Prepaid Card Currensea – Best Travel Cards

A new fintech company which I was introduced to previously this year. Prepaid Card Currensea…

It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable way to invest abroad) but what I like about  is that it is basic as hell. This is a good idea.

is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely invest as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% fee.

Oh, and  is complimentary to apply for, which also assists.

There are likewise some interesting travel benefits if you select a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can apply here.

There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:

launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing customers don’t really desire or need

add costs, constraints or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:

It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.

That’s it.

You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.

Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not require a  card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.

Nevertheless, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are rare. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.

IS potentially for you if:

you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you want an item which permits you to make �,� 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no charges and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond �,� 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.

How does  operate 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 regional currency (any currency, globally).
Your current account bank automatically confirms that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. If you have the complimentary card,  adds a 0.5% fee. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to splash out and buy 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 couple of days later:.

Transforming pounds was costly.

A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.

Luckily recently a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards  assures big cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.

But I think the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street checking account.

What this indicates is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less fret about running out of cash and the extra action. But that does not mean it is best.

In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.

FX markup.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make revenue from our Vital Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary amount on all our plans, full information can be discovered on our pricing plans.

Membership fees.
We charge an annual membership charge of �,� 25 for our Premium Plan, and �,� 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee also removes all FX markup on deals.

Interchange.
Each 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. Prepaid Card Currensea