I applied months ago after walking into a branch and getting a pack. Supposedly you top it up online, then when you use it as a Mastercard abroad there are no fees. You are allowed £750 per year or £5,000 if you prove your address. I gave my address but their system did not find it (Typical!) so I had to send in ID. I don’t have a scanner so I took a high quality photo of my passport and the header of a bank statement.
I got an email back about a week later saying the header is no good. They need to see all 4 corners of the bank statement clearly, including any transactions. I baulked at this as the transactions don’t prove my ID, and are private. However a quick call to the data commissioners office and a very abrupt and blunt man told me that it is not against regulations to ask for this and if I don’t like it I can find a different card supplier. WoW!
Anyway I sent in a copy of my drivers licence instead of the bank statement. About a week afterwards I had heard nothing so I called again and guess what? The image of my passport was no good as I had obscured one corner where I had held it down for the photo. No they replied, we would not contact you for this, you’d only find out when you call. Oh wait, but they did when my bank statement was incorrect? Anyway, can I make a formal complaint please, yes Sir I’ll log it and a manager will call you within 24 hours. (I’ve heard that before too!) Anyway, I sent in another copy of my passport. 2 days later it had not been processed, I’m patient, I can wait.
In the meantime I can still use the card, and I put a second £100 on it just to make sure it works and there is enough diesel money to get me to Venice. 1st fuel stop in France, near Reims. Top up the tank and a jerry can and buy a map (cos the stupid TomTom is useless) for €97. Only problem, card not accepted. (Sigh) Thank goodness for my Visa. I check in the garage and yes they accept Mastercard. Next stop juts outside Stuttgart. A little more diesel and fill up the 5 litre diesel container and guess what? Yup: card not accepted. I checked and they take Mastercard.
Next stop isn’t til Munich in Germany. A half a tank and guess what? Hahahah you’re right, card not accepted and yes they take Mastercard! So, when I get a signal on my phone I’ll be checking to see if there is some problem I’m not aware of.