A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Crowdcast Elite Currensea…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to get, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing clients do not actually desire or need
include charges, charges or restrictions to the function that made people get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve 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? Crowdcast Elite Currensea
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps 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 credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and only a minimal 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 an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely easy 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 automatically validates that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automated spend notice by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the finest bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional action. That does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make earnings from our Vital Plan whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge an annual membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Crowdcast Elite Currensea