Travelex Supercard: new top prepaid card to use abroad

New Travelex Supercard cuts out exchange rate and withdrawal fees

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Travelex Supercard: new top prepaid card to use abroad

Travelex has launched the Supercard, a new prepaid card for travellers which allows them to skip a number of fees.

There is no exchange rate fees or cash withdrawal fees to worry about, and no credit check either. You just need to be over 18 and own a smartphone or tablet.

The card is only being released on a trial basis, so when Travelex gets enough interest, it'll withdraw the offer. The website is currently "experiencing significant demand" and may not work straight away.

How to use it

The Travelex Supercard is a prepaid card, but you don't load it with cash.

All you have to do is go to the Supercard app on iOS or Android and register. You'll then be sent a physical card to activate.

You can connect up to five existing debit or credit cards through the app (not American Express, unfortunately) and switch between them. If they are a reward card, you'll still get your normal points and rewards for using them, too.

Spend abroad like you would do with any regular card - it's processed by your bank as a domestic payment. It converts to the same day Visa Wholesale Rate as banks get, without adding a nasty margin on top. You'll even get update to your iPhone or Android phone telling you how much you've saved in foreign transaction fees for each purchase.

For example, if you buy a $500 handbag in New York with your debit card, the average fee would be £10.02 based on rates from Halifax, Santander, Lloyds, TSB, NatWest and HSBC. You'd save £10.02 with the Supercard.

It'll immediately charge your bank account or credit card in pounds sterling at its top exchange rate and without fees abroad, even for ATM withdrawals.

It should be accepted anywhere with the Visa logo, but as it's a new card there's a slight possibility you might be turned away. Take a back-up card with you just in case, or have the money in cash if need be.

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Caveats

If you use the card to pay or withdraw cash in sterling you'll be charged £2 for each ATM withdrawal and 50p for every point of sale (POS) purchase, so it's advisable not to use it in the UK.

You also won't get Section 75 protection. This is added protection that you benefit from when you use your credit card. It holds the card company jointly liable with the retailer should something go wrong on anything you purchase between £100 and £30,000. But prepaid cards don't qualify.

If you're planning on making any major purchases, it's best to take a back-up currency card with you.

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