A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card America…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, 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 just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to look for, which likewise assists.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you select a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or more affordable than the competitors
include a growing number of features which your existing consumers don’t really need or want
add charges, fees or limitations to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card America
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very 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, internationally).
Your bank account bank immediately confirms that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle out and purchase 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 on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to take place (often in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea promises big savings (85%) and a terrific app.
But I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking cash and the additional action. That does not suggest it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make income from our Vital 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 strategies, full details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Card America