A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Open Banking…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, 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– simply without the typical 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to request, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you choose a paid plan, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not actually want or require
include charges, constraints or costs to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Open Banking
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely easy procedure. 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 current account bank instantly verifies that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. adds a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided to splash out and purchase 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 on:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is practically to take place (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures big savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of cash and the additional step. But that does not suggest 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 small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make earnings from our Vital Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee also removes all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Open Banking