A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you a low-priced method to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is basic 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 just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your bank account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to make an application for, which likewise helps.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid plan, but the complimentary strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competition
include more and more functions which your existing clients do not actually desire or need
add limitations, charges or charges to the function that made individuals get your item in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is easy 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
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you don’t require a card, unless you desire free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX charges are couple of and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which provide a partial solution are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly without any charges and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when travelling.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely easy procedure. 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 current account bank immediately verifies that you have enough cash in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal 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% charge. There are no charges 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 taken from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I decided to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
However transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to happen (frequently in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees happening in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately over the last few years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other great cards guarantees big cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
However I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking money and the additional step. That does not indicate it is perfect.
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 Necessary Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make earnings from our Vital Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the free quantity on all our strategies, full details can be discovered on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the deal, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea