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Travel Money

How Currensea's travel debit card compares with other travel money providers

We explained how Currensea's travel debit card can save you money abroad. We went into some detail around rates and charges, and the ‘secret sauce’ to what makes Currensea such a simple solution for better holiday money.

Checking out of the hotel on the weekend? Read on.

The research shows that travel money decisions are last-minute, and the holidaymakers can often find themselves in a situation when they need to quickly find the ways to settle their hotel bill on Sunday, just before rushing to the airport.

So let’s look at the following, not uncommon scenario. 

Go to check out of the hotel in the US on Sunday morning. You have a $2000 bill to pay for your accommodation and all the extras. You find unspent $400 in cash you withdrew from an ATM and pay the rest $1600 by card.

If you use a card from one of the leading high street banks

This transaction will cost you between £49.71 and £59.50 in total bank charges. The banks’ fees include non-sterling transaction charges both for card payment and ATM withdrawal, as well as the Visa exchange rate mark-up above the interbank rate.

With Currensea, this payment will cost you £7.70, which is equal to 0.5% markup above the interbank exchange rate. It means you save between £42.01 and £51.80 or 85-87%.

Compare Currensea's travel debit card with a high street bank

If you use a card from one of the challenger banks

It would cost you between £5.85 and £10.50 in total charges, as challenger banks do not charge non-sterling transaction fees. However, both Revolut and Monzo do charge a 2% or 3% fee for an ATM withdrawal above the equivalent of £200, Revolut applies a weekend surcharge of 0.5%, and Monzo uses a card scheme rate with the mark-up built into it. Starling offers the best deal, as the only markup they apply is a card scheme one.

In this case, Currensea’s fee of £7.70 could still save you up to £2.80 or 27%.

Compare Currensea's travel debit card rates and fees with a challenger bank

If you use other travel money card, such as prepaid travel cards

This payment scenario would cost you between £11.97 and £72.26 in total charges. This is because prepaid cards, such as Caxton or FairFX, charge top-up and conversion fees for card payments and ATM withdrawals, Curve applies 2% markup above a £500 limit and a weekend fee of 0.5% and Halifax Clarity charges interest for an ATM withdrawal from day one. 

Currensea’s fee of £7.70, in this case, will save you between £4.27 and £64.56 or 35% to 89%.

Compare Currensea's travel debit card rates and fees against other travel money cards and prepaid travel cards

Using cards abroad is costing us a fortune, and Currensea is on a mission to change this

Latest figures highlight that Brits perform over 1.5bn transactions outside the UK each year with debit cards equating to spend of over £46bn*. Based on the average charges across five major UK high street banks, this equates to a whopping £1.5bn** per year that we are paying out to use our debit cards abroad.