A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Greece…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You simply spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your existing account– simply without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which likewise helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
include a growing number of functions which your existing customers do not truly require or desire
add constraints, fees or charges to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Greece
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely simple process. 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 current account bank immediately verifies that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the free card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, 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:.
But transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to occur (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards Currensea promises huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific 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 spend cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over running out of money and the extra action. That does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, 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 Essential Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make profits from our Vital Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full details can be found on our rates plans.
We charge an annual subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Greece