A new fintech company which I was introduced to earlier this year. Currensea Group Vault Card…
It has actually won a few awards over current months for what it does (offering you an affordable method to invest abroad) however what I like about is that it is basic as hell. This is an advantage.
is, efficiently, a direct debit travel card. You just invest as you would on a typical debit card and the cash is taken from your existing account– just without the usual 3% charge.
Oh, and is totally free to apply for, which likewise assists.
There are also some fascinating travel benefits if you choose a paid plan, but the complimentary plan works fine. You can apply here.
There is a company design in fintech which Curve, Revolut, Monzo and so on have all followed:
launch by doing something well, and free of charge or cheaper than the competition
include increasingly more features which your existing clients don’t actually want or need
include restrictions, charges or fees to the feature that made individuals get your item in the first place, removing any competitive advantage
is currently still in Phase 1 of this process and will ideally stay there. Monzo, curve and revolut are already in Stage 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? Currensea Group Vault Card
It is a complimentary direct debit card to use abroad and which instantly charges all purchases to your existing current account in Sterling, less a small 0.5% charge.
You don’t (yet …) earn any airline company miles or points for using it.
Why would I want to get a card?
If you have a charge card offering 0% foreign exchange fees, then you do not need a card, unless you want complimentary ATM withdrawals. You can stop reading now.
However, charge card which provide benefits and charge 0% FX costs are few and far between. The only ‘miles and points’ alternatives which use a partial option are the Virgin Atlantic charge card which have 0% FX costs in the Euro zone.
IS potentially for you if:
you don’t have a credit card offering 0% FX costs and do not wish to impact your credit report by getting another charge card particularly to utilize abroad
you want a product which enables you to make , 500 of foreign currency ATM withdrawals monthly with no fees and only a minimal FX mark-up (there is a little charge beyond , 500).
you want a product for you, your adult children, parents, partner or anyone else in your life who requires a simple, easy to understand payment card that will conserve them money when travelling.
How does work in practice?
It is, as I said previously, 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 bank account bank instantly validates 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 upon the currency. If you have the free card, adds a 0.5% cost. If you have one of their paid cards, there are no costs.
You get an automatic invest notice via the app, if you pick to install it.
The cash is taken from your bank account a few days later on.
Here is an example. With no foreign travel in the diary, I chose to sprinkle out and buy 1,000 MeliaRewards points for EUR5.
This is what you see in the Currensea app, which reveals , 4.33 scheduled to leave my HSBC account a few days later:.
Converting pounds was expensive.
A pet peeve of mine is when ATMs forewarn you about the daylight break-in that is almost to happen (typically in a different language) while not telling you about the exorbitant currency conversion fees happening in the background. Do not get me began. Anyway back to the positives for a bit anyway.
Fortunately in the last few years a handful of fantastic travel debit cards have actually popped onto the scene … and like other fantastic cards assures huge cost savings (85%) and a terrific app.
However I think the best bit might be what no other card does: links to your existing high street bank account.
What this suggests is you can spend money you have in your existing current account with less fret about lacking money and the extra step. But that does not indicate it is perfect.
In this Currensea review is the good, the bad, the unsightly and the alternatives, so that you can decide.
While our premium strategies have no FX markup, we charge a nominal FX markup on our Vital Plan of 0.5% per transaction, enabling us to make income from our Vital Plan whilst remaining much cheaper than other pre-paid cards and high-street debit cards. We also charge an FX markup on ATM usage over the free amount on all our strategies, complete details can be discovered on our pricing plans.
We charge an annual subscription cost of , 25 for our Premium Plan, and , 120 for our Elite Strategy. The subscription cost also removes all FX markup on transactions.
Whenever you invest with your card we get a small % of the deal, known as interchange, this comes straight from the merchant and won’t be charged to you. Currensea Group Vault Card