A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Brazil…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you an affordable way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, 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 simply invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your current account– just without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is free to apply for, which likewise helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competitors
add increasingly more features which your existing consumers don’t really require or desire
include restrictions, charges or fees to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, monzo and curve are already in Stage 3 …
is easy 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 Card Brazil
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% foreign exchange charges, then you do not need a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX charges and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any costs and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you desire a product 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 money when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank immediately confirms that you have sufficient 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% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated spend notice through 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 diary, 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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is almost to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully in recent years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards promises huge cost savings (85%) and a great app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street checking account.
What this means is you can invest money you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking cash and the extra action. That does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Important Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make earnings from our Necessary Plan whilst staying much cheaper 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, full details can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Card Brazil