A new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Card Australia…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
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 invest as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to look for, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more features which your existing customers don’t really want or need
add costs, constraints or charges to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Phase 3 …
is simple 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? Currensea Card Australia
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really easy 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 enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the free card, includes a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automatic invest notification via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I decided to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is just about to occur (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of cash and the additional step. However that does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make earnings from our Necessary Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our plans, full details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Card Australia