carry out a few checks.

      • Genghis says:

        You would expect an email confirm, however, advising of such

      • They could make that far clearer in-app though. It reads like you’ll have been sent an email to verify your email address and have to click it to progress in the application – they should have emailed folk to confirm receipt of application.

  4. Do charges apply if I sit in my office in the UK and buy something in from a foreign website, eg or Turkish airlines?

    • No charges were applied in the pilot, my understanding is, this is still the case

      • That was different though – they didn’t charge for UK transactions during the pilot. The example here is a genuine foreign purchase so there’d definitely be no fee. It doesn’t matter where you make the transaction, it’s what currency it’s billed in that matters.

    • No – I’ve made a few online transactions from international sites which were fee free.

      • Jonathan says:

        I’m guessing international sites charging non-GBP?
        I perhaps mistakenly assume it’s based more on the currency rather than geographic location, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

  5. Supercard or Lloyds? I have the Avios rewards card which is coming to renewal. Since I have cancelled curve, is it worth getting the supercard or just pay the £24 for Lloyds Amex/MC for the Avios I get with it? Also I have got the upgrade voucher with Lloyds already and will I lose this if I cancel my Lloyds card? Any help would be appreciated.

    • Genghis says:

      Depends on what your underlying card would be on Supercard. I’ve just got the Lloyds card for referral and upgrade voucher. After hitting that spend would use Supercard all the way (for purchases)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Over the MasterCard maybe but even then 1.25 Avios per £5 is better than 0 unless you have a better visa/MasterCard points card (I have Virgin Black ATM) but you wouldn’t over the AMEX as earning rate is 1.25 Avios per £

        If you can spend Atleast £2500 a year on the Lloyds AMEX it’s got to be worth keeping if not just because the protection is better if the merchant takes the AMEX directly.

        • Thanks people.
          Only got my IHG mastercard as my other card, so for me not much use getting the supercard for now. Stick to my Lloyds for now since my overseas spend is enough to get my £24 back and the upgrade voucher is useful.
          DOes anyone know if you cancel you Lloyds card, do you lose the upgrade voucher or not since it is linked to your avios account?

          • I would use Supercard charged to the IHG card over the Lloyds MasterCard as the earning rate on this is not great.
            In fact this is exactly what I will be doing. Lloyds Amex as #1 card and Supercard charged to IHG for anywhere that does not accept Amex.

          • Don’t forget that you get an Amex card with Lloyds which can be use if there are ever any more good statement credit offers. It was a bumper year last year; this year has been lean. Also Lloyds cash back if you also have their current account.

            • TGLoyalty says:

              As lloyds is one of my current accounts the few offers I’ve had with lloyds have been really useful and places I would shop anyway, paid back the £24 and some.

          • You don’t lose the voucher if you cancel the card. The voucher is in your Avios account.

    • Use the one that gets you the most points.

      If abroad they accept amex then use the Lloyds avios amex card if they don’t use the supercard for the reward card higher than the Lloyds one.

  6. Never any mention of Nationwide on HfP. Select credit card is free to use abroad, and you earn 0.5% cash back. Flex plus current account gives you free cash withdrawals (albeit for £10 a month but with added benefits like travel insurance)

    • That’s because the consensus is operating a current account is somehow too difficult.

    • And although there is the Flex Plus account, to get the Select card doesn’t need the paid for version of the current account.

    • Also Norwich and Peterborough. Have had this debit card for years and now that supercard pilot has ended I’m back to using it for cash withdrawals. Will possibly stick with it too if there is a 1% fee now. Though using Mastercard instead of Visa (which N&P use) combined with the points from my marriott card and bmi visa will probably make it worthwhile using the supercard for both.

    • Use the one that gets you the most points.

      If abroad they accept amex then use the Lloyds avios amex card if they don’t use the supercard for the reward card higher than the Lloyds one.

  7. rams1981 says:

    So without a legacy BMI card is the new HSBC premier MasterCard the best earner to have? Any others?

    • Jonathan says:

      For non-Amex yes, but eligibility criteria will exclude most from being able to apply.

    • The value of the Lloyds MC will be specific to you but I think it’s generally under-rated here. If you put you Amex spend on Lloyds and that gets you the voucher then the MC is low value. However if you have a better place for your Amex spend (BAPPs and triggering a few Amex sign-up bonuses), then if you can put getting on for £7000 on the Lloyds MC (topped up if necessary with some redirected Amex spend) then you get a great return on that MC spend. The voucher value again depends on you and it certainly isn’t as flexible as the BAPP voucher but you should at least be able to upgrade a short-haul return. That’s got to be worth £100 used wisely on in avios terms at least 12k avios. Or much more: mine saved me 72k avios to Asia. Unless you think the voucher is wasted on you, any of those is a good/great return on £7k MC spend.

      • Indeed I think the Lloyds one is a fantastic voucher – especially when used on off-peak WTP to CW upgrades, which have become more expensive since last April. I paid 52k Avios + £360 vs 100k Avios + £504 on I’ve no idea why the taxes/fees were less but I’m not complaining! Even if they were the same (as I was expecting) then it’s still a great saving.

  8. BigDave says:

    I think Supercard had a limit of 5 cards that can be added in the app but curve was unlimited…
    I could be wrong though?

    I’m keeping the curve for now as waiting to see what the rewards scheme is going to be like and hoping like a romantic fool that Amex comes back…

    • Shayele says:

      I received the email below from Shachar Bialik. The CEO of Curve this seems to imply that they have taken away the 1% fee for international transactions? Anyone heard anymore of this??

      For many people the ‘Amex everywhere’ proposition was Curve’s USP, however it’s just one aspect of what we do at the moment – super low fx rates, more visibility over your spend, real-time notifications, and a central platform for all transaction disputes and card blocking for when things go wrong. We now even let you use your 0% fx cards via Curve (we think it’s worth giving up the 1% we make, for you to get the convenience of all your spend in one place). Plus we’re working on lots of new features, including supporting apple pay later this year.

      • What Shachar means in that email is that if you link a 0% card to Curve (eg Halifax Clarity), Curve will not charge its usual 1% fee on foreign transactions.

        • Genghis says:

          That’s kind of them but I can see no benefit of this. Can anyone else?

          • You get all the data analytics on your spend via Curve and, at some point, Curve Rewards as well as not paying a fee. If you use a different card in the UK you can link both to Curve and just carry that around instead of 2 cards, one for UK spend and one for overseas.

            • It’s still a pointless card if you ask me. The rest is just marketing talk. Without being able to use our Amex cards to generate points and other rewards, Curve is merely a useful piece of plastic to spread margarine on your toast (anyone remember Mr Bean making his sandwhich in the park?). I see no benefit in having Curve over something like Halifax Clarity or even the Lloyds Avios duo cards.

            • Yes but the Curve card is often declined and if you make a purchase that pre authorises your card they will charge that pre authorisation and not refund it for 10 days as well as actually charging the amount of the transaction, so it ties up the limit of twice what you purchased.

              Its a pointless card without a loyalty scheme in place, what is the point of using the card to charge my hilton visa when I can just use the hilton visa directly. They are the only ones making money of the transaction in this scenario, if a loyalty scheme launched maybe it would change my mind.

      • Interesting, I don’t think it quites mean what you say though – to me it sounds more that they’ll let you add a 0% forex fee card (eg Clarity, Lloyds) and bill it in the original currency, thus making the conversion on the destination card rather than by them…

  9. Mr Fluff says:

    This is probably an ignorant question, but how does the post office card compare?

    • 0% but obviously no rewards and I wouldn’t use it for cash out. Still a respectable option and it was one of the first to offer 0% forex!

      • I’ve got a Post Office card and it has been fine. I will probably keep it as a fall back for when Supercard gets declined. Obviously there is no reward scheme so using Supercard linked to any rewards card will be better for you than using the PO card.

        The PO card has a fee for ATM withdrawals abroad, same as Supercard.

  10. davetza says:

    One thing to note with Supercard is that you won’t get any Section 75 protection as it is not a credit card even though it is linked to your credit card.

  11. AmandaB says:

    I have used my Supercard extensivly thoroughout the pilot in around 10 different countries. The only downside for me is the maximium daily limit. It caught me our a few times when shopping and paying hotel bills. Disapointed with the introduction of the charge for ATM withdrawals as I used this instead of currency exchange prior to travel. But I can live with that. An excellent card and service.

    • AmandaB 9:04 am:

      Good that you feel you’ve had an excellent card and service having used the Supercard in around ten different countries- a fair sample!

      However, you state that the only downside is the maximum daily limit .

      The limit appears to be fairly generous -maybe terms have changed?

      For those spending 10’s of thousands abroad perhaps the card might be beneficial?

      For those spending <10, a Halifax Clarity (or similar) would appear to suit best:

      Why further complicate, already complicated lives :) .

  12. Majunga says:

    Supercard vs Curve:

    I was also under the impression that one could link a EUR CC to Curve. You could then route any EUR expenses to Curve + EUR CC and avoid any FX charges as all transactions/billing happen in EUR.

    Is that correct and does that also work with Supercard?

    Thank you

    • That’s correct, you can link credit card in various foreign currencies to Curve which you can’t do with Supercard (well, you can, but Supercard only recharges in £ so it is pointless). This is one of cleverer Curve features, I rarely mention it because it isn’t relevant to most HFP readers.

      • Majunga says:

        Thank you Rob

      • Eurorrocket says:

        When I had the Curve card, which I binned the minute Amex withdrew, I tried to link it to my Barclays France issued Visa/carte bleue. No dice. Another reason why I bailed at the first sign of trouble with curve.
        Having said that, I always found their customer support very good.
        Just awaiting an email from supercard so I look forward to trying that out.

  13. Colin JE says:

    Just ordered my replacement Supercard. The app is way better this time around. No errors, you input your password twice so less chance of a mistake. Let’s hope the transactions track more smoothly.

  14. I fear I may be being too honest for my own good here: but for those of you who can get a Mondo card (appreciate the wait is fairly long at the moment), it is fee free abroad, as well as having the best app interface of all these types of cards (Curve, Supercard, Revolut etc). The downside is that, like Revolut, it is a pre-pay top-up card that can only be topped-up by debit cards.

    However, a bit of experimenting the other day revealed that it treats Curve as a debit card. Effectively therefore allowing fee-free liquid cash withdrawals from a credit card abroad.

    • sprout7 says:

      Strange – I tried linking my curve card to a Mondo account and it wasn’t having any of it. Did you type the details in or take a photo?

      • Strange indeed. I can’t remember if I typed the details or took a photo. I don’t think that should make a difference though, as all the photo does is translate the image into text.

      • To clarify, I used my Curve card to top up my Mondo (ie. allowing me to use a credit card to top-up Mondo). I didn’t link my Mondo to my Curve.

  15. Unfortunately, the overseas ATM withdrawal charge kills the deal for me as this means I still have to carry my Halifax clarity – which nets me £5 back for £300 pm anyhow.

    The only use I see of this for me is high-value non-GBP/Euro transactions (I have Euro denominated rewards cards) – however, these are rare as I typically pre-purchase flights/hotels world-wide in GBP. Nevermind!

    • You can get free overseas cash withdrawals using a combination of Mondo & Curve.

      Set Mondo as you’re curve funding card with the currency set to be the currency of the country you are in.

      Curve will not charge a cash withdrawal fee (it is seen as a domestic debit card withdrawal) and mondo will charge you the wholesale MasterCard rate (no spread) for the charge.

      • Yes but if your transaction fails then Curve will likely charge your card and not refund for 10 days.

        Better just get a bank account that allows free withdrawals

      • N1david says:

        What’s the advantage over using Mondo directly? Assume you still have to fund Mondo in advance, so what does Curve bring to the party?

        • Yes exactly the point, if Curve had a reliable product that offered a loyalty scheme fair enough but you do nothing but make them some extra money.

  16. In the pilot I used Supercard for buying Ryanair flights without extra charges. I imagine I might be able to book the inbound leg separately so that its a euro transaction but is there a cunning plan for the outbound?

  17. TGLoyalty says:

    Just me that loves to have the choice of my lloyds AMEX, Halifax Clarity, Curve and now Supercard when abroad? nothing worse than a card being declined, found lloyds/Halifax have become very wary now? So with curve and supercard in your wallet at least you have low cost options to settle your bill without wasting time on the phone to the bank

    AMEX coming back to Curve would be very welcome ofcourse

  18. I am a big fan of the Lloyds Avios card/Lloyds current account combination.
    But, I am currently collecting Hilton points rather than Avios so this looks attractive as I can divert all my spending onto my Hilton card which would charge 2.99%. I am, however, annoyed that I have to use a phone to register. I shall have to ask my niece’s husband if I can borrow what I always refer to as his terrorist phone. I am sure that he will not mention this in the future, often!

    • Scallder says:

      mark2 – only cash withdrawals will be charged at 2.99% fee. Any normal purchases you can divert to your Hilton Visa without incurring a charge as it’ll be charged in GBP

      • I was referring to the Hilton card which would charge me 2.99%

        • Don’t know why you would take cash out of the Hilton card and be charged 2.99%, I assume you didn’t mean this.

          If you want the hilton points then the supercard is useful instead of the lloyds avios for spending abroad which I assume you meant. Incase you didn’t know the virgin black amex allows you to collect 3 hilton points per £1 spent if your spending in the UK.

  19. rams1981 says:

    Supercard was great for UK purchases, charging no fees whilst recognised as a debit cad…are there any cards out there that can replicate this?

  20. Has Supercard not bothered to contact anyone else from the pilot to let them know about the new card? I received an email in March which had the following line but never heard anything since:

    “But, fear not, you’ll be the first to know about how you can get your hands on a free new Supercard and we’ll be in touch again nearer the time with full details.”

    • Lady London says:

      I signed up for the pilot but even after downloading the app, every time I tried it was nonfunctional and simply would not let me get set up. Lots of people reported this problem. For me it was never solved and eventually I gave up.

      I have to say I didn’t enjoy seeing everyone comment on HfP continually, how good that card was working for them on the pilot after that ! :-(

      I did receive 2 emails 2 days ago reminding me to sign up again so I have done so. Still waiting for them to complete their checking process… no email received yet that it’s all OK.

      It would be nice if it worked this second time.

  21. Supercard Representative says:

    Sorry, we forgot about that! Too busy having meetings about the 2.99% fee we’re charging you!

  22. O/T Boo, hiss. Just seen on FT that insiders (incl Raffles) have heard that BMI Diamond Club Amex cards are getting canned shortly.

    Goodbye, old card, we had a lovely relationship with many a 2 point earned.

    Even the threesome we had with Visa (1 MR point/£) was fun.

    I’d give it 6 months.

    • Even worse according to Raffles:
      “Apparently ALL MBNA, Lloyds and Barclays Amex cards are going”
      – Not good for Virgin/ Emirates/ Etihad etc

      • The others will presumably be going to a new home.

        Only BMI cards get the bullet

        • Lady London says:

          Out of sympathy for you Harry I won’t say “it’s about time”.

          I mean, how long has the old BMI been gone for ?

      • Nooooooo that’d be rubbish – I really like the Lloyds Amex and the earning rate on their Mastercard is pants!

    • Will the bmi MC continue for a while though I wonder? Or all Diamond Club ones for the axe?

  23. Is there an Android app, or is this iphone only like curve?

  24. So just to confirm, the pilot visa card is not functional anymore? I’m going on holiday in a couple days. Will the old visa Supercard not work abroad anymore?

    • No, it hasn’t worked since 7th June. Didn’t you get the (many) emails advising you of the end date?

      • Thanks. Didn’t get any emails from them. Need to sort out some Euros tomorrow :O

  25. If the Supercard is free with no credit check, is there any reason NOT to get one? !

  26. Applied about 8am on Wed morning and just had an email to confirm that my card is being shipped.

    • I just got my confirmation of application email(finally)! Could mean a big takeup I suppose..

      • I only got my confirmation of application email a couple of hours before the shipping one, ie both arrived 2 days after applying!

  27. So what is the downside? They make their money somehow. Do they offer less accurate transfer rates? Never convinced the uk credit cards were offering good rates, plus adding 3% to currency charge.

  28. Sorry to bump another old post but my Supercard just arrived today and I thought of a question. I will probably recharge all my foreign spend on it to my IHG Premier card. But if I use Supercard to pay my bill in an IHG hotel will I lose out on the double points spend as it is an IHG card in an IHG property?

    What about the double points on foreign currency spend, given the Supercard recharges in sterling?

    Thanks, Macca

    • No double points for FX spend, no double points for IHG spend.

      However, you only get double points once so you are only missing out on 2 points per £1. It isn’t worth paying 2.99% for that. Go with Supercard.

      • Thanks for the reply Rob. What do you mean I only get the double points once? I don’t see a mention of this in your review or online at Barclaycard.

        Thanks, Macca

        • Barclaycard don’t make it clear. As I understand it, if you spend £100 abroad in an IHG hotel then you do NOT get 200 base points + 200 bonus foreign spend points + 200 bonus IHG spend points. It would only be 200 + 200.

  29. In case anyone is thinking of this you can’t change your pin or use it with PayPal.

    I think I am correct that for purchasing abroad supercard will work out cheaper than curve, if it gets accepted. The old version was problematic.

    For me I think for purchases abroad it is…. Supercard, then curve, then clarity. For cash it is clarity then curve, then supercard.

    UK purchases/cash would just be curve.

    I think I have it correct, as not found a comparison table anywhere.



    Travelex Supercard – how it works