Do you wish you could go on holiday without the hassle of managing a separate travel money solution, topping up a currency card, or being stung by high exchange rates and fees when you return from your holidays?

Look no further – we’re pleased to introduce you to Currensea, a travel currency card which is simple and cost-effective.

What is Currensea?

Currensea is a unique new travel currency solution – a currency card which is an extension of your existing high street bank account. You don’t need to open a new account, and there’s no hassle with topping up, pre-paying or transferring money. Our card can be used anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.

You simply spend abroad with your Currensea card, as you’d spend with your regular debit card. The experience is the same – except you save on average 85% compared to regular bank charges, depending on who you bank with.

Why not just use my normal debit card?

When you use your UK debit card abroad for your holiday money, you incur a number of charges. Using your card abroad typically attracts non-sterling transaction fees, foreign currency purchase fees, and fees for cash withdrawals.

Currensea applies a flat mark up of 0.50% above either interbank or Mastercard rates. It’s so simple and transparent – and you have no nasty surprises on your bank statement when you return.

Why choose Currensea over other travel currency options?

There are many holiday money options available these days, which offer different benefits. It can be tricky to understand the difference between card solutions.

Broadly, the options are:

  • Debit or credit cards from the established high street banks
  • Debit or credit cards from challenger banks
  • Card aggregators
  • Various prepaid travel money cards

Currensea is different from these as we are not a bank, we are not a challenger bank, we don’t aim to aggregate customer cards, and our card doesn’t need to be topped up. We are laser-focused on spending abroad, and we provide the perfect balance between convenience and price.

You link your Currensea card to your existing bank account, and you simply use it for all your payments while abroad.

We charge a flat fee on each transaction which is substantially less than most other options. Many providers have well-hidden rates and pricing features which are hard to find – such as spend limit premiums, weekend spending premiums, top-up premiums and dormancy fees. It can be difficult to know where to get the best deal when there are so many variables.

Bank charges and exchange rates can be a complicated business, so we’ll write more articles about this in the near future.

Is Currensea right for me?

Currensea is the perfect choice for your holiday money if you’d like to minimise your bank charges, but you don’t want the hassle of opening a new account. This means you don’t need to investigate new solutions or educate yourself on complicated bank terms and small print. You have the security of your usual bank account, with your data fully protected.

If you value transparency and simplicity, we think you’ll be impressed with our rates explanation and our terms and conditions. You don’t have to wade through pages of small print – our terms and conditions are short, clear and easy to read.

What currencies are supported on Currensea?

We support all currencies. To start with, we’re using the interbank rate for 3 currencies including the most popular ones – EUR and USD. We’ll be adding more currencies to our interbank list in the coming months based on customer demand. All others will be based on the Mastercard rates.

This structure allows us to bring our customers savings up to 80% vs your high street bank, depending on who you bank with. We’ll write a more detailed article on this soon.

How do I get a Currensea card?

At the moment we’re running a waiting list to get a Currensea card, which you can sign up to. We’ll send you an invitation, and then you simply sign up to connect your usual bank account.

Once you receive your card, you can pay using your Currensea card while abroad – no more worries about top-ups and available funds.

Currensea will be open to everyone from January 2020 via our website.

Why Currensea now?

Currensea has been enabled by Open Banking – a series of reforms which started in the UK in 2018 – which relate to how banks deal with their customer’s financial information.

Under these reforms, UK-regulated banks have to let customers share their financial data, such as spending habits, regular payments and companies you use (eg. your bank, credit card or savings statements) with authorised providers. These providers may offer services such as budgeting apps, banking services – as long as the customer gives their permission.

The idea behind Open Banking is that it will bring more competition and innovation to financial services which will lead to more and better products to help customers manage their money.

In the following posts, we’ll go into more detail:

  • Understanding bank charges and exchange rates – and how you can save
  • Savings on Currensea vs other holiday money options
  • How to put convenience and foreign exchange in the same sentence
  • How to benefit from the best travel currency rates on a typical weekend city break
  • How to benefit from the best travel currency rates in a 1-2 week holiday
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