A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Standard Currensea Card…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-cost method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your existing account– simply without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, but the totally free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing consumers do not really want or need
add restrictions, costs or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Standard Currensea Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
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% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you want an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs 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 earlier, an extremely basic process. 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 validates 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, adds a 0.5% fee. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend notice via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to splash out and purchase 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 few days later on:.
However converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is practically to take place (often in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards promises huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking cash and the extra step. However that does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make income from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our plans, complete details can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Standard Currensea Card