A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Maximum Balance…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. You just spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your current account– simply without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to get, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you select a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing consumers do not actually desire or require
include restrictions, costs or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Maximum Balance
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you do not need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no costs and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, 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 bank account bank automatically confirms that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. adds a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend alert via the app, if you select 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 shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards promises huge savings (85%) and a great app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less fret about lacking cash and the extra action. But that does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Card Maximum Balance