Sure, it’s easy to use your bank cards when buying things abroad, but it’s not pleasant to come home to all the additional fees and charges bolted on by your bank. One solution is to take cash, which carries its own risks, or sign up for a third-party service that tries to limit the damage to your account. Travelex, however, is aiming to cut those charges completely with the launch of its new “Supercard.” While it’s basically a pre-paid Visa debit card, it comes with one distinct advantage: you don’t have to top it up. You can connect up to five of your own accounts, travel to a far-away destination and it’ll automatically deduct your purchases.
The Supercard, which launches in April, also comes with a companion app (available for iOS and Android) that logs all of your transactions in real time. While you won’t be charged any transaction fees, Travelex is probably making its money by taking a share of the transaction fees that Visa debits from companies that actually take the payments. You can also use it in the UK, but you’ll pay 50p for each transaction and £1.50 for ATM withdrawals. Currently, Travelex is letting people “pre-order” a card (which basically means joining a waiting list) but warns that it’s only running a “limited rollout” of Supercard at the moment. If you travel a lot and this sounds like it’d suit you down to the ground, you might want to move quickly.