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Currensea review

Currensea is designed to remove transaction fees and make travelling easier. Here's everything you need to know about the travel debit card.

Currensea is a “travel direct debit card” that aims to make your travels abroad easier by giving you the best exchange rates and eliminating transaction fees.

It sits as a “layer” in front of your existing high street bank account – so you can spend for free on your Currensea card overseas, and it then debits you bank account for the amount you’ve spent, avoiding any overseas transaction fees your bank may have normally charged you.


Get a free card & save abroad

  • Control all your spendings with the app
  • No fees on non-sterling transactions
  • Don't pay extra for withdrawing money
  • Contribute 8p and Currensea will plant a tree

What is Currensea?

Currensea was founded by ex-JPMorgan CTO Craig Goulding and banking entrepreneur James Lynn, both of whom wanted to remove all the extra charges that often come with spending money abroad. Seeing that there was no card really addressing this, they created the UK’s first travel money card that links directly to your bank account.

This also means you don’t have the hassle of topping up or prepaying for a travel card, or having money leftover and locked up in prepaid cards or separate bank accounts when you return home.

How does Currensea work?

Currensea’s debit card works by connecting to your existing high street bank account, so there’s no need to sign up for and manage a new bank account or prepaid card. Registering for a Currensea card takes minutes and doesn’t require much formality or unnecessary effort.

After signing up, you just connect Currensea with your main bank account and activate your Currensea debit card once you receive it. After this, any time you use your Currensea card, you don’t have to worry about overseas transaction fees (that your bank may have normally charged) and you can also benefit from competitive exchange rates.

What are the main features of Currensea?

  • Quick application process and your card will arrive in the post.
  • Stay in control on-the-go by monitoring your overseas transactions through the Currensea app.
  • No fees on non-sterling transactions in 180 currencies.
  • Don’t pay any fees for withdrawing money (although there may be a FX mark-up subject to your price plan).
  • No hidden fees, such as weekend surcharges or dormant card fees.
  • If you choose to contribute some of your transaction fee savings, Currensea will plant a tree on your behalf.

What are the Currensea price plans?

  • Essential: Free. No overseas transaction fees, although you’ll be charged a 0.5% FX rate mark-up by Currensea across card spend and initial ATM withdrawals, but if you withdraw over £500 per month there is a 2% FX rate mark-up.
  • Premium: £25/year. No overseas transaction fees, and there is no FX rate mark-up across card spend and initial ATM withdrawals, but if you withdraw over £500 per month there is a 1% FX rate mark-up.
  • Elite: £25/year. No overseas transaction fees, and there is no FX rate mark-up across card spend and initial ATM withdrawals, but if you withdraw over £750 per month there is a 1% FX rate mark-up. You also get other benefits such as a travel concierge service and discounted access to airport lounges.

Is Currensea safe?

Currensea is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered to use Open Banking technology. Plus, it connects to your existing bank account and only makes transactions via direct debit on authorised transactions. It can’t access or store your online banking credentials, so you can rest assured that your money will be safe when using the service. All transactions made using Currensea are covered by Mastercard’s chargeback protection.

Pros and cons of Currensea

  • Reduces the cost of spending abroad. Currensea markets itself as saving customers money on overseas spending when compared to foreign transaction fees charged by major banks.
  • Allows fee-free spending in 180 currencies. The card can be used in any country that accepts Mastercard.
  • Does not connect with every UK bank. While the card uses Open Banking technology to connect to a decent selection of high street banks, it doesn’t yet work alongside digital banking providers like Starling and Monzo.
  • Small mark-up in FX rate in some circumstances. Although there are no overseas transaction fees to pay, some FX rate mark-ups do apply depending on your Currensea price plan.

Our verdict

While Currensea has been around for a few years now, it remains an exciting travel debit card that addresses a very practical but overlooked concern. This is one travel card that we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on!

You can get started by visiting Currensea’s website and signing up. If you have read this review and decided that Currensea’s card is not for you, you can also compare other travel cards on the market.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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