A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Add Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You just invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your current account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to request, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some fascinating travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing consumers don’t actually require or want
include charges, fees or restrictions to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Add Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn 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 costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to utilize abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really easy procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank automatically validates 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. includes a 0.5% fee if you have the totally free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
But converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is almost to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures huge savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of cash and the extra action. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be found on our prices plans.
We charge an annual membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you invest with your card we receive a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Add Card Currensea