A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Comanda Card Currensea Junior…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-priced way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, 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 just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to get, which also assists.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
add a growing number of functions which your existing consumers do not actually need or desire
include restrictions, charges or fees to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Comanda Card Currensea Junior
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing 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 want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t 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 a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a really simple procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank immediately validates that you have enough 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. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the complimentary card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated invest notice through the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 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:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and an excellent app.
However I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about lacking cash and the extra step. That does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make earnings from our Essential Plan 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 amount on all our plans, full information can be found on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Comanda Card Currensea Junior