A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Single Use Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. You merely invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your existing account– simply without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to get, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, however the totally free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
include increasingly more features which your existing customers don’t actually desire or require
add charges, limitations or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Single Use Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, an extremely easy 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 bank account bank immediately confirms that you have adequate 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 totally free card, includes a 0.5% fee. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification by means of 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 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 couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is just about to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway 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 excellent cards guarantees huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra step. But that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make income from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free amount on all our plans, complete information can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Single Use Card Currensea