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Supercard from Travelex is now available – the end of FX credit card charges?

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Back in March I wrote about the forthcoming launch of Supercard from Travelex.  It is very rare that a totally revolutionary payment product comes along but this could be it.

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 the Post Office Platinum and Halifax Clarity. 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

Supercard is different. It can be used anywhere where a Visa card is accepted. Your purchase is translated into Sterling as the standard Visa / MasterCard rate and charged to any UK credit or debit card you nominate. You will receive the usual rewards from that card.

Let’s imagine spending $150 in New York. If you use your Marriott MasterCard, you would be charged £103 based on a $1.50 exchange rate. Use Supercard – with your Marriott card linked to it – and your Marriott 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 Post Office or Halifax card – to apply for another rewards card and you would have one less bill to manage each month.

Back in March you could pre-register your interest via the Supercard website.  I did that, but have not received notification yet.

However, as an eagle-eyed reader spotted, the app is now available to downloadThe links to the iOS and Android apps are on this page.  It is not in the iOS app store yet – you need to follow the link.

As of 11pm last night, when I wrote this, it was misbehaving and would not let me register.  The reader who sent me the link had been able to register OK.

Only a limited number of registrations are being taken at the moment so act sooner rather than later if you want to be in the first wave and get the card in time for your next foreign trip.


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British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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Comments (236)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Hugh says:

    still giving out the message

    “Thank you for visiting Supercard.
    We are experiencing significant demand at present. Please check back later”

    at 0520 today

    • Hugh says:

      managed to register via the app from the app store in the end – worked first time

    • Stu R says:

      Hugh, the App is available in the App Store/Google play – just search Supercard, download, and follow the registration instructions.

    • Roger says:

      Managed to register at around 6:30 this morning at first attempt.
      Also received email to confirm the registration.

  • Stu R says:

    It looks like this will be extremely popular and I really hope it lives up to the hype!

    I registered my interest on the day it was first featured here and have yet to receive an email saying the app had gone live. However, I found that the app is in fact already live (App Store & Google Play) and managed to download it and it seems, having followed the process, I’ve been successfully accepted for a card.

    I’ll see how good this is next month when I give it its first outing but I suggest you read the T&C’s; you shouldn’t use it in the UK (fees) and can’t use it to buy petrol for example …. T&C’s worth a read for once!

    • Jonathan says:

      Good comment re petrol as its hidden away in the T&C!

      What’s your take on the ATM withdrawal? If you linked it to a UK credit card would it be seen as cash withdrawal from a credit card incurring interest immediately? If the answer is no I will always just get FX from a ATM abroad.

      • Stu R says:

        Hmm, not sure about that. I suppose it depends on the way Supercard is aligned to the CC companies; if they see all Supercard transactions as normal everyday spends, surely they’ll not be able to define between what’s a cash withdrawal, and what’s tapas for two?

        It’ll be interesting to see how Supercard spends show up on the underlying CC statements.

        On another note, given that you can add up to 3 CC’s, I wonder how you’ll define which charges go to which CC?

        Still some questions to be answered it seems ….

        • kirill says:

          I’m pretty sure you do it through the app, one of the screenshots in the store shows how you can juggle between the different cards saved in your account.

      • Simon says:

        No fees for cash withdrawals from ATMs abroad????? How can that be. Travelex will be killing their own Bureau de Change business…..

      • James67 says:

        Disappointing that it cannot be linked to amex.

  • Helen says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I was able to register via the iOS ap, and am told a card is now on its way to me.

  • David says:

    I just downloaded the app, and registered and was told my card is on its way

  • Toby says:

    Disappointingly I’m being told it can’t verify my identity because I’ve recently changed address or am not on the electoral register, neither of which are true.

    • Hugh says:

      a friend of mine had the same issues – said his address didn’t exist, which clearly isn’t right

    • Marwan says:

      I had the same issue, entered my address manually (adding my Flat number) and that seemed to work

  • Worzel says:

    Thinking back to the original post, we were all racking our brains to figure-out how Travelex would make any money out of this; and, if memory serves me correctly contributor Andrew Seftel and his colleagues didn’t come up with anything.

    • Hugh says:

      probably from selling the data from all your purchases

      • Worzel says:

        You were pretty close Hugh.

        Info on MSE:

        “Travelex is a major player in the travel cash game, but it knows nothing about the people it deals with. By and large, its customers walk up to one of its bureaux de change, make the exchange, then walk off with their currency or they buy online.

        “Supercard is all about building a customer database. Who they are. Where they go on holiday. What they buy.

        “Then it aims to develop future products with a ready-made customer base (as many other firms do). It didn’t explain what these products are, but I suspect it’ll join the sending cash overseas market for example, for those looking to buy properties abroad.

        “So in a nutshell, it seems (and you can never know 100%) the aim here is it believes offering a loss leader like Supercard is effectively a cheap model for customer acquisition for future products.”

  • Nathan says:

    I use my Halifax clarity because of the cash withdrawals being free, I just have to clear he balance that day to avoid the daily charge! Any idea if this card will allow that?

  • Andrew says:

    It came up error when I tried to submit, but it actually had registered me as I got conformation my card is on it’s way

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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