A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Second Card…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy 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 nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– just without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competition
add more and more features which your existing customers don’t really need or desire
include costs, charges or restrictions to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Second Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (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% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which enables 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 fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really easy process. You utilize 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 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 on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% charge. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notification 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 splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
However converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is just about to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards Currensea assures huge cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking money and the additional action. However that does not imply it is best.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make profits 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 plans, complete details can be found on our prices plans.
We charge an annual membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time 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. Currensea Second Card