A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Change Card…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you a low-cost way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic 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 current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
include more and more features which your existing customers don’t truly need or desire
add charges, limitations or costs to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Change Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex charges, then you do not require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, charge card which offer rewards and charge 0% FX charges are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very basic procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank instantly verifies that you have enough money in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction 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% fee. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest alert through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 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 couple of days later on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards Currensea guarantees huge savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of money and the extra step. But that does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make profits from our Vital 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 totally free amount on all our plans, complete information can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you invest with your card we get a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Change Card