A new fintech business which I was presented to previously this year. Currensea Essential…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable way to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You simply invest as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– just without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to look for, which also assists.
There are also some intriguing travel benefits if you choose a paid strategy, however the free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing one thing well, and for free or less expensive than the competition
include a growing number of features which your existing customers do not really desire or need
add charges, charges or limitations to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this procedure and will ideally stay there. Curve, Revolut and Monzo are already in Stage 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you discuss it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Currensea Essential
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% cost.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using it.
Why would I wish to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange costs, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Nevertheless, credit cards which use rewards and charge 0% FX charges are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ choices which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a charge card offering 0% FX fees and do not want to impact your credit report by getting another charge card specifically to utilize abroad
you want an item 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 small fee beyond , 500).
you desire a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will save them cash when taking a trip.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated earlier, a really simple process. 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 immediately confirms that you have sufficient cash in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction goes through at either the interbank rate or the Mastercard rate, depending on 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 costs.
You get an automatic spend notification via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the diary, I decided to splash out and buy 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 on:.
Transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to take place (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the inflated currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Don’t get me started. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Thankfully over the last few years a handful of terrific travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards guarantees huge cost savings (85%) and a great app.
I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this indicates is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less stress over lacking cash and the additional action. That does not suggest it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Important Plan 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 likewise charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary amount on all our strategies, full information can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Strategy, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost also removes all FX markup on deals.
Whenever you spend with your card we get a little % of the deal, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Currensea Essential