Currensea Junior Card – Best Travel Cards

A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Junior Card…

It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you a low-priced way to invest abroad) but 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 between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– simply without the typical 3% fee.

Oh, and  is free to get, which likewise assists.

There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.

There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:

launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competitors
add a growing number of functions which your existing clients don’t actually desire or require

include limitations, charges or costs to the function that made people get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve are already in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:

It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.

That’s it.

You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.

Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not require a  card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.

Nevertheless, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.

IS perhaps 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 charge card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which enables you to make �,� 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond �,� 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.

How does  work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely 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, worldwide).
Your bank account bank immediately verifies 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. If you have the totally free card,  adds a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any 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:.

But converting pounds was expensive.

A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.

Luckily recently a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards  guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.

But I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.

What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of money and the additional step. However that does not imply it is perfect.

In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.

FX markup.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make revenue from our Vital Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free amount on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our pricing strategies.

Subscription charges.
We charge an annual subscription charge of �,� 25 for our Premium Strategy, and �,� 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.

Interchange.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Junior Card