A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Machine…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is an advantage.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to apply for, which also helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competition
add increasingly more functions which your existing clients do not actually need or desire
add costs, constraints or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Machine
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex charges, then you do not need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you want an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any 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 anybody else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated 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, globally).
Your current account bank instantly confirms that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic spend alert through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I decided to splash out and buy 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 couple of days later:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is almost to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily in the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards promises huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the best bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less stress over running out of money and the additional action. However that does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, 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, enabling us to make income from our Important Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Machine