Currensea Martin Lewis – Best Travel Cards

A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Martin Lewis…

It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you a low-cost way to invest abroad) but what I like about  is that it is easy as hell. This is an advantage.

is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You simply spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your existing account– simply without the typical 3% charge.

Oh, and  is complimentary to apply for, which likewise assists.

There are also some interesting travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.

There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:

launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing clients do not actually want or need

add charges, charges or limitations to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 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 describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:

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% charge.

That’s it.

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 charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not require a  card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.

Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.

IS potentially 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 credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which enables you to make �,� 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond �,� 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.

How does  work 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 local currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank instantly validates that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the complimentary card,  adds a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic invest notification by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I decided to sprinkle 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 few days later:.

However converting pounds was pricey.

A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to occur (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.

Fortunately over the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards  guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a great app.

But I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.

What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. However that does not imply it is best.

In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.

FX markup.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make income from our Vital Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our prices plans.

Subscription fees.
We charge an annual subscription cost of �,� 25 for our Premium Plan, and �,� 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.

Interchange.
Every time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Martin Lewis