A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. When Using Currensea Card Abroad…
It has won a few awards over current months for what it does (using you a low-priced way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is an advantage.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a regular debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is complimentary to get, which also helps.
There are also some interesting travel benefits if you select a paid plan, however the totally free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have actually all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or more affordable than the competition
include increasingly more functions which your existing customers do not truly need or desire
add fees, limitations or charges to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully remain there. Curve, monzo and revolut are already in Phase 3 …
is simple enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? When Using Currensea Card Abroad
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 …) 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 desire totally free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which provide rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ options which offer a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you do not have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not want to affect your credit report by getting another credit card specifically to use abroad
you want an item which permits you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any fees and just 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 requires 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 earlier, a really basic process. You utilize 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 instantly 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 complimentary card, adds a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic spend alert via the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken from your bank account a few days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to splash out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 arranged to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
But converting pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime burglary that is almost to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the expensive currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
In current years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other terrific cards Currensea promises huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
But I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can spend cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking money and the extra step. That does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make profits from our Important Plan whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free amount on all our plans, full details can be found on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The membership fee also gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you spend with your card we receive a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. When Using Currensea Card Abroad