A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Physical Card…
It has won a couple of 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 an advantage.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. You merely spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your existing account– just without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to make an application for, which also helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the free plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or less expensive than the competitors
add more and more features which your existing customers don’t actually require or want
add costs, limitations or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Physical Card
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you do not require a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX charges are rare. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any fees and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, 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 taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank immediately validates 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. includes a 0.5% fee if you have the totally free card. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I decided to splash out and purchase 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 few days later:.
Converting pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is practically to happen (often in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs happening in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards guarantees huge savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about lacking money and the extra step. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make revenue from our Essential 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, full information can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Physical Card