A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Italia…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you a low-priced method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You just invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which also helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, however the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competitors
add a growing number of functions which your existing clients do not actually want or need
add fees, limitations or charges to the function that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Stage 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Italia
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You don’t (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, credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want 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 per month with no costs and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a small charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, an extremely basic process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, globally).
Your bank account bank instantly validates that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. includes a 0.5% cost if you have the complimentary card. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic spend alert via the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your bank account a couple of 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 shows , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is almost to occur (typically in a various language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily recently a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other great cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
But I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this means is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking cash and the extra step. But that does not mean it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the excellent, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Necessary Strategy of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make income from our Important 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 free amount on all our plans, complete information can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge an annual membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership cost also eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you invest with your card we receive a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Italia