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Curve card ‘pauses’ Amex functionality

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(EDIT:  Curve has changed a lot since this article was published.  Please do not rely on the information here.  Instead, please click here to read our detailed 2020 Curve review, which includes a promo code for a free £5 credit when you sign up.)

Let’s keep Curve discussion here, please, to stop other threads getting clogged up.

I will do an analysis on this tomorrow.  My gut feeling in the short term is that – assuming you can easily spend £1,000 on Curve in the next three months (and £600 of that can be free ATM withdrawals linked to a Mastercard or Visa, earning points) – you might as well do that.

You will get the £35 credit, which if you have the basic card means you are in the same financial position as taking a refund, and you still have the Curve card for overseas use (if you don’t have a 0% card) and ATM use and for places where it is treated as a debit card.

Curve prepaid MasterCard

And, of course, if you take a refund you would need to pay £35 again later if / when Amex functionality returns. If you have the premium version, the maths is different and you may find the full refund better than a £50 credit.

It is always fun and games working with start-ups ….

The email:

I’m Shachar, the CEO of Curve. Today we’ve got some disappointing news. American Express have asked us to pause their functionality with Curve – which means you will not be able to use your Curve card with your Amex for the time being. This begins at midday on May 31st UK time – you’ll shortly receive another email with practical details of what will happen when we pause the American Express functionality – your Curve will continue to work with Mastercard and Visa.

American Express want to ensure there is a seamless customer support process for their Members when using their Card with Curve. We’re continuing discussions with their management, and hope that American Express decide to come back to Curve soon.

We’re continuing to build something big at Curve. The first ever platform to connect you to your everything money – transforming the way you handle your finances, bringing value and saving you time and money. We’re already connecting up all your bank cards, tracking your expenses in real time and saving you money with zero FX fees when you travel. This is just the beginning – we’re working hard on future features such as the ability to move charges between funding cards after you’ve paid, bespoke loyalty rewards and cash-backs, peer-to peer payments and much more.

As a big thank you for being one of Curve’s early adopters we are giving Blue card members £35 and Black card members £50 worth of Curve Points if you spend a total of £1000 over the next three months. You’ll be able to spend your Curve Points at any merchant that accepts Mastercard using your Curve. Please see our FAQs for further details.

We hope you choose to stay with us to continue the exciting journey we’ve begun together. Please write to me directly at [email protected] – I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

I’ll keep you updated.


Shachar Bialick

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Comments (437)

  • Matt says:

    Blimey. Reading some of the comments here you’d have thought people have lost a fortune!

    Blaming Raffles is ridiculous. No one forced anyone to sign up.

    I’ve had the card for 2 months and have put £10k through to my BA Amex card which I wouldn’t have been able to do. I had one duplicate transaction which was resolved within a day. The card was in beta so issues were to be expected.

    Yes losing Amex functionality is annoying but may well come back. I’m not going to be cancelling my card. The cost has been more than covered. Curve is a start up based locally to me in Shoreditch. I’m going to see how this plays out and will continue to support their product enhancements. If it doesn’t work out for them, at least I know I’ve tried to support. Small price to pay in my opinion.

  • Will says:

    Given my personal experience on how tight Amex are in clamping down on anything that looks like a cash advance my gut instinct on this is that Amex feared a mass cash advance was happening compromising their risk profiling.

    If I were curve I’d do away with ATM withdrawals period and perhaps seek to bring Amex back for use only with chip and pin transactions (ie pretty much as I suspect the product was intended – to allow Amex to be used where Amex is not accepted)

    Given that medium size PayPal businesses can take Amex for 1.4% and that business credit cards (that’s what curve processes as) will process through a merchant account at about 2.5% there’s money in it for both Amex and curve if they get it right.

    Letting people cash withdrawal from ATM’s to credit cards though, they must have lost their mind on that one!!!

  • Bruce says:

    It seems old that so many comments are assuming that Amex have suspended their support for something other than the given reason – that curve customer support is not up to scratch. Not long since people were complaining about messages and phone calls going unanswered and that they were issuing multiple complaints to Amex.
    My feeling was that the beta should’ve scaled up more gradually when finding bugs – with the number of support staff gradually increasing to match it.

    • Bruce says:

      * odd, not old !

    • harry says:

      Curve seemed to think they could exist without support staff, even when things were going wrong.

      This will make a great MBA study – which I teach.

      • Bruce says:

        They Give the impression of having viewed it as rolling out a piece of software (since it is app-based) to 10,000 users where they just needed a skeletal staff to collect and fix bug reports – like they might a puzzle game app…

        It was a warning sign when there was an initial problem with transactions at sainsburys and they pushed out a message to all users telling them to take it up with sainsburys directly.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Not like this thread needs more posts but my 2 cents

    Surely IT problems have cause this issue, not sure what their plan for pre auths was but they got that completely wrong charging them straight to the cards

    I’ll be keeping mine as I’ve got most my £35 back already and you never know when it would come in handy charging to my other non Amex cards

  • R.R. says:

    All yours comments are very interesting read indeed, thank you for sharing.
    The question now what is the best non amex card on the market that would help to generate membership points/avios etc?
    I spend about £800 a month that I can’t now charge onto Amex, and was thinking perhaps going for Lloyds Avios Rewards or Premium cards and charging £800 to MasterCard would help to generate a companion voucher or flight upgrade voucher?
    I would appreciate a referral as well please. Thoughts anyone?

  • Leon says:

    We all knew it was a BETA and that there would be teething troubles. I was affected by both the double charging issue and also the ‘pre authorisation’ issue. When i messaged curve via the app i got a quick response and both issues have been easily sorted out.

    I am annoyed with Amex – it is not only curve that amex does not fully work with – have you tried using Apple Pay on Amex in McDonalds (doesnt work) or Pets at Home (also doesnt work with Amex) and Tesco (i could go on for ever).

    Their arrogance is ridiculous, yes i know you get good service on the telephone but they charge fees on any of their decent cards and we only get to use them in a handful of retailers – why? Because amex charges are so high for many retailers etc.

    This will finish curve and I blame Amex 100% – they should be working with curve to get the issues sorted not spit out their dummy and inconvenience everyone else.

    I have emailed their customer service dept and look forward to their response (which i will gladly share on here).

    In terms of a refund, i will wait until the June 23rd deadline to see if the Amex situation resolves but as the card is useless to me and my partner without Amex i will be applying for the £150 refund with a heavy heart.

    Both sides need to be working on this 24 hours a day if they want this to be successful. I doubt either side is working on it at this moment in time though 🙁

    BTW – what imbecile can possibly blame Raffles – he didnt make you order the card did he!

    • harry says:

      what imbecile can possibly blame Raffles?

      luckyjim, I seem to remember 🙂

    • Brian W says:

      I thought it was just my Amex / Apple Pay that didn’t work at McDonalds!! There is a silver lining today after all!

      I nearly gave up quarter pounders as a result……..thank god for contactless.

  • Frankie says:

    Blimey! It’s been busy on here today. First time I’ve looked today. Must be the busiest feature EVER on HFP. I think I’ll keep my Curve and give the Curve guys a chance. Sure it’s only 35 quid.

    • Billy says:

      Would have given them a chance but I ordered the card 6 weeks ago and it never arrived

  • James says:

    Some of the comments, particularly the earlier comments about people rushing to get their refund back before Curve folds up and the CEO runs off with all our money are cringeworthy. It reminds me of the scene from Mary Poppins, where Michael is squealing about getting his tuppence back which causes a huge panic stricken rush where everyone is fighting to get their money out. “Curve are going skint, quick, give me back my £35! What’s that? Amex functionality may come back? Quick, take my £35!”

    Really quite sad.

    • Louise says:

      I applied for a refund. Not worthwhile for me anymore.

      Can’t believe all the people having a go at raffles for making them get a curve card!!

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