Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: new Supercard charges?, Gatwick Express delay repay, more HfP party prizes

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

News in brief:

Supercard adds new fees

The Travelex Supercard is an excellent way to make purchases abroad whilst still earning miles and points.

Available free (download the app here and apply), you will receive a MasterCard which can be linked to any other Visa or Mastercard you own.  You make purchases abroad, Supercard converts them to Sterling with no foreign exchange fees and then recharges your other Visa or Mastercard in £.

If your other Visa or Mastercard is a rewards card, this means you earn points without incurring any FX fees.  This typically saves 3% on every purchase.

Supercard has just updated its terms and conditions – see here.

As far as I can tell, this is new:

E-Commerce Transactions within the UK (non-sterling transactions) – £1 + 1%

POS Transactions within the UK (non-sterling transactions) – £1 + 1%

This means that transactions undertaken ‘within the UK’ which are not in £ are not free.  The question is ‘what does that mean?’.  If I book a one-way flight from Germany to the UK, from my home in London, priced in €, am I charged?   I am in the UK, but where is the charge processed?  The UK or Germany?  And does it matter – do I pay regardless because I am in the UK?  And how does Supercard know where I am?

Many of us will have recurring charges for non-UK purchases (Head for Points has loads – most of the services we buy to keep the site ticking are in US$).  Would Supercard now charge for these even if they are processed in the US but I am not?

We need to wait for these new rules to come into effect in January and see what the real impact will be.


Gatwick Express – plus Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern – moving to 15 minute ‘delay repay’

If you are a long-suffering Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern or Gatwick Express passenger, you should know that ‘delay repay’ will kick in at 15 minutes and not 30 minutes from 11th December.

You will be able to reclaim at least 50% of your ticket price if your train is delayed by 15 minutes or more.  That won’t help you if you are at risk of missing your Gatwick flight but it is still better than nothing.

Looking at the latest Gatwick Express punctuality figures here, only 44% of Gatwick Express trains actually arrive on time so your chance of a payout is not zero despite the short journey time!  Thanks to Andy.

Gatwick Express new trains

More Head for Points Christmas party prizes announced

I’m pleased to announce that we have another two prizes for the raffle at the HfP Christmas party on Tuesday, generously sponsored by Melia Hotels International.

The initial list of prizes is here.

The new prizes to be added are:

Generously donated by Dixons Travel:

SONY wireless Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones, worth £199

Generously donated by Uber for Business:

£100 of Uber credit

If you were lucky enough to get a ticket for the party, we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday night.  If you didn’t get a ticket, we will hopefully have some photographs on Thursday and on our Instagram feed.

Comments (54)

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

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Re Supercard I’ve been in the US, South Africa and Oslo recently and its a complete waste. Supercard say contact support. They blame my issuer MBNA Virgin Visa which funnily works straight away.

    Need to dig out my Santander Zero as that will be free and can link to Uber as Supercard doesn’t work with that either.

  • Andrew says:

    Sorry to hear about all the people having issues with their Supercard. I’ve used it several times recently (Hong Kong, China, Macau, Ireland and Spain, all purchases in person and not online) and I’ve never experienced any problems. I’ll be trying it in the US later this month so fingers crossed.

    It sounds like the common theme seems to be linking it with that Virgin Visa card. Mine is just currently linked to my Lloyds debit card and I have never had any payment issues. It’s just a shame that they won’t accept Amex, because I’d love to link my BA Amex to the Supercard and get the points as well.

    • Keith says:

      I was beginning to think that I was the only one successfully using Supercard! I’ve used mine in The Netherlands, Ireland and Portugal over the past 3 months, both card payments and ATM withdrawals, and so far no issues. He said, touching wood feverishly – as I’m away again in a couple of days!

    • Johnny5a says:

      I’ve had mixed results with my Supercard, i always carry a backup card my Santander Zero card.
      The card rarely works in petrol stations.

  • Roger I* says:

    It’s worth reading the revised T+Cs, taking effect in January. (There was a popup on my phone announcing this.)

    My memory is not good enough to compare old and new. Charges and fees are clearly spelt out, including the e-commerce items mentioned above. Also, offline transactions cannot be made, specifically including inflight purchases.

    I haven’t had problems withe card, and will avoid advance foreign hotel; purchases while in the UK, just in case.

  • Aeronaut says:

    Anyone thinking of using Gatwick Express or Southern services to Gatwick (or anywhere else) should brace themselves…

    “RMT and ASLEF industrial action

    Due to the industrial action by drivers in the ASLEF and RMT unions, regrettably we expect Gatwick Express and Southern services to be severely disrupted on every day from Tuesday 6 December until further notice.”

    It’s worth noting that some of the strike dates are for train drivers, as opposed to conductors, and on those dates Southern at least expect to run “no services on most routes”.

    To and from Gatwick, I’d consider travelling by Thameslink instead (from London Bridge etc) – though if the Southern and Gatwick Express services are up the spout, I’d also expect a rather overcrowded journey.

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.