A brand-new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Barclays…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost method to spend abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, effectively, 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 typical debit card and the cash is drawn from your bank account– just without the normal 3% charge.
Oh, and is free to request, which likewise assists.
There are likewise some fascinating travel advantages if you choose a paid plan, but the free plan works fine. You can use here.
There is an organization model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have actually all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competitors
add a growing number of features which your existing consumers don’t really require or want
include charges, restrictions or charges to the feature that made people get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this process and will ideally stay 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 bar in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Barclays
It is a free direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge 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.
Nevertheless, charge card which use benefits and charge 0% FX costs are scarce. The only ‘points and miles’ choices which provide a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS possibly for you if:
you do not have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not wish to affect your credit report by getting another credit card particularly to use abroad
you desire a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month with no fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them cash when taking a trip.
How does operate in practice?
It is, as I said previously, a very 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 bank account bank instantly validates that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the transaction.
The deal goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending upon the currency. adds a 0.5% fee if you have the free card. There are no charges if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated invest notice through the app, if you pick to install it.
The money is taken from your current account a couple of days later.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 arranged 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 daytime burglary that is almost to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges occurring in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully in the last few years a handful of great travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees huge savings (85%) and a fantastic app.
I think the finest bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing bank account with less worry about lacking cash and the additional step. That does not indicate it is best.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the awful and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per transaction, allowing us to make profits from our Necessary Strategy whilst remaining more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the complimentary quantity on all our strategies, complete information can be found on our rates plans.
We charge a yearly subscription fee of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Plan. The subscription fee likewise gets rid of all FX markup on transactions.
Every time you invest with your card we receive a little % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Barclays