A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Lock Card…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-priced method to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, 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 simply spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– simply without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competition
add increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not really desire or need
include charges, constraints or costs to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Lock Card
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
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% forex fees, then you do not need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no costs and only a very little 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 requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really simple procedure. You utilize 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 instantly verifies 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 on the currency. adds a 0.5% fee if you have the totally free card. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you select to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle 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:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is almost to happen (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully in the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the finest bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking money and the additional step. However that does not suggest it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make earnings from our Vital Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge an annual subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Lock Card