A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Currensea Explained…
It has actually won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-priced method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good thing.
is, successfully, 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 just invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the normal 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to make an application for, which likewise assists.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, however the complimentary plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have 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 truly want or require
add charges, costs or constraints 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. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Explained
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline 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 don’t need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which provide benefits and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which use a partial service 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 charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire an item which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a small cost 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 money when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, an extremely simple process. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly confirms that you have adequate cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on the currency. If you have the complimentary card, adds a 0.5% charge. There are no fees if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notice via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 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 couple of days later:.
But transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is almost to take place (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion charges happening 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 terrific cards promises huge cost savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street checking account.
What this implies is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less worry about lacking money and the additional step. That does not mean it is best.
In this Currensea review is the great, the bad, the ugly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Necessary Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make profits from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the totally free amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge an annual subscription charge of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, referred to as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Explained