A new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Seedrs…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is 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% cost.
Oh, and is free to get, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and totally free or less expensive than the competition
add increasingly more features which your existing clients don’t really want or require
include costs, charges or limitations to the feature that made individuals 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. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Seedrs
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You do not (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 charges, then you do not require a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no costs and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult kids, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really basic procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank instantly 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. If you have the free card, includes a 0.5% charge. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notice via the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose 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:.
Transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is just about to occur (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Fortunately in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards assures big cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
But I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. That does not suggest it is best.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the awful 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 deal, enabling us to make income 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 totally free amount on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Seedrs