A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Premium Card Space Grey…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to get, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competitors
add more and more functions which your existing customers do not truly require or desire
add charges, costs or limitations to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic 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 Premium Card Space Grey
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing 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 checking out now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps 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 permits 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 small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely basic process. You use 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 transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automated invest notification via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few 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 couple of days later:.
Transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately over the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards promises huge savings (85%) and a terrific 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 spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. However that does not indicate it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, 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 Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our plans, complete information can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Premium Card Space Grey