A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Multi Currency Card…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-priced method to spend 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 in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which likewise assists.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, but the complimentary plan 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 free of charge or more affordable than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing consumers do not really want or require
include charges, fees or restrictions to the feature that made people get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Multi Currency Card
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
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 charge card offering 0% forex charges, then you do not need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial option 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 fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely basic 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 bank account bank automatically confirms that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. includes a 0.5% cost if you have the totally free card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert through 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 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:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully recently a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I believe the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about lacking cash and the extra step. But that does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make earnings from our Important Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our rates plans.
We charge an annual membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Multi Currency Card