Currensea Review: The Money Saving Travel Card

Currensea is a revolutionary travel card that aims to save you money on foreign exchange fees while traveling. This review will cover all aspects of the Currensea card, from its features and fees to its pros and cons, and everything in between.

Currensea Review – Overall score 9.3

Currensea offers a revolutionary service that addresses the common pain points of international travelers. Its direct debit travel card saves users a significant amount on transaction fees, provides advanced security features, and even contributes to environmental causes. The website is user-friendly and clearly outlines the features and benefits of each pricing plan. Additionally, the commitment to environmental sustainability is a commendable initiative that sets Currensea apart from its competitors.

What MoneyZoe appreciates about Currensea:

No foreign exchange fees on spending abroad
Free Card Delivery
Card linked directly to your existing bank account
Purchase protection on all purchases
Accepted in over 180 countries worldwide

What MoneyZoe considers as areas for improvement:

Small mark-up in FX rate in some circumstances
Does not connect with every UK bank.
The UK’s first direct debit travel card.Better than a pre-paid travel card

What is Currensea Card?

Currensea is a debit card that allows you to spend money abroad without incurring any foreign exchange fees. It is linked directly to your existing bank account, eliminating the need for a separate account or topping up. This makes it a convenient option for travelers who want to avoid the hassle of managing multiple accounts.

Who is Currensea for?

Currensea is designed for anyone who travels frequently and wants to save on foreign exchange fees. Whether you are a business traveler, a holidaymaker, or a digital nomad, Currensea can help you save money on your overseas spending.

How does Currensea card work?

Currensea works by linking directly to your existing bank account. When you make a purchase abroad, the transaction is converted to your home currency at the interbank exchange rate, and the amount is debited from your bank account. Currensea does not charge any foreign exchange fees, and there are no hidden charges.

Currensea Accounts and Fees

Currensea offers three different pricing plans, each with its own set of features and benefits:

Essential Plan (£0/year)

  • Saves 85% on bank charges.
  • Competitive 0.5% FX rate across card spend & ATM withdrawals.
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad, 2% FX rate over £500pm.
  • Market beating Money Transfer: Send £100 – £20,000 per transfer.
  • Advanced security: Spend notifications, set spend limits & freeze/unfreeze card.
  • Purchase protection: Mastercard chargeback protection.
  • Spend in all 180 currencies: Get the best live interbank exchange rates.
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer air miles: Convert savings into air miles.
  • Free card delivery: Mastercard travel debit card.

Premium Plan (£25/year)

  • Saves 100% on bank charges.
  • Market leading 0% FX rate across card spend & ATM withdrawals.
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad, 1% FX rate over £500pm.
  • Market beating Money Transfer: Send £100 – £20,000 per transfer.
  • Advanced security: Spend notifications, set spend limits & freeze/unfreeze card.
  • Purchase protection: Mastercard chargeback protection.
  • Spend in all 180 currencies: Get the best live interbank exchange rates.
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer air miles: Convert savings into air miles.
  • Free card delivery: Mastercard travel debit card.
  • Premium offers: Access latest offers for Premium travel debit card users, including Hertz Gold Plus Rewards with complimentary Five Star Status and a 20% worldwide discount with Avis, and a complimentary night’s stay when booking a trip of 4 nights or more with Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

Elite Plan (£120/year)

  • Saves 100% on bank charges.
  • Market leading 0% FX rate across card spend & ATM withdrawals.
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad, 1% FX rate over £750pm.
  • Market beating Money Transfer: Send £100 – £20,000 per transfer.
  • Advanced security: Spend notifications, set spend limits & freeze/unfreeze card.
  • Purchase protection: Mastercard chargeback protection.
  • Spend in all 180 currencies: Get the best live interbank exchange rates.
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer air miles: Convert savings into air miles.
  • Free card delivery: Mastercard World Elite travel debit card.
  • Elite offers: Access latest offers for Elite travel debit card users, including exclusive membership to Avis President’s club and Hertz’s President’s Circle, enjoy 4 nights for the price of 3 and other exclusive benefits with ‘Elite I Prefer Member Status’ at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, 24/7 travel concierge by “Ten”, access to 1100+ airport lounges with LoungeKeyTM, and luxury hotels and resorts perks at 3,000+ locations including complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and much more.

Currensea does not have any hidden fees, weekend charges, foreign currency purchase fees, dormant card fees, or non-sterling transaction fees. It makes money by charging a small fee on ATM withdrawals abroad (for the Essential plan) and an annual fee for the Premium and Elite plans. Additionally, Currensea is also committed to giving back by supporting Plastic Bank and providing the option for users to contribute a percentage of their savings to removing ocean plastic and/or planting trees every time they spend.

The UK’s first direct debit travel card.Better than a pre-paid travel card

What countries can you use Currensea card?

Currensea can be used in over 180 countries worldwide. It is accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted.

What exchange rate does Currensea use?

Currensea uses the interbank exchange rate, which is the rate at which banks exchange currencies with each other. This is the best possible exchange rate and is typically better than the rates offered by traditional banks or currency exchange kiosks.

How much can you save with Currensea?

The amount you can save with Currensea depends on how much you spend abroad and the foreign exchange fees charged by your existing bank. However, Currensea claims that you can save up to 85% on foreign exchange fees compared to using a traditional bank card.

Can you use Currensea at cash machines abroad?

Yes, you can use Currensea at cash machines abroad. However, there is a 2% fee on ATM withdrawals abroad with the Essential plan. The Premium and Elite plans offer free ATM withdrawals abroad.

Currensea’s purchases protection

Currensea offers purchase protection on all purchases made with the card. This means that if you purchase something with your Currensea card and it is not as described, or you do not receive it, you can request a chargeback.

What Banks Does Currensea Support?

Currensea currently supports most major UK banks, including HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, NatWest, and Santander. You can check the full list of supported banks on the Currensea website.

Managing Multiple Bank Accounts with Currensea

Currensea allows you to link up to two bank accounts to a single Currensea card, however, only one account can be active at any time. The active account is the one that will be debited when you spend on your Currensea card. If you add a second bank account, the link to the first one will be paused until you decide to reactivate or remove it. You can switch between the two linked accounts by logging in via the Currensea website or the mobile app.

Applying for a Currensea Card: A Step-by-Step GuideEdit this title
Applying for a Currensea card is a straightforward process that can be completed online. Here are the steps and requirements to apply for a Currensea card:
Visit the Currensea Website

Go to the Currensea website and click on ‘Get my free card‘.

Fill Out the Application Form

Complete the online application form with your personal details, including your email and mobile phone number

Link Your Bank Account

Currensea connects to your existing bank account to remove bank fees when spending in foreign currencies. You will need to have online banking with a UK bank account.

Choose Your Plan

 Select the pricing plan that suits your needs. Currensea offers three plans: Essential (£0/year), Premium (£25/year), and Elite (£120/year)

Get Your Card

After completing the application process, your Currensea card will be sent to you in the mail

The UK’s first direct debit travel card.Better than a pre-paid travel card

Requirements:

  • Email
  • Mobile phone
  • UK Online banking

Note: Currensea is currently only available to UK residents with a UK bank account.

Is Currensea safe?

Yes, Currensea is safe to use. It is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and uses secure technology to protect your personal and financial information.

How does Currensea make money? Currensea makes money by charging a small fee on ATM withdrawals abroad (for the Essential plan) and an annual fee for the Premium and Elite plans. It also earns a small commission from Mastercard on every transaction made with the card.

Who Owns Currensea?

Currensea is owned by Currensea Limited, a company registered in England and Wales. It is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, including for the provision of payment services under the Payment Services Regulations and is a Principal Member of Mastercard. The founders of Currensea are Craig Goulding and James Lynn. Craig Goulding, a Co-founder, has a background in Physics from Oxford University and has worked in developing missile tracking systems, Finance, and Consumer digital banking. James Lynn, another Co-founder, has spent two decades in foreign exchange at some of the world’s largest banks, such as Barclays and Credit Agricole, and is an entrepreneur who set up two successful payments businesses.

How does Currensea make money?

Currensea generates revenue in three main ways:

  • FX Markup: While the premium plans (Premium and Elite) have no FX markup, Currensea charges a nominal FX markup of 0.5% per transaction on the Essential Plan. This allows them to make revenue from the Essential Plan while remaining much cheaper than other prepaid cards and high-street debit cards. Additionally, an FX markup is charged on ATM usage over the free amount on all plans. Full details can be found on their pricing plans.
  • Subscription Fees: Currensea charges an annual subscription fee of £25 for the Premium Plan and £120 for the Elite Plan. The subscription fee also removes all FX markup on transactions.
  • Interchange: Every time you spend with your Currensea card, they receive a small percentage of the transaction, known as interchange. This comes directly from the merchant and is not charged to the customer.
The UK’s first direct debit travel card.Better than a pre-paid travel card

Currensea Giving Back: A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Currensea is not only committed to saving you money but also to making a positive impact on the environment. The Currensea Giving Back program allows you to automatically contribute a percentage of your savings to an environmental organization every time you spend with your Currensea travel debit card. You can choose to contribute to either or both of the Currensea supported causes: planting trees with edenprojects.org or removing ocean-bound plastic with plasticbank.com.

How It Works:

  • Choose to contribute a percentage of your savings made using Currensea to either or both of the supported causes.
  • Spend with Currensea’s travel debit card, and they will automatically donate to your chosen organization every time you use your travel debit card.
  • View how much you’ve contributed within the Currensea App and change your contribution percentage at any time.

For example, if you choose to contribute one-third of your savings and spend $120 on a family lunch in New York, Currensea will automatically plant 8 trees for you. Or, if you contribute one-third of your savings and spend $125 on theme park tickets in Orlando, you’d automatically remove 100 ocean-bound plastic bottles.

Environmental Commitment: Currensea is committed to operating in an ethical, transparent, and responsible way. They are carbon neutral, have increased their travel debit cards’ lifespan from 3 to 5 years to reduce plastic waste and carbon requirements, and have committed to removing 2.5 times the plastic they produce every year by supporting Plastic Bank.

Currensea Giving Back program is a simple and easy way to offset some of the environmental impact associated with your travels while saving money on bank charges. It reflects Currensea’s commitment to not only providing financial savings to its customers but also to making a positive impact on the world.

Currensea customer reviews

Currensea has received an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot, with a TrustScore of 4.9 out of 5, based on 5,260 reviews.

Positive Points:

  • Most reviewers highlight the ease of use of the Currensea card, noting that it is accepted everywhere that accepts card payments, and appreciate the email notifications received after each transaction, showing the spend in local currency and sterling.
  • Customers also appreciate the competitive exchange rates offered by Currensea, and many note that it has saved them a significant amount of money on holiday spending and international transactions.
  • The customer support received from Currensea is also frequently praised, with reviewers noting quick response times and helpful assistance with any issues encountered.

Negative Points:

  • A few reviewers note that the card is occasionally not accepted, particularly at some toll roads in the EU, which can be inconvenient when there is a queue of traffic behind. This means that it is always necessary to have another means of payment readily at hand.
  • Some customers also note that there is a lag of a few days between transactions being made and the money being debited from their bank account, which requires careful monitoring of their account balance.

The majority of reviewers highly recommend the Currensea card for travel and international transactions, citing the great savings, ease of use, and excellent customer support. However, it is important to be aware of the occasional acceptance issues and the lag between transactions and debits from the linked bank account.

Currensea for Business

Currensea Business is designed to remove 100% of foreign exchange (FX) fees charged by high-street banks when spending abroad or making software subscription payments. It is a business travel money card that works with all major UK high-street banks and is globally accepted in all 180 currencies, wherever the Mastercard logo is displayed.

Curreanse Business main features:

  1. No New Bank Account Needed: Currensea partners with your existing bank account to make saving money simple. Merchant details are still labeled in your bank transactions, and transactions automatically appear in accounting software without integration.
  2. Spend in Every Currency Without Charges: It acts as a layer in front of your current bank account, saving you 100% on FX fees every time you transact. This makes your bank work harder for you by removing unnecessary and expensive FX markups on your online software payments. Both virtual and physical cards are available for your individual business needs.
  3. Real-Time Rate Without Fees: Spend in any of the 180 global currencies from your office or abroad. Your bank confirms you have the funds available, transactions go through at the real-time rate, without any fees.
  4. Notification of Spend: Receive an app notification and email confirming your spend and telling you how much you have saved.
  5. Automatic Direct Debit: Currensea automatically Direct Debits your linked bank account post your transaction. No funds are taken in advance.
  6. Full Banking Transparency: All transactional details are available in your Currensea dashboard and listed in your existing bank account under “CSEA -merchant name”.

Currensea Business is a super-convenient solution for businesses that frequently transact in foreign currencies or make software subscription payments. It removes unnecessary bank charges, avoids paying more for SaaS payments, and does not require any accounting software integration. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses looking to save money and simplify their foreign transactions.

Currensea vs Revolut

Currensea and Revolut are both popular options for travelers looking to save on foreign exchange fees. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Key Differences:

  1. Account Linking: Currensea links directly to your existing bank account, while Revolut requires you to open a new account with them.
  2. Range of Services: Revolut offers a wider range of services, including investments in stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, as well as insurance and other lifestyle benefits. Currensea focuses on foreign exchange services and saving on bank charges when spending abroad.
  3. Subscription Plans: Currensea offers three plans, while Revolut offers five plans with different features and benefits.
  4. Card Type: Currensea offers a travel debit card, while Revolut offers a range of cards, including a platinum-plated card for Ultra plan members.

Both Currensea and Revolut offer competitive exchange rates and savings on foreign exchange fees, but the right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a simple solution to save on bank charges when spending abroad, Currensea may be a good fit. If you are looking for a more comprehensive financial solution with a wider range of services, Revolut may be a better option.

Currensea Review
9.3
Currensea Travel Card
POSITIVES
  • No foreign exchange fees on spending abroad
  • Free Card Delivery
  • Card linked directly to your existing bank account
  • Purchase protection on all purchases
  • Accepted in over 180 countries worldwide
NEGATIVES
  • Does not connect with every UK bank
  • Transfer only through their app

Safety & Trust 
9/10
Fees & Exchange Rates 
9/10
Service & Features
10/10
Customer Reviews 
9/10
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Christian M
Christian M

Meet Christian - he's a digital entrepreneur with a passion for finance, personal growth, and marketing. He likes discovering new cutting-edge financial products that can help to improve people's lives.