A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Plus Card…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are likewise some fascinating travel advantages if you pick a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competition
include a growing number of features which your existing clients don’t truly desire or need
include costs, restrictions or charges to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently 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 Plus Card
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You do not (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% forex costs, then you do not need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any costs and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically verifies that you have adequate money in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert via the app, if you select to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, 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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
However converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to occur (often in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea promises big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of money and the extra step. But that does not imply it is best.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Strategy of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make earnings from our Vital Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, full details can be found on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Plus Card