A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card Direct Debit…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you a low-cost method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– just without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing clients do not truly desire or need
add charges, fees or limitations to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are already in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Direct Debit
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 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 credit card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you do not require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank immediately verifies that you have adequate money in your account and authorises the transaction.
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 fees.
You get an automatic spend alert by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 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:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
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 inflated currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
But I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street checking account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over running out of money and the extra step. However that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make earnings from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our strategies, complete details can be found on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge also removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Direct Debit