A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Ce Este Un Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an affordable way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is an advantage.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy 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 totally free or more affordable than the competitors
add more and more features which your existing customers do not actually want or require
add charges, constraints or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Ce Este Un Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs 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 each month with no fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely simple procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your bank account bank instantly confirms that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully recently a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards promises big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the additional action. That does not imply it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make profits from our Vital Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Ce Este Un Card Currensea