A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Blocat…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) however 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 current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– just without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
add more and more features which your existing customers don’t actually want or need
add costs, charges or restrictions to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Blocat
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make 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% foreign exchange charges, then you do not require a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank automatically confirms that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% fee. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend alert via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 scheduled 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 daytime break-in that is almost to occur (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily in the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking money and the extra action. That does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make profits from our Essential Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership cost likewise gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Blocat