A brand-new fintech business which I was introduced to earlier this year. Money Saving Expert Currensea…
It has actually won a few awards over recent months for what it does (providing you a low-cost way to spend abroad) but what I like about is that it is simple as hell. This is a good thing.
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 invest as you would on a regular debit card and the money is taken from your bank account– simply without the usual 3% cost.
Oh, and is totally free to obtain, which also assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you select a paid strategy, however the free plan 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 totally free or less expensive than the competitors
add increasingly more functions which your existing consumers do not actually want or require
include charges, fees or restrictions to the feature that made people get your product in the first place, eliminating any competitive advantage
is presently still in Stage 1 of this procedure and will hopefully stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are currently in Phase 3 …
is easy enough that it passes my ‘Can you describe it to your mate in the pub in 30 seconds?’ test:
What countries can I use Currensea? Money Saving Expert Currensea
It is a free direct debit card to utilize abroad and which immediately recharges all purchases to your existing bank account in Sterling, less a little 0.5% charge.
You do not (yet …) make any airline miles or points for using 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 use rewards and charge 0% FX fees are few and far between. The only ‘points and miles’ alternatives which provide a partial service are the Virgin Atlantic credit cards which have 0% FX charges in the Euro zone.
IS possibly 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 credit card specifically to utilize abroad
you desire an item which enables 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 charge beyond , 500).
you desire an item for you, your adult children, moms and dads, partner or anyone else in your life who needs an easy, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, an extremely basic procedure. 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 bank account bank immediately verifies that you have adequate 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 fees.
You get an automated spend notice via the app, if you select to install it.
The cash is taken from your current account a couple of days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the journal, I chose to sprinkle out and purchase 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which shows , 4.33 set up to leave my HSBC account a couple of days later:.
But transforming pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is just about to occur (often in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion fees taking place in the background. Do not get me began. Anyhow back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Luckily in the last few years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have popped onto the scene … and like other excellent cards promises big savings (85%) and a great app.
However I believe the best bit might be what no other card does: connects to your existing high street savings account.
What this implies is you can invest money you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking cash and the extra step. That does not imply it is perfect.
In this Currensea evaluation is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the options, so that you can decide.
While our premium plans have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Essential Plan of 0.5% per deal, permitting us to make revenue from our Vital 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 discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge a yearly membership cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription charge also eliminates all FX markup on deals.
Each time you spend with your card we get a small % of the transaction, called interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and will not be charged to you. Money Saving Expert Currensea