A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Open Banking…
It has actually won a few awards over current 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 an advantage.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to request, which likewise assists.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing customers do not really need or desire
include charges, limitations or fees to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Open Banking
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really basic 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 current account bank immediately validates that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose 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 couple of days later on:.
However converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to happen (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea promises big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the additional step. But that does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Vital Plan whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free quantity on all our plans, complete information can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Open Banking