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

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.

Amex 'Shop Small' starts today - get £5 back on every £10 purchase!
TODAY ONLY: Win a return luxury London airport transfer with REAL Transfers
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  1. The 15 mins delay repay is not as good as 50% after 15 mins. It’s only 25%.

    Currently we have:
    50% (of a single fare) after 30 mins
    100% (of a single fare) after 60 mins
    100% (of a return fare*) after 120 mins

    This adds:
    25% (of a single fare) after 15 mins

    * note that a return fare tends to be a flexible ticket. Advance tickets that are restricted to a particular service are always sold as two singles so if you have an advance ticket and are delayed 120 mins on one leg you won’t get a refund of both legs even if bought together.

    • They don’t make it very clear online you only get 25% for 15 minutes. Better than ‘nowt though!

      Virgin East Coast just paid me £85.50 for a 35 minute delay the other week.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Not much better… I reckon I’ll be getting a massive £1.30 for 15-29 minutes of my time when I’m commuting (plus five minutes to fill out the form!).

      • Lucky you, i have been waiting for £92.50 since June!

  2. I may be wrong but i think the other graph shows that 72% arrive less than 5 minutes late?
    So chances of getting a refund may not be quite as high?

    • Correct, the other graph does show that. Realistically, being 15 mins late on a 35 minute trip requires some impressive work even by GEx standards!

      • Lady London says:

        Er…not by their standards, in my limited experience.

        My bet is they’ll be paying out all day, if people can be bothered to claim.

  3. Graham Walsh says:

    This is the best use for the Supercard when linked to Virgin Visa

  4. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    MasterCard transactions are processed along with a country code – I assume this will be how they determine UK vs non-UK. Unfortunately I don’t know how they work, seems to mostly be used in fraud strategies in my experience. Perhaps someone who has looked at them can comment on how it works for online cross-border transactions.

  5. Patrick says:

    I have found that supercard is not all its cracked up to be.

    On a recent trip to South Africa using my Supercard linked to IHG premium card it only worked for a couple of days.

    After contacting both creation and Supercard I found that Supercard were recharging the point of sale transactions as cash withdrawals so I pretty quickly hit the £500 per week limit and my IHG card was locked.

    Supercard seem unwilling to do anything about this and rectify the obvious problem.

    • No, it’s Creation that treats purchases via Supercard as a cash advance so you’re limited to £300 per day/£500 per week plus cash advances on credit cards affect your credit rating. Stopped using the Creation/Supercard link for this reason

      • Patrick says:

        Either way. If Creation and Supercard can’t sort their act out so it works properly together then it’s not all its cracked up to be.

      • Sh*t, seriously? Does that mean I will get stung for interest charges as well? As normally getting cash on credit card attracts interest straight away even when paying in full!

        • PalCsaky says:

          I use supercard with creation ihg visa and there aren’t any cash advance charges showing on the statement.

  6. Forget about Supercard. In my recent trip to Japan o used Revolut (more than once a day, from 0.5£ to 500£ payments), and worked ALWAYS without any problems. The money you save you can use then to buy Avios during the IbPlus Groupon offers. But the message is: Revolut WORKS.

    • I was there for 2 weeks!! Forgot to add that info!

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Did you top up with a credit card? Do they bill as a purchase?

        • Genghis says:


        • Sandgrounder says:

          Great. I had forgotten all about the Revolut credit card option as I was burning my referendum night topups for the last couple of trips. Off to TFS tomorrow so will top up today.

          Supercard is a good product in theory, but it is just too wobbly for me.

        • Is there a fee to top up with credit card?

        • Genghis says:

          1% and only Visa/MC. Can you Apple Pay but not with Amex

      • Brian W says:

        + 1

        I’ve been using Revolut now for over a year and recent trips to the States and Europe have shown its robust and trustworthy. Both wife and I have them and use daily on hols for any amount of spend as it always works. I was always nervous using Supercard as you just never knew if it would work or not. Revolut has never let me down once and we must have completed 100-200 transactions now. The app is decent as well. Any money you have on return you can just flip back to £’s and spend it in the UK if you so choose.

        Our supercards shall continue to gather dust I reckon.

  7. Johnnycl says:

    OT Answer to today’s IHG Christmas Iggy comp is 51,000 points for the toy train set. Think I’d rather buy Lego at that price…

    • I would assume the majority of non sterling transactions wouldn’t be in the UK as most terminals wouldn’t be charging other currencies, however I am sure there would be a few so would need to be tested.

      I would rather try Curve or Revolut as the new Supercard never really worked for me

    • My IHG search says it costs 52,000 points…

  8. Re – Supercard…

    I used Supercard on the plane on the way back from Dublin a few weeks ago – transaction was in Euro but processed in Newcastle a few days later… I was hit with £1 + 1% fee. (So ended up paying Aer Lingus about £6 for essentially some breadsticks and small pot of cheese for a hungry 2 year old)

  9. Got hit with the Supercard fee when I bought something on Ebay which was priced in Euro. According to the support because I used Paypal UK. Frankly quite tired of the problems with Supercard so will have a look at Curve.

  10. If it does turn out to be based on POS, for BA at least you can change this. In the URL you’ll see 2×2 country letters-this is country and language (so default in U.K. is /gb-en). If you overwrite the gb with de (leaving the -en) you’ll get the English-language version of the German website and will be processed at BA’s end as if you were in Germany. Plus all tickets out of Germany show as issued in Munich anyway (you can see this on your email receipt if you look hard enough), whichever website you use.

    What isn’t clear is whether that’s enough for Supercard. If they use IP or something to decide you’re in the U.K., you’ll be stuffed.

    • I have in the past user supercard to purchase from a German website (using a UK computer) and didn’t get any extra charge, but they may have changed since then of course!

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

    or you could just give up on Supercard – as it’s more hassle than it’s worth ?!

  12. I have these charges already noted down in my Supercard notes taken from the Annex page of the T&Cs email send to me on 27 June 2016- it states e-commerce transaction within U.K. (Non sterling £1.00 + 1%) also POS within UK (non sterling) £1.00 + 1%. I queried this earlier in the year when I wanted to buy hotel pts in USA $ but I don’t think it got answered – ended up not using Supercard so can’t comment on the charges back then. So don’t think it is a new rule – maybe they are just starting to charge for these transactions.

  13. What’s the prize for the Mandatory Christmas Jumper competition? I’ve just been out and bought mine, having been told it’s obligatory at work on the 16th.

  14. jonboy73 says:

    Rob, I don’t often take umbridge with you, but “worth £199” and costing £199 are two very different things, please…. keep it real..

  15. OT: (and sorry if this is a novice question!)

    I’ve just had notification that my Air Berlin status has been updated to Silver until the end of March 2017. I have a booking to Tokyo coming up in Feb, but my BAEC number is currently attached to the booking?

    Is there a quick way to switch it to my AB number? I’m really after being able to choose seats T-7 days, and haven’t a clue what I need to do!

    • doesn’t let you switch FF numbers. Qatar and Finnair sites do and they can handle any oneworld booking, so use Manage My Booking on one of those. Once you’ve slotted in your AB number and given it an hour or so to percolate down, should let you select seats.

      If this is a cash ticket and you want to earn Avios back, you need to change the FF number back at the airport.

    • Was this from the free upgrade that was mentioned on here about a week ago?

  16. It was indeed, took about4 days for my status to move from classic to silver though

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.