A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Overdraft…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which also assists.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but the free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing consumers do not actually desire or require
add charges, limitations or fees to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Overdraft
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make any airline 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 totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially 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 credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small 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 conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really easy process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank immediately verifies that you have adequate cash 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% fee if you have the complimentary card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automated spend notification by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few 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 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is practically to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion fees happening in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street checking account.
What this implies is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking money and the extra step. That does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, full details can be found on our rates plans.
We charge an annual subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership fee also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we get a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Overdraft