A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Replacement Card…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just invest as you would on a typical debit card and the money is taken from your current account– simply without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is free 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 use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or cheaper than the competitors
include more and more features which your existing customers don’t really want or require
add charges, fees or constraints to the feature that made people get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Replacement Card
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are couple of and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any costs and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, an extremely basic process. You utilize 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 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, includes a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest notice through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash out and purchase 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 couple of days later on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is almost to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs happening in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily in the last few years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific 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 spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the extra action. But that does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst remaining more affordable 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 strategies, complete details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership cost likewise removes all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you invest with your card we get a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Replacement Card