How To Avoid Overseas Transaction Fees With ANY Mastercard/Visa With Divipay
Last Updated: 14 September 2017
Divipay - Make Anonymous Payments With Divipay & Fee-Free Overseas Transactions
DiviPay allows you to top up a "virtual" Mastercard to be used online for purchases. This allows you to keep your own Credit Card details secure as the card you'll be using for payment will be the Divipay Card.
You top up the card with your own Mastercard/Visa Credit or Debit card with a specified amount. A main highlight feature is that international transaction fees have no additional surcharge (banks usually charge 2-3%, unless you're using one of the Best Travel Cards. This means any Mastercard/Visa you hold can effectively be used to make fee-free overseas purchases!
These cards can generally only be used online, and there is a daily spend limit of $1000.
I've used DiviPay about 3-4 times in the month that I've known it and have had very positive experiences using it so far.
Read on for a more comprehensive breakdown!
DiviPay is a service/company I stumbled upon whilst reading some somewhat obscure Ozbargain comments. I've been using their service for about a month. Just to get this out of the way first, Divipay is not a "card" or even a financial institution for that matter.
The way they market themselves (on their website) is to make it a convenient way to split bills/shared expenses amongst friends, and I can see why and how it would work in theory using their "Group Card" feature.
However, with the existence of Splitwise, it slightly erodes the relative advantage of such a feature. If you were to get a group of friends to use Divipay, each would need their own account and each would need to individually top up the card - let's see you try and get 5 friends on board with that! I can definitely imagine there would be more resistance to that than one person using Splitwise to divide the expenses!
For this reason, I see it a slightly different way. I personally am really loving their "personal cards" feature.
Here's how it works in a nutshell:
- After signing up for an account, you can create an unlimited number of either "Personal Cards" or "Group Cards"
- The value of Personal Virtual Cards can range from $5 to $1000 (including funny values like $5.27)
- You use your own Credit Card (Mastercard/Visa only) to top up an anonymous Credit Mastercard which you can then use for purchases. This Credit Mastercard has its own set of numbers, expiry date and security number.
- With the Group Card feature, you can invite multiple friends to fund a card with you. The amount topped up per person can either be equal or a specified unequal split.
- Each individual will need their own account to be able to complete this top up
- I believe each card can be used multiple times
- The FAQ states the cards are single use, however I received email correspondence from them stating they can be used five times.
- The virtual Mastercard generated is an Australian-issued Credit Mastercard
- At this stage, this card can primarily be used online
- It is hypothetically possible to use this in-store, but not straightforward. It will require the operator to have some technical knowledge of how to use the payment terminal. Specifically, how to manually enter in card numbers with card expiry. I would imagine most merchants would be confused if you asked for them to process a payment in such a way.
- They are currently working on an Android Pay and Apple Pay version which would also allow you to use Divipay where contactless payments are accepted
- Any remaining amount on the card will get refunded to your funding source after you "cancel" (refund) the card
- In the case of group cards, refunds are processed proportionally back to the funding cards based on how much each card contributed
- From my experience, DiviPay Cards can be added to PayPal and used as payment
- At present, they do not accept AMEX, but they are supposedly working on accepting AMEX (which to be frank, would make their overall service even more attractive than it already is)
- Source: Email correspondence with DiviPay Customer Support
- They also have a Rewards points system, which would hypothetically allow you to earn even more points in addition to your Credit Card points (earned when topping up your Divipay cards)
- Here is a screenshot of their Rewards system from their homepage
- At the time of writing, there is a somewhat low daily spend limit of $1k, and a monthly spend limit of $2k
- It is however possible to increase this limit to $20k/mth with an ID check, although the total amount you can have loaded across all cards in your account is $1000 [Source: Email communication with DiviPay Customer Support]
Why would you use DiviPay over making the payment directly with your Credit Card?
- Anonymity (i.e. for the same reason people use PayPal) as you would otherwise be entering in your Credit Card details straight into a website
- Forex fees are waived - this one is actually, to me, the huge attraction of their service at present. This effectively means you can use any Credit Card which ordinarily attracts an international transaction surcharge and get the full points whilst avoiding a forex charge. This is the only such way you could achieve this that I am aware of!
- From my usage of the card several times over the last month, I have found the rate to be extremely competitive. It appeared to be either the same as what you'd get from a card like 28 Degrees, or slightly better. It is stated that the rates used are Mastercard's Published rates.
- A recent example of the rates based on a transaction I made - I purchased this, listed at $14.44 USD. xe.com estimated $14.44 USD to be $17.92 AUD. I was charged $17.94 using my DiviPay card. That is really competitive.
- You can hypothetically get an extra dollar worth of points by using this service.
- Example: Let's say you're making a purchase of $14.99 AUD. If you pay directy with your card, this would attract a points rewards for $14 worth of transactions as it is almost always rounded down. (i.e. $14.99 rounded down to the nearest dollar)
- By using DiviPay, you could first top up an account with $15. You then use your DiviPay Mastercard and make the $14.99 transaction. The remaining $0.01 gets refunded to your card. The refund of the $0.01 to your funding card will not result in the reversal of a dollar worth of points.
Why would you NOT use DiviPay?
- Refunds, I would imagine, may be messier. Their FAQs section explains that a refund will simply go back to the DiviPay Mastercard you've used to make the purchase, but what happens if you have already cancelled/refunded the DiviPay card?
- If you're making a purchase at a merchant that would normally give you bonus points for spending there (e.g. bonus 1 pt/$ for spend on Qantas Services), you will not be eligible for these bonus points as your Credit Card is now making the payment to Divipay first
- If your own Credit Card offers you Travel Insurance, or Extended Manufacturer's Warranty, it is very likely by making the payment via DiviPay, you will forego these benefits for the same reason as above (i.e. you are making a payment to DiviPay - you are not directly purchasing the product/service)
The service is still in beta stage, so you may notice that there are still some bugs/glitches with using the website. If you encounter any issues, get in contact with their customer service whose email is located at the bottom of their website.
Their FAQs section also includes quite a bit of handy information.