A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Seedrs…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-cost method to spend abroad) but 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 simply invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which likewise helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the totally free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competitors
add a growing number of functions which your existing customers do not truly desire or need
add charges, constraints or charges to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Phase 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 Seedrs
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (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 costs, then you do not require a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really basic procedure. 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 immediately confirms that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction 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. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automatic spend notification by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any 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 shows , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is just about to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated 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 popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the additional action. That does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make revenue from our Necessary Strategy 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 free amount on all our plans, full details can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Seedrs