Currensea Beta – Best Travel Cards

A new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Beta…

It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost way to invest abroad) however what I like about  is that it is simple 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 absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your current account– simply without the typical 3% fee.

Oh, and  is free to request, which likewise helps.

There are also some interesting travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can apply here.

There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:

launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competitors
include a growing number of functions which your existing customers don’t truly want or require

add charges, costs or constraints to the function that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:

It is a free 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.

That’s it.

You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.

Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex costs, then you do not require a  card, unless you desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.

Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are few and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.

IS potentially for you if:

you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make �,� 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond �,� 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.

How does  work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very simple process. You use 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 adequate 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. If you have the totally free card,  adds a 0.5% charge. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest alert by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose 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:.

Converting pounds was costly.

A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is practically to take place (typically 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 anyhow.

Fortunately in recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards  assures big savings (85%) and a terrific app.

I believe the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.

What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional step. That does not indicate it is perfect.

In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.

FX markup.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be found on our pricing plans.

Membership fees.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of �,� 25 for our Premium Plan, and �,� 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.

Interchange.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Beta