A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (providing you a low-cost way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, 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 just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which likewise helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
add a growing number of features which your existing customers don’t actually desire or need
include charges, charges or restrictions to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are already in Phase 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? Card Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly 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 using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, charge card which offer benefits and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely simple process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately validates that you have sufficient cash 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 free card, adds a 0.5% fee. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated invest alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no 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 reveals , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures 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 savings account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking cash and the additional action. That does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, 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 Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make profits 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 totally free amount on all our plans, complete details can be found on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Card Currensea