A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Junior Card…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is an advantage.
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 simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to get, which also assists.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid strategy, but the free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization 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 competition
include increasingly more features which your existing consumers don’t actually desire or require
add charges, fees or limitations to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will ideally remain there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Phase 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 Junior Card
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make 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 charges, then you don’t require a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately validates that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% fee if you have the free card. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is just about to happen (typically 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.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees big cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the extra action. That does not indicate it is best.
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 nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make profits from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free quantity on all our strategies, full information can be discovered on our prices strategies.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost likewise gets rid of all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Junior Card