A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Sidemen Credit Card Currensea…
It has actually won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you a low-priced method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to request, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, but the totally free plan works fine. You can use 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 less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not truly desire or need
add charges, restrictions or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy 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? Sidemen Credit Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps 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 specifically to utilize abroad
you desire 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 little cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really easy procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank automatically verifies that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. adds a 0.5% charge if you have the free card. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automatic spend notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional action. However that does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Necessary Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, complete details can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost also removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Sidemen Credit Card Currensea