Introducing the new Supercard
The Supercard is a relatively new addition to Travelex’s variety of currency exchange options and possibly might be the best way to save money on overseas transactions. It links to your existing credit and debit cards, charging items paid for using the Supercard to your linked card, and most importantly it’s free to get your mitts on one of these babies.
What are the benefits of the Supercard?
If you are wondering why this is a big deal, it’s because of the potential savings that can be made using the card. Usually overseas payments or withdrawals attach both fixed fees and percentage fees for every transaction.
The Supercard is designed to deceive your credit card company or bank into believing that your transactions took place in the UK, thus avoiding these charges. Don’t worry though – it’s not illegal and even better, it is totally FREE to get one!
We put the card to the test on a recent trip to Bahrain in the hopes of answering all your likely questions about the card. This is our experience but if we haven’t answered a question you would like to know about then just pop it in the comments and we will get back to you.
How much will I save?
The table below shows you all the transactions we made using the card during our four day stay, the exchange rate applied and the amount saved on each transaction.
|Transaction Date||Description||Dinar||MasterCard Exchange Rate||Amount||Saving|
|28/08/16||New York Coffee||7.2||0.4955||£14.53||£0.78|
The savings are an indicative figure based on the average foreign charges from six leading providers.
Yes I clearly am a coffee addict! Less about that though – we saved over £13 in fees in just four days. Now imagine you travel multiple times a year and those charges soon turn into the hundreds! Why pay that on fees when it could be buying you a few more cocktails on the beach?
This card is also the international business person’s road to mega savings. Those fees really add up for those guys and gals and could save business a fortune! If you know anyone who might benefit, then be a love and send them this link.
Which cards can I connect to the Supercard?
All debit and credit cards except American Express can be connected to the Supercard and you can connect up to five cards. You then select the one you wish to be charged when you make a purchase or withdrawal as this can not be selected at point of sale. It would be nice to have this option but you must change your preferred card on the app beforehand if you want to use a different card to your primary card.
How can I pay using the card?
You pay in the usual fashion either entering your pin or signing. However you cannot pay using Contactless, Apple Pay or PayPal. Instead, simply present your card at the time of purchase and the items will show up on your statement as Supercard – the store name.
You can also use the card to withdraw cash and although it will be cheaper than withdrawals using your bank card, charges do apply.
One last neat tip to be aware of is payments made in the UK which are debited in a foreign currency such as USD. By using the Supercard to pay for those you will continue to avoid the foreign fees.
How does it stack up in practice?
I am definitely convinced of the benefits after my trip. Purchases show almost instantly on the app so you can see exactly what you have spent in GBP and also spot any unauthorised transactions. This also allows you to quickly get to grips with the local exchange rate if it one you are unfamiliar with.
What I like about the Supercard?
It is quick and easy to use anywhere that MasterCard is accepted and I love that I do not lose any of the benefits of my linked credit card whilst using it. For instance, I collect air miles and charging purchases to my Supercard doesn’t interrupt that so not only do I save money but I also get rewarded.
Other cards may offer free overseas transactions but usually at the cost of the airline or hotel rewards. Furthermore if you have any added benefits such as lounge access or insurance with your card, these remain unchanged also.
Managing the card through the app
Viewing payments through the app offers fast and transparent recording of your spending. I was amazed to find details of purchases showing within minutes. This shows the original purchase, the converted amount and more importantly the saving per transaction on what you would have paid using your card directly (worked out using the average fees from six of the leading UK debit and credit card companies).
This feature gives you comfort that the Supercard is working for you and satisfaction that you are not paying rip off charges.
Are there any other benefits I might value?
Your card includes a basic travel insurance policy provided by AXA which covers you for delayed departure, baggage delay, hospitalisation benefit, travel accident and loss of life.
Are there any downsides to using the Supercard?
Yes, it cannot be used Contactless nor can you change the PIN, which is a bit of a nuisance.
Also we did experience a few instances where the card simply would not work. The frequently asked questions on the site points out that you may struggle to make payment in areas where there is a poor signal or no online connection. We were in the basement bar of a building at the time so presume this to have been the issue.
The FAQ also stress that the card can not be used to pre-authorise hotel rooms or rental cars. Although we did successfully manage to use it for hotel pre-authorisation, it would be unwise to travel without a backup (maybe bring at least extra card up with you to be safe!).
Speaking of which, the other fabulous benefit is security as you can leave all your other cards at home securely locked away in a safe place!
This is a great new way to get currency overseas. I personally withdraw very little in cash when travelling, preferring the protection of my credit cards and security of knowing that if they are stolen I am protected. This option allows me to continue enjoying those benefits whilst also reducing the overseas fees I pay – a win:win in my view.
Why don’t you give the Supercard a free trial?
As the card is free you have nothing to lose by trying it out and I would love to know how you get on. Simply click on this Supercard link to go to Travelex, download the app and register.
Pin this as a reminder to order the Supercard before your next overseas trip: