Supercard, the Travelex-backed foreign currency payment card, has emailed its beta users – a large % of whom were recruited via Head for Points – to say that the scheme is finally going to open up to the public.
(EDIT: Curve has changed a lot since this article was published. Please do not rely on the information here. Instead, please click here to read our detailed 2020 Curve review, which includes a link for a free £10 credit when you sign up.)
I was expecting some sort of announcement from Supercard after the Curve launch. I am a little surprised by the timing though.
All existing Supercards will stop working on 6th June. Beta testers and other people who have an expressed an interest will be invited to reapply for a new card later in the Summer – no date given.
I covered Supercard a lot last year. I have been very quiet about it since, as the beta was not accepting new users, so it is worth a recap of the product.
Like Curve, Supercard is a plastic credit-type card which does not have a credit limit of its own. Instead, any transaction you make with the Supercard is recharged to a different Visa or Mastercard you own. There is an app to manage your linked cards and transactions.
This sounds very similar to the Curve card which I wrote about last month and which is due to ship to the first 10,000 users later in March.
The two products are different in some key ways:
Curve has a one-off £35 fee for the basic version, offset by a £10 credit on your first transaction if you are referred by an existing cardholder, whilst Supercard is free. Curve will have a loyalty programme for users but there are no details yet.
Curve can recharge any Mastercard transaction to an American Express, Visa or Mastercard. Supercard can only recharge to a Visa or MasterCard. This means that Curve is the only option if you want to bulk up your Amex spend at non-Amex retailers.
Curve has a 1% fee when used outside the UK. Supercard has no foreign exchange fee.
Curve can be used in the UK. It can even be used to withdraw cash from UK ATMs and recharge the withdrawal as a purchase to your American Express card. Supercard is not meant to be used in the UK. During the beta process people have been doing it – and Supercard has not, I believe, been imposing the threatened 50p per transaction fine – but I would expect this rule to be applied more firmly when the full roll-out takes place.
The lines are now clearly drawn:
Supercard will be the preferred option for people who want no card fee and want to avoid all foreign exchange fees when spending abroad
Curve will be the preferred option for people who are concerned about reward points (the 1% is likely to be worth paying in return for the rewards offered on a linked Amex card), who need to build up spend on their Amex card to hit a bonus or spend target or who do a lot of UK spending at merchants who do not take American Express.
Of course, as there is likely to be a five month gap between Curve shipping (late March) and Supercard shipping (probably August, after your Summer holiday), you need to factor that in as well.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 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:
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.