A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Barclays…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to request, which also assists.
There are also some interesting travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
add a growing number of functions which your existing consumers don’t really want or require
include charges, limitations or charges to the function that made people get your item in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is easy 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? Currensea Barclays
It is a 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% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex costs, then you don’t need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which offer rewards and charge 0% FX charges are scarce. 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 don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, 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 work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very 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, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly validates that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
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% charge. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notification by means of the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided to splash out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is almost to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In recent years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea promises 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 savings account.
What this implies is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over running out of cash and the additional step. That does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make revenue from our Essential Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free quantity on all our plans, complete details can be discovered on our prices plans.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a little % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Currensea Barclays