A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card Japan…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-priced way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to obtain, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
add more and more functions which your existing customers do not actually want or require
add charges, constraints or fees to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already 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 Japan
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You don’t (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% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any costs and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very simple process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank immediately confirms that you have sufficient 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. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated spend alert via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn 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 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
Transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is practically to occur (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily over the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards guarantees big savings (85%) and a terrific app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional step. But that does not imply it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the ugly 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 Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make income from our Important Plan whilst remaining much cheaper 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 discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also removes all FX markup on deals.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Card Japan