A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card Change…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you an affordable way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid strategy, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing clients don’t actually require or desire
add charges, constraints or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Change
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps 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 credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very basic process. 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 automatically confirms that you have adequate money 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% fee if you have the complimentary card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you select to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle out and buy 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:.
However converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is almost to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea assures big savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. But that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make profits from our Important Plan whilst staying much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, full details can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Card Change