A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Alu Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. You merely spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your present account– simply without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to look for, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competitors
include increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not actually need or want
add limitations, charges or charges to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Alu Card Currensea
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline 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 do not need 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 use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very simple 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 current account bank immediately validates that you have sufficient 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. includes a 0.5% charge if you have the complimentary card. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 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 few days later:.
Converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is just about to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges happening in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and an excellent app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the extra action. However that does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make earnings from our Important Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Alu Card Currensea