Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – October 2022 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (236)

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

  • pj says:

    Not sure exactly why I would need a mobile phone to accompany the physical card.

    Any ideas?

    • Alan says:

      I thought the idea was that you used the app to pick which of your existing debit/credit cards the physical Supercard was linked to?

      • pj says:

        Then you’ll be incurring phone charges so it’s not as brilliant on cost as people are saying.

        Factor in a minute from your foreign location as a minimum.

        • Alan says:

          Why? Just use free WiFi! Also I think you’ll only need to use the app if changing card, not for every transaction.

  • Rob says:

    If you have a PO or Halifax card, you can now ditch it (freeing up credit and having one less bill to pay) AND start earning points on your overseas spend. It would also make it easier to hit spend targets such as £10k for Hilton Gold on their Visa.

    If you have the Lloyds card, you can now save £24 by ditching it. If your holiday hotels accept Amex then, admittedly, you might want to keep it anyway as the rate is still good. Given how poor the MasterCard rate is on the Lloyds card, though, you’d be better off redirecting that spend to a Tesco MasterCard via Supercard.

    • Mark says:

      Maybe not. It depends on how much worse the Visa vs MasterCard rates are on average. If the 1-2% I found yesterday is at all indicative earning an additional 0.35avios/£ would mean you are effectively paying between 3 and 6p/avios when directing the spend to a standard Tesco MasterCard via Supercard vs the Lloyds card.

      The £24/year is likely to be easily recoverable via Amex deals.

      • Rob says:

        I would be surprised if the rates differ based on what they have said. Only way to check this, of course, is to make 2 identical transactions in the same shop at the same time with two different cards.

        • Mark says:

          There is another way to tell without spending anything.

          MasterCard rates are published here. If you have a MasterCard that applies no exchange loading this is exactly what you would have got on any given day: https://www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/

          Visa rates are likewise published here:
          http://www.visaeurope.com/making-payments/exchange-rates

          It’s a bit more fiddly to compare Amex. If you have an Amex issued card you can log into your account and use the ‘Check Foreign Transaction Exchange Rates’ option from the Information & Help drop down.

          • Mark says:

            I think I may previously have been looking at the Visa Inc rates, not Visa Europe (which I’m assuming is what will be applied).

            Taking yesterday’s rates for a GBP card, one Euro would have cost:

            MasterCard: 72.39p
            Visa: 72.10p
            Amex: 72.30p

            So Visa in this instance would have been a little cheaper (~0.4%).

            One US dollar would have cost:

            MasterCard: 63.25p
            Visa: 63.98p
            Amex: 63.98p

            So here Visa and Amex are both about 1.2% more expensive than Mastercard.

            Going back a week, the Euro rates on 7/5 were:

            MasterCard: 74.23p
            Visa: 74.18p
            Amex: 74.57p

            So, again very little in it but Visa is cheaper.

            For US dollars, again on 7/5:

            MasterCard: 65.60p
            Visa: 66.09p
            Amex: 66.05p

            Visa here was about 0.7% more expensive than Mastercard.

            It’s difficult to do a wider analysis without an easy way to harvest the rates in bulk. We’re talking about very small amounts of money of course unless your overseas spend is huge, but in the context of whether (and how much) you could be paying for any points return it could be material.

          • Mark says:

            From the Terms and Conditions it is the Visa Europe rate:

            “5.8. Supercard will not charge additional fees or FX mark-up for a foreign transaction and the Visa Europe Exchange Rate will be used to convert foreign transactions to GBP.”

            So on that basis the comparison immediately above should be indicative, and therefore doesn’t compare as badly as I first thought.

  • Martin says:

    I tried all day from yesterday morning until the early hours of the morning and could not complete registration. Must have tried 200+ times.

    My partner on the other hand got it done in a handful of attempts yesterday afternoon.

  • Max says:

    I tried again today and was able to successful register (I was also one of those who pre-registered my interested a while ago). Maybe they’ve ironed out some of the IT glitches from yesterday.

  • Max says:

    It took me many attempts to get through the screens as it often said there was an error but I’m there now and awaiting my card in the post

  • roger says:

    I’d never heard of it until I saw it on the MSE website. I managed to register eventually and have an email saying it’s on it’s way. Hurrah. Lucky me hey?

    • Roger says:

      This Roger HAD heard of Supercard and pregistered some weeks ago. After I saw Raffles’s news, I applied using his link and ultimately succeeded.

      Then got the message from pre-registration telling me the offer was live and all I needed to do was register.

      Not joined up …

  • JoshUK says:

    I’m in the same boat as a couple of people above–got through all the details to final screen (choosing password, etc) and couldn’t get through. But now when I open the app, it simply says “Congratulations, Your SUPERCARD is now in the post and on the way to you…”

    Still no emails though. Anyone else in this boat actually contact Travelex and find out the situation?

    Thanks.

  • jameslon says:

    OK, here’s how I managed to get it to work on iOS.
    1. If you have already installed the app, remove it from your phone, and re-install from the App Store.
    2. Register your details (it should now work). Quit the app (swipe up), re-start, and then the Congratulations screen should re-appear with your name and card number showing.
    Hope it works for others.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.