A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Australia…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, 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 simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competition
include more and more features which your existing customers don’t truly require or desire
include charges, fees or limitations to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Australia
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really 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, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly verifies that you have adequate money 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% charge. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert by means of the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 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 couple of days later on:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is practically to occur (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street savings account.
What this implies is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over running out of cash and the additional action. That does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Important 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 strategies, full details can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge likewise removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Australia