Earlier in the week Travelex announced the closure of Supercard, a card that was their most innovative travel product. The Supercard’s best feature was that you could use their card abroad to make purchases with 0% transaction fees (much less than the typical 3% charged by many high street banks). Being a card that was targeted towards travellers you would also expect the card to be ideal for making withdrawals from cash machines, but this was not the case. Last month I tested both the Curve card and Supercard by withdrawing the same amount of cash, from the same cash machine, within minutes of each other. €150 was withdrawn from each of the cards, both of which use the Mastercard wholesale exchange rate, to see which was the cheapest. To save the suspense, withdrawing cash abroad using Curve was the cheapest option. Great news as this card is still available (signup link below with £5 free credit).
A Background To Curve & Supercard
Both the Curve card and Supercard are operate very similarly. Both cards are managed through a separate mobile application, that allows you to link your existing Mastercard or Visa cards (such as your bank account, or even credit cards). When the link has been created everything you spend on either of the cards is instantly recharged to your linked account. Using a Curve or Supercard instead your regular debit or credit card abroad will reduce foreign transaction fees and also charge one of the best foreign exchange rates on the market (usually much more preferable than typical bank accounts). Any purchase or cash withdrawal you make in the local currency (such as euro, dollar etc) is automatically converted to pound sterling.
Curve promote their piece of plastic as an ‘all in one’ card. After you have linked all the cards in your wallet to your Curve card, you only need to carry one card with you instead of many. The funding card can then be switched directly in the mobile app, meaning that you can switch from a credit card to a bank debit card in seconds.
Curve also have their own loyalty scheme, Curve Rewards, where you can earn reward points on purchases at select retailers. Curve Reward points can then be converted instantly into cash for future purchases, again managed via the app.
Curve is not marketed as a travel card, but for cash withdrawals abroad it beats Supercard.
Cardholders can still use the card until the closure of Supercard on 24th July 2017.
The Supercard is a specialist travel card that focuses on reducing the cost of foreign transactions fees for cash withdrawals and purchases when abroad. Using the Mastercard wholesale exchange rate instead of the (usually poorer) Visa rate means that you get that little bit more for your money. The benefit of the Supercard over other typical cards (such as high street banks) is that if you are planning on making card purchases while abroad you will pay no foreign transaction fees – that’s 0%.
The Difference Between Curve & Supercard
First, it’s key to remember that both the Curve card and Supercard use the Mastercard wholesale exchange rate. Neither are Visa cards so this is not a comparison between Mastercard and Visa foreign exchange rates, but a comparison between Supercard and Curve. Just as a note, when using a Mastercard abroad for purchasing Euros, the Mastercard wholesale exchange rate on average has been preferable.
A comparison between the same transactions made on the Curve card and Supercard.
|Withdrawal Amount||Currency Rate||Fees||Total Charged|
|Curve||€150||£128.13||1% + £2||£131.41|
Signup For A Curve Card
To order a free Curve card, and also receive £5 of free credit download the app using the link below and make sure to enter the promo code K7ADL. A free Curve Blue card will be sent and the £5 free credit issued after making your first purchase.
Join Curve by downloading the app. Register using promo code K7ADL for £5 credit to be added to your account. Remember to enter the promo code after downloading the app or you will not receive the free credit.
You need to enter the code on the first screen of the app by pressing “Add a referral code”. Curve is currently targeted towards the business market and you will be asked to confirm if you operate your own business, are self employed, or earn any funds aside from a regular job. There currently appears to be no checks against this information.
The Curve app is available for Apple and Android devices.