A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Disneyland Paris…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you a low-cost way to spend 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 in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to request, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you select a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing clients don’t actually desire or need
add limitations, charges or fees 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 process and will hopefully stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo 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? Currensea Card Disneyland Paris
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% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which use rewards and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which offer 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 fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, an extremely basic procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank instantly confirms that you have adequate 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 complimentary card, includes a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic spend alert through the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
But converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is practically to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
But I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street checking account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of money and the extra step. However that does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make revenue from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our rates strategies.
We charge an annual subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Disneyland Paris