A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Bank Card Currensea…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to look for, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing clients do not truly desire or require
add costs, restrictions or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Bank Card Currensea
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you do not need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a really easy procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank immediately confirms that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. adds a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend notice by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is almost to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately in the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures huge savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the additional action. However that does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make earnings from our Necessary Plan whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free amount on all our strategies, full details can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Bank Card Currensea