A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Card Martin Lewis…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost way to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, successfully, 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 invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to obtain, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some fascinating travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but 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 something well, and free of charge or less expensive than the competitors
include a growing number of features which your existing customers don’t truly need or want
include constraints, charges or costs to the function 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 ideally remain there. Monzo, revolut and curve are already in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Card Martin Lewis
It is a totally free direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ options which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish 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 charges and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost 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 save them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really easy procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank instantly confirms that you have sufficient cash 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 free card, adds a 0.5% cost. There are no charges if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automatic invest alert by means of the app, if you choose to install it.
The money is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, 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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is just about to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion costs taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Thankfully recently a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I think the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less stress over lacking cash and the extra action. However that does not imply it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the ugly and the alternatives, so that you can choose.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per transaction, permitting us to make revenue from our Necessary Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our rates strategies.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription fee also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Every time you invest with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Card Martin Lewis