A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Problems…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-cost method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, 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 spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competition
add a growing number of functions which your existing customers do not really desire or need
add charges, constraints or costs 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 procedure and will ideally stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Problems
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, 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, globally).
Your current account bank immediately verifies that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% cost if you have the totally free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
However transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is practically to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards Currensea promises huge savings (85%) and a great app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of money and the extra action. However that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation 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 Important Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Necessary Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our plans, complete details can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Problems