A new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Aj Card…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you a low-priced 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 nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to make an application for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you select a paid plan, but 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 actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing customers don’t actually desire or need
add charges, fees or restrictions to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Aj Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (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% forex costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, 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 operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really easy process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically verifies that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. adds a 0.5% fee if you have the complimentary card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest notification through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle 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:.
However transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is just about to happen (often in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional action. That does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make profits from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, full details can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Aj Card