A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Personal Card…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable way to spend 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 in between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to get, which likewise helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing customers do not actually desire or require
add charges, limitations or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are currently in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Personal Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which offer rewards and charge 0% FX charges are scarce. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires 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 stated previously, a very 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 bank account bank immediately validates that you have enough money in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no fees if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert through the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a few days later.
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 shows , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is almost to happen (often in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully recently a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures big cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking money and the extra action. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Important Plan whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our plans, complete details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee likewise removes all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you invest with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Personal Card