A brand-new fintech business which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Open Banking…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. You simply invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your existing account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to apply for, which also assists.
There are also some intriguing travel advantages if you choose a paid strategy, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing consumers don’t actually want or need
include charges, charges or restrictions to the function that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are currently in Stage 3 …
is basic 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 Open Banking
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely 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 bank account bank immediately verifies that you have enough 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. If you have the totally free card, adds a 0.5% charge. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notice through the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 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 few days later on:.
Converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to occur (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards Currensea guarantees huge savings (85%) and a great app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over running out of money and the extra action. But that does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, complete information can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Open Banking