A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Settings…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple 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 simply invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to make an application for, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you select a paid plan, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competitors
include increasingly more features which your existing consumers do not really require or desire
add charges, constraints or fees to the function that made people get your product 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 Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Settings
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which allows 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 fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody 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 stated previously, a very easy process. You utilize 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 immediately validates that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the totally free card, includes a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic spend notification by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
However transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to occur (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the extra step. But that does not mean it is best.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, 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 deal, allowing us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our plans, complete information can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge also gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Settings