A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Activate Currensea Card…
It has actually won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. You just invest as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your current account– just without the typical 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the complimentary 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 totally free or less expensive than the competitors
add a growing number of features which your existing clients do not really need or desire
add costs, constraints or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Activate Currensea Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very 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, globally).
Your current account bank automatically confirms that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
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% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no fees.
You get an automatic spend notice through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 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 couple of days later:.
But converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime robbery that is practically to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees happening in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea promises huge savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I think the finest bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the additional step. But that does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost 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 invest with your card we get a little % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Activate Currensea Card