A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Iceland…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your current account– simply without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to get, which also helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competition
include a growing number of features which your existing customers don’t actually desire or need
include charges, fees or limitations to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Iceland
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn 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 charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a very simple process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically validates that you have adequate 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. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% fee. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notification via the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately in the last few years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards promises big cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might 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 current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional step. But that does not indicate it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation 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 nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make earnings from our Important Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge likewise gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Every time you invest with your card we receive a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Iceland