A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Card Currensea…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you an affordable method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic 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 bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to request, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you choose a paid strategy, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing clients don’t truly want or require
include costs, restrictions or charges to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy 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? Card Currensea
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex costs, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely simple process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly confirms that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% charge. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later on.
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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
But converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises big cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of money and the additional step. However 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 decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make income from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also gets rid of 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 charged to you. Card Currensea