A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Still Best Travel Card…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, 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 simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– just without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you pick a paid strategy, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
include a growing number of functions which your existing clients don’t really require or want
add charges, charges or limitations to the function that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is simple 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 Still Best Travel Card
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make 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% foreign exchange charges, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, charge card which offer benefits and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps 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 credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item 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 little cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really simple procedure. 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 automatically confirms 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 on the currency. If you have the totally free card, includes a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic spend alert by means of the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 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 on:.
However converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is just about to occur (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the extra step. However that does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make earnings from our Essential Plan 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 complimentary amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership fee likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Still Best Travel Card