Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: mystery Supercard charges, LAN Madrid to Frankfurt deal back, Luxury Travel Diary deals

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News in brief:

Supercard – the small print we missed

I covered the relaunch of Supercard recently, the payment card which lets you charge foreign currency transactions to ANY Visa or Mastercard without incurring any FX fees.

You can download the free Supercard app and order a card here.

People are now starting to use their Supercard and a strange pattern is emerging.

When transactions are made, they are logged by the app along with the exchange rate used.  A few days later, Supercard is charging a separate – smaller – amount and calling it ‘exchange rate difference’.

This is apparently the difference between the exchange rate on the day of the transaction and the date that it is cleared.  That said, I was under the impression that Mastercard locked the exchange rate on the date of transaction ….

Extra confusion comes from the fact that Supercard does not tell you which transaction these ‘exchange rate adjustments’ refer to.  If you are using it for business purposes, it will be difficult to reconcile the original transactions with the additional charges.

It isn’t clear if Supercard gives you a credit if the exchange rate moves the other way.  The market has generally been one way over the last fortnight as we all know.  One reader was told by Supercard that he had ‘saved £48’ by using Supercard on a US holiday only to find an additional £50 of charges added on as ‘exchange rate difference’.


Fly Frankfurt to Madrid in LAN business class for £120

Last year I wrote an introductory piece on South American airline LAN. LAN is a oneworld partner so you can use Avios points to redeem for its flight from Madrid to Santiago, Chile.

It also has an impressive business class seat as you can see from that article and the photo below.

Few people know that the LAN flight from Chile does not terminate in Madrid. It carries on to Frankfurt.  This allows you to earn some British Airways tier points in style.  Why? Because you can buy tickets just for the Frankfurt to Madrid flight.

If you want to try out the very nice business class seat below, here are the current special prices available on certain days over the Summer as per the LAN website here:

Frankfurt to Madrid one-way – £120

Madrid to Frankfurt one-way – £101

Return trip – £179 irrespective of where you start

You will earn roughly 1,100 Avios points and 40 tier points for each segment. The flight is 2 hours and 40 minutes so you will get a decent amount of time to enjoy the LAN seat. Lounge access is also included.  You will be flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which a lot of people have not yet been able to experience.

The timings are not ideal, to be honest. The Frankfurt flight departs at 19.35 and lands in Madrid at 22.10. The Madrid to Frankfurt flight leaves at 15.10 and lands at 17.45.

There probably aren’t many HfP readers who actually need to fly from Madrid to Frankfurt, or vice versa. However, if you are after some cheap BA tier points and fancy trying out a different airline then this is a fun deal.  You can book this on the LAN website here.

If you want to do a triangular trip from the UK to Frankfurt to Madrid to the UK or vice versa, remember that some Iberia flights to Heathrow are operated with long-haul A330 aircraft with flat beds in business class. You can redeem these seats using Avios and it would be an interesting comparison to do that flight and the LAN trip as part of the same journey.

LAN 787 business class

More Luxury Travel Diary auctions launched

Finally, the Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its auctions closing this week.

Here is 7 nights in a villa in Mallorca which ends in a few days and is currently very lowly priced.  This 2 night beach break near Athens is also finishing very soon.  Looking further out, there are a batch of 2-night Paris hotel breaks in the system as well as a St Lucia holiday.  Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around!

Comments (155)

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

  • JohnT says:

    I was just looking at the thread as was puzzled by these “spurious” few pence transactions – one for each main purchase made (while in Italy last week – no other problems). Seems to average about 0.5% of the total £. I had noticed on the App that sometimes a transaction shows as both Processed AND also as Pending for a few days – which had slightly different £ prices. So I suppose they post the initial one immediately (to register the charge), but then adjust once the foreign transaction is processed to them – As you say we should get any refunds due as well !!

  • chicarg says:

    I have been looking, but for the life of me I cannot find reward flights operated by LAN on the site (particularly on the route MAD-SCL); only Iberia and BA being offered. However, on a previous article this was mentioned as a possibility. Am I missing anything?

  • Allan says:

    Phoned super card who were not interested in the additional charges and wouldn’t refund them. He said they would provide refunds if rates dropped between initial charge and settlement dates.
    Won’t be using it again.

  • rams1981 says:

    anyone had luck getting the amounts refunded?

  • MaryM says:

    Just checked our Lloyds credit card statement and Lloyds charged extra “FX transaction fees” on top of the Supercard fees. Is this the same as what people have seen on their credit cards? Thanks

  • rams1981 says:

    has anyone heard back from either supercard or financial ombudsman regarding this?

    One thing I’ve noticed HSBC Elite custermer service is rubbish compared to AMEX. Called on Friday to query the transactions and the team dealing with it were busy and promised a call back which I still haven’t received. AMEX would have dealt with it there and then

    • Rob says:

      HSBC is all over the place with the new credit card, I have heard that multiple times now.

  • Matt H says:

    Just chipping in my two pence worth on the Supercard.

    I had the pilot VISA card and it worked perfectly the entire time, with one exception that a AED cash withdrawal didn’t complete but showed up as a transaction – although no card got charged ultimately so it wasn’t a major problem.

    With this new Supercard, my g/f failed to use it on and a Paypal based payment, mine also failed with Paypal.

    The old card worked perfectly online, at ATMs, and with PIN. Not to mention there are now additional fees.

    She tried calling CS and the first lady she spoke with was clueless and advised her to just use another payment card. What sort of advice is that?

    I called back and spoke to someone else, he was more knowledgeable and told me that 3D secure type payments won’t work.

    Looks like they have messed it up!

    Also as an FYI, I received a 2nd card and my g/f didn’t.

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

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