A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Prepaid Debit Card…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is an advantage.
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 simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or less expensive than the competition
add increasingly more functions which your existing consumers do not actually desire or need
add charges, charges or limitations to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve 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 Prepaid Debit Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial option 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 credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to utilize abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, 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 taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, an extremely 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, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically verifies that you have enough money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the totally free card, includes a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated spend alert via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
But transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is almost to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea promises big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra step. But that does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make profits from our Essential Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, full information can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Prepaid Debit Card