A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Vs Halifax Clarity…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to get, which likewise helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or more affordable than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing customers don’t truly desire or need
include costs, limitations or charges to the function that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Vs Halifax Clarity
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically 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 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 desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial solution 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 costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a really basic procedure. You utilize 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 enough 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. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic invest alert via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash 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 reveals , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is practically to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily over the last few years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects 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 cash and the additional action. That does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make profits from our Important Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our plans, complete information can be found on our prices plans.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we get a little % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Vs Halifax Clarity