A new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Or Starling…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an affordable method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You merely spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your present account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to request, which likewise helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid plan, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competition
add increasingly more features which your existing customers do not really require or want
include charges, costs or restrictions to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Or Starling
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% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t require a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges 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 particularly to utilize abroad
you want an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really simple procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately 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. adds a 0.5% fee if you have the free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken 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 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 few days later on:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises big savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional action. But 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 plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make revenue from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Or Starling