I was over in Amsterdam last week which gave me an opportunity to test out my new Supercard from Travelex.
As I outlined here, this is a revolutionary new Visa card which translates your foreign currency purchases into Sterling and then recharges them (in £) to another Visa or MasterCard. You earn full reward points from the card where your transaction ends up and you save 3% on foreign exchange fees with each purchase.
(Travelex is not currently taking new applications for Supercard. The card is currently in a beta phase where a few thousand people are trying it out.)
The first thing to note is:
You can change the PIN of your Supercard at any UK ATM
Travelex does not tell you this but it works fine.
Whilst in Amsterdam I made a number of transactions:
A cash withdrawal in Euros
Machine-based transactions (ie train ticket vending machines)
Manual transactions (eg hotel, restaurants)
I had set up my Supercard so that all of the transactions were recharged to my IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa card, as I am currently working towards the free night voucher for spending £10,000.
The good news is that the Supercard worked fine every time. It is thinner than a standard credit card, and your personal details are printed on it rather than embossed, but that was not a problem.
The even better news is that it does seem to work as promised. The InterContinental cheekily tried to charge me €32 in £ without giving me the € option – the credit card machine showed £25-ish. I insisted on paying in Euro and it eventually went through my Supercard at £23-ish.
The bad news is that the Supercard app has been very troublesome. Every time I try to bring up a list of recent transactions it crashes. I have never managed to bring up a transaction list successfully. I am able to view my last transaction but not the full list.
Transactions are taking some time to reach my credit card statement – they process at the same speed as a normal card purchase. The transactions were all done on Monday and Tuesday last week. They started to hit my IHG credit card statement on Friday and, by Sunday evening, the last one had yet to arrive.
This is how they appear on my IHG card statement:
Tms Supercard NS Schiphol, Chester (NS is Dutch Railways, Chester is where Supercard is based)
Tms Supercard, Tvx Schiphol, Chester (cash withdrawal from a Travelex cashpoint)
What was most impressive is that the €120 ATM cash withdrawal has gone through my IHG Rewards Club credit card as a purchase. This means I will earn points on it and will not pay any cash advance fees or interest.
So far, then, so good – but Travelex really needs to iron out the bugs in the app. I would have had more confidence in the card initially if I had been able to see my transactions in real time.
The biggest test for Supercard will be in Germany next month where we will have a very large hotel bill to settle. If that goes through OK, saving me over £100 in FX fees and probably getting me over the line for my IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa free night, I will be very happy.
PS. In my initial article on Supercard I didn’t list the spending limits that are imposed. These are the key figures you need to remember:
Maximum value of single ATM transaction – £250
Maximum daily ATM Cash withdrawal – £500
Maximum ATM Cash withdrawal per 4-day cycle – £1,000
Maximum daily Point of Sale Spend – £5,000
Number of Purchases per day – 15
Number of ATM Transactions per day – 3
Maximum card usage in one month – £20,000
Maximum card usage in one year – £20,000
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