What is Curve?
Curve is a combined smartphone app and card aimed at replacing all of your payment cards with a single Curve card.
Currently you add all of your Visa and MasterCard products (credit / debit / selected prepaid cards) to the curve app. You then spend on the Curve card and can use the app to select which account the purchases are charged to.
Additionally, if you are running a business then Curve allows you to store a picture of your receipt for each purchase.
Currently there are two versions of the Curve card. Curve Blue which is free to apply for and offers a lower cashback rate for Curve Rewards (more about this later). The other Card is Curve Black, this has a £50 one off fee and offers double the cashback value of the Blue card.
How can it benefit you?
Whilst Curve was developed to allow you to only require a single payment card, it does have a couple of other benefits as well.
You can use your Curve card to withdraw £200 of cash from an ATM each month without a fee. As Curve charges this as a purchase, you will avoid the usual fee associated with credit card cash withdrawals and would also receive reward points / miles. If you have the IHG Rewards Club Premium MasterCard, for example, you would receive 400 points for such a cash withdrawal.
The other main benefit with Curve comes from its low FX fees for foreign transactions. Curve charges the wholesale transaction rate (MasterCard is usually the best for this) + 1% whilst still receiving the miles or points from the linked card, the FX for which would usually be around 3%.
i.e. (£1 = €1.10); if you spend €110 with Curve and your underlying card is not EUR, you will be charged £100 + 1%, taking the total to £101.
Whilst you can get specialist 0% FX cards (featured here), spending on Curve would still earn your reward points. As Curve is not a credit card, there is no credit check when getting one. If you are worried about getting rejected for a 0% FX card, or are considering applying for other reward credit cards, Curve offers an innovative way to reduce spending in foreign currencies.
You can also withdraw cash abroad; this has an additional charge of 1% + £2 per withdrawal.
i.e. (£1 = €1.10); if you withdraw €110 with Curve and your underlying card is not EUR, you will be charged £101 + £2, taking the total to £103.
Curve Rewards can be earnt in addition to miles, points or cashback on the charged credit / debit card.
What cards can you add?
You can add most Visa or MasterCard credit or debit cards.
You can also add the following prepaid cards: Monzo, Osper, Tide, Revolut, Monese, Loot, N26, Qonto and Soldo.
Unfortunately, Curve doesn’t support the following: American Express, Maestro, Diners Club, JCB and UnionPay.
Who can get Curve?
Anyone! Curve originally launched as a business card, targeting small business owners. Since January however, Curve has been accepting personal applications.
How to you apply?
Receive £5 when using the referral code: 7UJ2B
What is Curve Rewards?
Curve Rewards is the cashback scheme offered by Curve. You receive cashback for spending on your Curve card at selected retailers. This is in addition to any miles or points your nominated card would earn.
The cashback is deposited as points into a card called “Curve Rewards” in your card “wallet”.
1 point = 1 pence
To redeem your cashback simply select the “Curve Rewards” card to be your active card. It is important to note that your purchase value cannot exceed the amount of cashback displayed on your “Curve Rewards” card.
Where can you get rewards?
For an up-to-date list of where to collect Curve Rewards, check out the Curve website.
The Curve Black card gives you double the reward points of Curve Blue. Curve Blue earns 1.5% cashback at selected participating retailers (except Virgin Experience, at 2.5%). Curve Black is 3% cashback at these same retailers (5% at Virgin Experience). This cashback is paid in the form of reward points, with each point being equivalent to 1 pence. This is credited to your Curve Rewards account immediately after the purchase is made.
A wide range of places give you instant Reward points on your Curve Rewards Card, including; Arcadia Group, Argos, Ask Italian, Bella Italia, Boots, Cafe Nero, Cafe Rouge, Halfords, House of Fraser, Marriott, Pizza Express, TGI Fridays, Thorntons, Waterstones, Wilko, and Wyevale Garden Centres.
Spending on Curve is similar to spending with PayPal, it breaks the link between the credit card and the merchant. This means that Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act would not apply to any purchases. However, the MasterCard charge back scheme can be utilised.
It should be remembered that Section 75 would normally only apply to purchases over £100. Any purchase below this value would not be covered anyway! Full details about Section 75 can be found here.
Personally, I think the Curve card is a really good idea. It offers an exceptionally cheap way of using your reward cards abroad. Combined with the ability to withdraw cash from your credit card fee-free, whilst collecting reward points, makes this a no brainer!
The referral code: 7UJ2B will get you £5 Reward credit regardless of which card you sign up for (the free Curve Blue card or the £50 Curve Black card).
I personally opted for the Black card. It currently has an offer giving you a free wallet (worth £50). As this is a one off card fee for an indefinite enhanced cashback rate, the urgency to recoup the card fee is diminished. As I plan to keep the card in the long term, the enhanced cashback seemed like the best option for me!