A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card London…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you a low-cost method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
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 current account– just without the normal 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to get, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, but the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing customers don’t actually want or require
include costs, restrictions or charges to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve 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 London
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
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 costs, then you do not require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges 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 perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very 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, internationally).
Your current account bank immediately confirms that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the free card, includes a 0.5% fee. There are no fees if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle out and purchase 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:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is practically to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges taking place 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 excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures big savings (85%) and an excellent app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional action. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make profits from our Essential Plan whilst remaining much cheaper 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 strategies.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card London