Is Currensea the UK’s first direct debit travel card worth buying?
If you are planning to spend money overseas, you probably already know that using your regular piece of plastic can be an expensive solution. Not only are you likely to incur a multitude of hidden costs, but you are also likely to get extremely unfavorable exchange rates. Fortunately, today there is a wide range of specialty travel cards that don’t charge you extra when spending abroad. One of these specialized cards is Currensea, dubbed “the UK’s first direct debit travel card”.
Here’s what you need to know about Currensea, including how it works and if it’s worth buying.
What is Currensea?
Currensea is a direct debit card that claims to help you save at least 85% of the costs you would incur with your normal debit or credit card while spending abroad.
The card connects to your existing current account via Open Banking. When you spend or withdraw from the card abroad, it will debit your linked checking account by direct debit.
The card is currently supported by almost all major banks, including:
- First direct
- At national scale
How much does the Currensea Card cost?
Currensea currently offers three different plans for its cards:
- Essential – free use
- Premium – Â£ 25 per year
- Elite package – Â£ 120 per year
While the Essential plan has an exchange rate of 0.5%, the Premium and Elite plans have an exchange rate of 0%, which means you pay absolutely nothing when you spend or withdraw from the card within limits. data.
What are the advantages of the Currensea direct debit card?
With Currensea, you have access to the best exchange rates at just 0% to 0.5% above the base rate. This is a very competitive rate, as large banks typically add around 3% to the base rate. The result is a savings of at least 85% on every transaction abroad.
In addition, there are no ATM withdrawal fees when using the card abroad. Traditional banks charge both overseas transaction fees and sometimes fixed fees.
Since the card takes funds by direct debit from your bank, it also means you don’t have to worry about reloading the card, prepaying, or opening a brand new bank account.
The card operates on the MasterCard network. So you can be assured of worldwide acceptance as well as the protection of your funds with MasterCard chargebacks.
Are there any drawbacks?
There are very few things not to like about Currensea. Most important is the meager monthly withdrawal limit of Â£ 500 at the ATM (Â£ 750 for the Elite plan). You can make withdrawals above these limits, but an additional charge of 1% to 2%, depending on your plan, will apply.
If you plan to make a lot of cash withdrawals abroad, this limit may not be enough to cover you and you may want to consider other options, such as a travel credit card.
In addition, the annual fee for the Elite plan is quite high. That said, the Essential plan, which is free, and the Premium plan, which costs Â£ 25, should cover the majority of the average traveler’s needs.
So, is Currensea worth buying?
If you are looking for a card to help you save money on your next vacation abroad, Currensea is definitely worth a visit.
With this direct debit card, you get all the benefits of a specialized travel card without having to open a brand new account, then manually reload your card or make a prepayment.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, head over to the Currensea website for instructions on how to apply.
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