A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Is Card Free Via Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you an affordable method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to get, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the totally free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
add more and more functions which your existing clients don’t actually require or want
include charges, limitations or fees 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 ideally remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic 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? Is Card Free Via Currensea
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX charges are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ options which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly 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 specifically to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, 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 said earlier, an extremely basic process. 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 bank account bank instantly confirms 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. adds a 0.5% charge if you have the totally free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated invest alert through the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to happen (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this indicates is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less stress over running out of cash and the extra step. That does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make income from our Vital Plan whilst staying much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Is Card Free Via Currensea