A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive method 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 in between you and your existing bank 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 current account– simply without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to make an application for, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competition
add increasingly more functions which your existing clients don’t truly need or want
add charges, fees or constraints to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Stage 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
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank 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 want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which use benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really simple procedure. 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 instantly validates 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% fee if you have the complimentary card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic invest notice through the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and purchase 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 few days later on:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards assures huge 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 money you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional step. That does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make revenue from our Essential Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card