A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Turnover…
It has actually won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you a low-cost method to invest 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 bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to get, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you pick a paid strategy, but the free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or more affordable than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing customers do not really need or desire
add costs, charges or restrictions to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Turnover
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) earn 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% foreign exchange charges, then you do not need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly 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 charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated 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, internationally).
Your bank account bank instantly verifies that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. adds 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 automatic spend alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
Converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately over the last few years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises huge savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the extra action. That does not indicate it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make earnings from our Important Plan whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free quantity on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Turnover