A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Virgin Credit Card Currensea…
It has won a couple of awards over current months for what it does (offering you an inexpensive way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good idea.
is, successfully, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing bank account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You merely spend as you would on a typical debit card and the money is drawn from your bank account– simply without the typical 3% fee.
Oh, and is complimentary to obtain, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some intriguing travel benefits if you pick a paid strategy, however the free strategy works fine. You can use here.
There is a business model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and free of charge or more affordable than the competition
add increasingly more functions which your existing customers do not really want or require
include constraints, charges or fees to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will hopefully remain there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Stage 3 …
is easy 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? Virgin Credit Card Currensea
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% fee.
You do not (yet …) make any airline company 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 do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, charge card which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are rare. The only ‘miles and points’ options which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX charges and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no charges and just a very little FX mark-up (there is a little cost beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very easy procedure. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically confirms 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 totally free card, adds a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no charges.
You get an automated spend notification through the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is drawn from your current account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any 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 set up to leave my HSBC account a few days later on:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight robbery that is almost to take place (frequently in a various language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily recently a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and an excellent app.
I believe the finest bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less worry about running out of money and the additional action. That does not suggest it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Necessary Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, complete details can be found on our pricing strategies.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on transactions.
Each time you invest with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Virgin Credit Card Currensea