A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Upgrade…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you an affordable way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your current account– just without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to request, which likewise helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, but the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competition
include increasingly more features which your existing customers do not really desire or need
add limitations, charges or charges to the function that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are already in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Upgrade
It is a totally 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.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, charge card which offer benefits and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to utilize abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really simple 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 instantly confirms that you have enough money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. adds a 0.5% charge if you have the free card. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend notification through the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
But transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is practically to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily recently a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards guarantees big savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional step. But that does not imply it is ideal.
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 small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, complete details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee likewise removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Upgrade