A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Is Currensea Card Contactless…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable method to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
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 simply invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
include a growing number of functions which your existing clients do not really desire or need
add fees, charges or restrictions to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Is Currensea Card Contactless
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make 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 charges, then you do not require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no fees and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really simple process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank immediately verifies that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal 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% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic invest alert via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle 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 couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is just about to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards Currensea guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I believe the finest bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking cash and the additional action. But that does not suggest it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, 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 Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Important Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Is Currensea Card Contactless