The less than super, Travelex Supercard

Supercard

Travelex provides a UK Debit card which enables you to avoid foreign exchange fees on overseas transactions – the Supercard. With credit and debit cards charging significant amounts for using your card abroad, it is a good way of saving real money. You present the Supercard to the retailer, and they charge it in the normal way. In turn, Supercard strips off the charges and re-charges a nominated card. It does allow you to earn points (on point earning cards) if you withdraw cash as it treats these as merchant transactions.

For example, a single transaction of about £150 saved me £10 when I used my Supercard in Denmark at a hotel. (A Hilton hotel I might add, which may well be the source of the data breach).

However, the real test of any card provider is what happens when things go wrong, and Supercard sucks!

So, the story.

I check the card that is linked from the Supercard and find £1800+ of transactions waiting to pass through. Whow! I haven’t spent that much. Calling my card provider elicited the information that these were from my Supercard.

So I call Supercard, at 10p per minute I might add. 15 minutes later a distant call centre answers the phone.

Luckily you can suspend your card from their web site and so I did that whilst on hold. This initially confuses the agent as he asks if this is the first time I have called. I realise he must see the card being suspended!

First off he cannot see these transactions, and then suddenly he can. He goes through each one – as you can see multiple purchases at the same store after a test purchase at a petrol station for a small amount of money. Oh yes, I do have the card with me. ‘Are you sure you were not in New York last week?’

No, in fact I haven’t used this card for a month.

‘Are all 18 transactions on 29 and 30 September, fraudulent?’ he asks

‘Yes they are!’ I reply

‘So what happens now?’ I enquire.

‘I will make a report’ he tells me ‘and if we need more information we will contact you. If we decide that they are fraudulent we will reverse the charges.

‘How long will this take, as clearly my credit card company want me to settle the balance due?’

’15 to 45 days’ he replies.

The Supercard agreement indicates that this isn’t what’s supposed to happen. They say:

We will refund funds related to any unauthorised or incorrectly executed transaction immediately unless We have reason to believe that the incident may have been caused by a breach of the Agreement, through gross negligence or where We have reasonable grounds to suspect fraud. We shall not be held liable for a transaction that has been incorrectly executed if You have failed to notify Us of a problem without undue delay – in those circumstances, You may be held liable.

I am going to try my credit card company today to see if they can help, although I suspect the Supercard concept is going to take some explaining. In the meantime Supercard has asked me to prove that the transactions have gone through to my card. I’ve emailed this to them, although as they have raised the charges one might think that perhaps they ought to know that already.

Supercard’s FAQ’s mention nothing about what happens when things go wrong.

Anyway, my advice, stay away from the Supercard, it’s customer service is less than ‘super’.

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Comments

  1. Travelex seems to have rushed this product out without getting the back end ready. However, that being said, you can block the card from being used through the app. I have the card and whenever I am not travelling outside UK, I switch it off to avoid any fraudulent transactions.

  2. I agree – their CS sucks. I had a similar issue regarding a charge that had appeared to go through twice and the call centre were useless.

    But if they can sort out their support, it’s a fantastic product.

  3. Have you heard about Revolut?
    Maybe that’s an alternative, their exhange rates are very good, you can hold multiple currencys at the same time and debit card top-ups are free.
    You get a notification throgh the app every time you make a purchase and their support chat is great (although I’ve never had to deal with fraudulent transactions).
    And – you can just call their offices in Canary Wharf, no foreign call center.

  4. I could say lots of bad things about travelex but I won’t on this occasion. The product is still in beta testing mode, and everyone who signed up to the new concept card agreed to this.

    I received many duplicate transactions on my supercard recently on a trip to SE Asia. But within a few weeks they were all erased. Sometimes a little patience is required in this modern techno world.

  5. @axel – these are not dupes, they are fraudulent. Supercard has passed them to my credit card for payment rather then refunding them pending investigation which is what their rules require.

  6. You say that the first ‘test’ purchase was for a small amount at a petrol station. Supercard’s own T&Cs prohibit use of the card at petrol stations. I’ve tried multiple times to get it to work with pre-pay and post-pay fuel in America and no matter what you do it doesn’t work.

    If the fraudsters really have managed to get a fuel purchase through Supercard this might imply that they aren’t doing the transactions in the usual way that a real customer would since it should fail.

  7. I have contacts who work at the SuperCard back end in the UK for their parent company Tuxedo. If you need me to pass their details over to you, get in touch. rxfleming[at]gmail.com

  8. @Ross thanks!
    They have now credited back all of the transactions except one for $250. They say that the merchant isn’t accepting there is a problem with it and to wait 45 days. I’ve sent a Small Claims Court claim for it. I hope that will be it done! If not, I will be in touch.

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