A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Free Standard Card…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an affordable way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, 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 just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– simply without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to make an application for, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you pick a paid plan, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model 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
include a growing number of features which your existing clients do not actually need or want
include fees, restrictions or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will ideally remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Free Standard Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which use 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 charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no costs and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank instantly verifies that you have adequate money in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. includes a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend alert through the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any 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 shows , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is just about to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea guarantees big savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the additional action. But that does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make income from our Important Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Free Standard Card