A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Extra Currensea Card…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your existing account– simply without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to get, which likewise helps.
There are likewise some interesting travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
add increasingly more features which your existing customers don’t truly require or desire
include fees, constraints or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Extra Currensea Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you do not need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, charge card which offer rewards and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. 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 possibly for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no costs and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, 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, worldwide).
Your bank account bank automatically confirms that you have adequate money 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% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
However converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is almost to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea promises huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking cash and the extra action. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make profits from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Extra Currensea Card