A brand-new fintech company which I was presented to earlier this year. Currensea Or Starling…
It has won a few awards over recent months for what it does (using you an affordable method to invest abroad) but 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 in between you and your existing current account. There is nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your current account– simply without the normal 3% cost.
Oh, and is complimentary to look for, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel advantages if you select a paid strategy, but the free strategy 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 more affordable than the competitors
add more and more functions which your existing customers do not really want or require
add constraints, charges or costs to the feature that made individuals get your product in the first place, getting rid of any competitive advantage
is currently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Revolut, curve and monzo are currently in Phase 3 …
is basic 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 Or Starling
It is a totally free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which instantly recharges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) make any airline company miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% forex fees, then you do not require a card, unless you want free ATM withdrawals. You can stop checking out now.
Credit cards which offer benefits and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far in between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX fees in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t 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 a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals per month with no fees and only a very little FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult kids, moms and dads, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a basic, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I stated previously, a very easy process. You use your Currensea card in the same way as your existing debit card.
You make your purchase in regional currency (any currency, worldwide).
Your current account bank instantly verifies 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. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% charge. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automated spend alert by means of the app, if you select to install it.
The money is drawn from your bank account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, I chose to splash out and buy 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 couple of days later:.
However transforming pounds was costly.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daytime break-in that is practically to take place (often in a different language) while not telling you about the outrageous currency conversion fees occurring in the background. Don’t get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
In current years a handful of excellent travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards Currensea assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
But I believe the very best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street bank account.
What this means is you can spend money you have in your existing bank account with less fret about lacking money and the extra action. That does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea evaluation is the great, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can choose.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Vital Strategy of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make revenue from our Vital Strategy whilst staying much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. We likewise charge an FX markup on ATM use over the totally free amount on all our strategies, complete information can be discovered on our rates plans.
We charge an annual membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge likewise eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you invest with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Currensea Or Starling