A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to previously this year. Using Currensea…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost method to invest abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You simply spend as you would on a normal debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to obtain, which also helps.
There are likewise some interesting travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, but the complimentary plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or cheaper than the competitors
include more and more functions which your existing consumers do not truly require or desire
add costs, limitations or charges to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Revolut, curve and monzo are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Using Currensea
It is a complimentary direct debit card to utilize abroad and which automatically recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% fee.
You don’t (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% foreign exchange fees, then you don’t need a card, unless you want totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, credit cards which use benefits and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS perhaps for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to use abroad
you desire an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month without any fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a small fee beyond , 500).
you want 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 taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a really easy procedure. You utilize your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in local currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your bank account bank instantly confirms 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 on the currency. If you have the totally free card, includes a 0.5% cost. There are no costs if you have among their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notice through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I decided 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:.
However transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is almost to happen (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily in recent years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures big cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I believe the finest bit may be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend cash you have in your existing current account with less stress over running out of money and the additional action. But that does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per deal, enabling us to make earnings from our Important Plan whilst staying more affordable than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, complete details can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership charge of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be credited you. Using Currensea