A new fintech company which I was presented to previously this year. Is Currensea Worth It…
It has actually won a couple of awards over recent months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is easy as hell. This is a good idea.
is, effectively, a direct debit travel card. It is a Mastercard which sits in between you and your existing current account. There is absolutely nothing to top-up or prepay. You just spend as you would on a normal debit card and the cash is drawn from your current account– simply without the usual 3% fee.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which likewise helps.
There are likewise some intriguing travel advantages if you pick a paid strategy, but the totally free strategy works fine. You can apply here.
There is a service model in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo etc have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and for free or cheaper than the competition
include more and more features which your existing clients don’t truly require or desire
add constraints, costs or charges to the function that made people get your product in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is presently still in Phase 1 of this process and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, revolut and curve are already in Phase 3 …
is basic enough that it passes my ‘Can you explain it to your mate in the club in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Is Currensea Worth It
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which automatically charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) earn any airline miles or points for utilizing it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a credit card offering 0% forex fees, then you do not require a card, unless you desire complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
Credit cards which offer rewards and charge 0% FX costs are couple of and far in between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which use a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards 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 credit card particularly to utilize abroad
you want a product which allows you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals each month without any costs and just a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little fee beyond , 500).
you want an item for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anybody else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will save them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said earlier, a very 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, internationally).
Your current account bank automatically verifies that you have sufficient money in your account and authorises the deal.
The transaction 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% fee. There are no fees if you have one of their paid cards.
You get an automated spend notice via the app, if you choose to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. Without any foreign travel in the journal, 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 arranged to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later on:.
But transforming pounds was pricey.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to happen (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion charges taking place in the background. Do not get me started. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyhow.
Luckily in recent years a handful of great travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards promises huge savings (85%) and a terrific app.
I think the finest bit may be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can invest cash you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking cash and the additional step. But that does not mean it is ideal.
In this Currensea review is the excellent, the bad, the awful and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a small FX markup on our Essential Strategy of 0.5% per deal, allowing us to make income from our Essential Strategy whilst staying more affordable than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the complimentary quantity on all our plans, full information can be found on our rates strategies.
We charge a yearly membership fee of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The membership charge also removes all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes directly from the merchant and will not be credited you. Is Currensea Worth It