A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Free Physical Card…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, 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 spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to make an application for, which likewise helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competitors
add a growing number of functions which your existing customers don’t truly need or desire
add costs, charges or restrictions to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Free Physical Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current 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 wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very basic 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 validates that you have adequate 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. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the totally free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated spend notification via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 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 few days later:.
Transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might 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 lacking cash and the extra step. 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 choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make earnings from our Essential 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 totally free amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also removes all FX markup on deals.
Every time you invest with your card we get a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Free Physical Card