A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Card Change…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in 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 cash is drawn from your bank account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to get, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a business 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 increasingly more features which your existing clients do not really require or desire
include charges, restrictions or costs to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are already 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? Currensea Card Change
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are rare. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want an item which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely simple procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank immediately validates 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 on the currency. If you have the totally free card, adds a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automatic invest notification via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, 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 on:.
But converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is practically to take place (often in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less worry about running out of cash and the extra step. But that does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Essential Plan whilst staying 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 pricing strategies.
We charge an annual subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Card Change