A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Travel Card Currensea…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-cost way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to look for, which also assists.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, but the complimentary plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competitors
include increasingly more features which your existing consumers do not actually desire or need
add limitations, costs or charges to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay 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 bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Travel Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex fees, then you do not require a card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, internationally).
Your bank account bank automatically confirms 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 on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have one of 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.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
Transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is practically to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the extra step. That does not imply it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make earnings from our Essential Strategy 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 complimentary amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Every time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Travel Card Currensea