A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Activate…
It has actually won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– just without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid plan, but the totally free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
include a growing number of functions which your existing consumers do not really desire or require
include costs, charges or constraints to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is easy 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? Currensea Card Activate
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 small 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really basic procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank automatically verifies that you have enough money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is just about to occur (often in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily over the last few years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking cash and the additional step. But that does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make earnings from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost also gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Activate