A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Update Bank Card…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you a low-priced way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the complimentary plan 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 cheaper than the competition
add more and more functions which your existing customers don’t truly require or want
include fees, charges or limitations to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Stage 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 Update Bank Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you want a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any costs and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really easy process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately confirms that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the totally free card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest notice through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a couple of days later on.
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 shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
Transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary 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.
Fortunately recently a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. That does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make earnings from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free amount on all our plans, full details can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Update Bank Card