A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Unsupported Merchant…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the normal 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to get, which likewise helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not really desire or require
include charges, restrictions or charges to the feature that made people get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut 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 Unsupported Merchant
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any costs and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very simple process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank instantly confirms that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction 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% charge. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle out and purchase 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 few days later:.
But transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is practically to occur (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I think the finest bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of cash and the extra step. But that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make earnings 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 usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Unsupported Merchant