A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Card Charge Twice…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (providing you an inexpensive way to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– simply without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to request, which also helps.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, but the totally free 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 free of charge or cheaper than the competition
include increasingly more functions which your existing consumers don’t actually need or want
add charges, restrictions or charges to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Charge Twice
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which immediately charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
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 fees, then you do not need a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
However, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any fees and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely 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 immediately validates that you have adequate money in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction 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% fee. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, 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:.
However converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight burglary that is just about to occur (often in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion costs occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately in the last few years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards guarantees huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the extra step. But that does not indicate it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make earnings from our Important Plan whilst staying much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our plans, complete details can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership charge also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the transaction, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Charge Twice