A new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Prepaid Card App…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-cost way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– simply without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to make an application for, which likewise helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
add more and more functions which your existing consumers don’t actually require or desire
include charges, costs or limitations to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve 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 Prepaid Card App
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) make 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% forex fees, then you do not need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, 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 operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank automatically validates that you have sufficient 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. includes a 0.5% fee if you have the free card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notice through the app, if you select to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash 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:.
Converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion fees happening in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily over the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises huge savings (85%) and a fantastic 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 money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of money and the extra action. That does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Essential Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free quantity on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise removes all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you invest with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Prepaid Card App