A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card Airport Lounge…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an affordable way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.
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 spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– simply without the normal 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to request, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing customers do not really need or desire
add charges, costs or constraints to the function that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Airport Lounge
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 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 charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ options which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product 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 said previously, an extremely basic procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your bank account bank automatically verifies that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the free card, includes a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
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 few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, 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 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is practically to happen (often in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily recently a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards promises big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the finest bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the extra step. That does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make profits from our Important Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership fee likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Card Airport Lounge