A new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Card Visa…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you an affordable way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple 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 nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to make an application for, which also assists.
There are likewise some interesting travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or less expensive than the competition
add a growing number of features which your existing consumers do not actually require or desire
include restrictions, charges or fees to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Visa
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any costs and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really simple process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately validates 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 complimentary card, includes a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic invest alert by means of the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, 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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
But converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards guarantees huge savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking cash and the extra action. However that does not mean it is best.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, complete information can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost also removes all FX markup on deals.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Visa