A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Freeze Card…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to request, which also helps.
There are likewise some interesting travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a business design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
include more and more features which your existing consumers do not truly need or want
add charges, costs or restrictions to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Freeze Card
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no costs and only a minimal 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 a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a really basic process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly validates that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the complimentary card, includes a 0.5% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated invest notification via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash 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 couple of days later:.
However converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is practically to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges happening in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea assures huge savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the best bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of money and the extra action. But that does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make revenue from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our plans, complete details can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Freeze Card