A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Debit Card…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-cost way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing clients don’t truly need or want
add fees, charges or constraints to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Debit Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a really basic procedure. 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 automatically verifies 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 complimentary card, includes a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend notice via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea guarantees big cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
But I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the additional action. That does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make earnings from our Vital Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our plans, full details can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership fee likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Debit Card