A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Unfreeze Card Currensea…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) but 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 between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely 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– just without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to make an application for, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
include a growing number of functions which your existing customers don’t actually desire or require
add constraints, charges or costs to the function that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally remain there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Unfreeze Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which offer a partial solution 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 credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really 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 validates that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the complimentary card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no 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 set up 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 robbery that is practically to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea promises big savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I think the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional action. That does not mean it is best.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make profits from our Important Plan whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, full information can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Unfreeze Card Currensea