A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Sign Up For Currensea Card…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you a low-cost way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits 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 money is taken from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to request, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or more affordable than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing customers do not actually need or desire
include fees, charges or constraints to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 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? Sign Up For Currensea Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make 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 charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you want an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, an extremely basic process. 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 current account bank automatically verifies that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic invest notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle 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:.
However transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of cash and the extra action. However that does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, complete details can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Sign Up For Currensea Card