A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. How Currensea Works…
It has actually won a few 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 simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to look for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or cheaper than the competition
add increasingly more features which your existing customers don’t really require or desire
add constraints, costs or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo 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? How Currensea Works
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you want an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, 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 travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very simple 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 bank account bank instantly verifies that you have adequate cash 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 totally free card, adds a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided 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:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion fees happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea assures big cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional step. But that does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make revenue from our Essential Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our plans, complete information can be found on our rates plans.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. How Currensea Works