A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Dollars Cash…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, 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 typical debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to request, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competition
add a growing number of features which your existing customers don’t really want or require
add charges, fees or constraints to the feature that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Dollars Cash
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) earn 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 charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, charge card which offer benefits and charge 0% FX fees are scarce. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, an extremely basic procedure. You use 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 sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. adds a 0.5% charge if you have the totally free card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend alert via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a couple of 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:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately recently a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards promises big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I believe the finest bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over running out of money and the additional action. However that does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea review 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 Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make profits from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Dollars Cash