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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.

Yours,

Shachar Bialick


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Comments (437)

  • Relaxo says:

    Has anyone had any refunds go through Curve? I’m waiting on a refund from a purchase. Retailer seems to have processed over a week ago but nothing showing up on transaction list.

  • Darren says:

    I have made more than enough avois since I’ve had the card to justify the £35 cost, and am currently using the card abroad without thought about what the fx fee would have been. Anyways even if I hadn’t done all this I would still not quibble about £35. You go out for dinner, spend £35 easily and the next day you’re hungry again. You don’t get another shot at the menu for free! My point is get over it.

  • Drolma-la says:

    No question there have been glitches. But it’s a weird, new, App-based product, so (sadly) I haven’t been surprised. NFH’s suggestion that we petition Amex may be a good one. I’ve been a happy Amex customer for more than 25 years, and they do have great customer support. I appreciate that they might want to protect that against glitches. Glitches with financial products erode trust. I may just drop Amex a polite note and express my hope that they will give Curve another chance in due course. My gripe is that I’ve never seen the £10 sign-up bonus from Raffles’ referral.

    • JamesWag says:

      If the rewards points are simply going to be cash-based credits to your statement then they could provide everyone with a £10 credit NOW and not have to wait until they get around to launching the points programme – which, let’s face it, will be so far down on their list of priorities that it could be years away.

  • Bluejosh says:

    A lot of talk of how we should support this as it’s a “Start Up”. This is just Silicon Valley hipster speak for a new business. A business that like any other has to offer value to it’s customers or else it will cease to exist. “Beta” or not, there’s no reason for anyone to support a money making enterprise if it’s not delivering what it promised. Curve is no doubt backed by Israeli VC and hedge fund money – firms who are not known for being charitable businesses, so I for one won’t be crying any tears if they do go bust. If people are feeling so benevolent maybe they should take their £35 back and give it to a local charity that really needs the money.

    From a personal pov, it’s a shame it hasn’t worked as I enjoyed the functionality and earning the bonus Avios, but there we are. That’s life etc.

  • Ingvar says:

    I’ve only had the card for a month, but have already gotten more than £35 of value out of it.

    I still use my Amex wherever it is accepted, and Curve elsewhere. If we all do this, it just a lot more money goes through the Amex card than would otherwise be the case, and that we have the full Amex customer service available for issues with Amex-accepting merchants.

    We should all write to Amex and tell them this.

  • Keith says:

    I’ve just encountered another issue that I haven’t seen mentioned on here: I put through two GBP payments to a UK retailer recently – one about £1900 and the other about £1600 (3 days apart). They have appeared on my Amex statement in USD to Wirecard, with the associated 2.99% Non-Sterling Transaction fee!! I’m not even sure if the exchange rate converts back correctly, I’ll have to check my notes when I get home. They showed as USD in the app, with the correct GCP figure though. Anyone else?

    As I can’t phone Curve to challenge, I’ll try Amex first, but I’m guessing that they’ll refer me back to Curve. Ho-hum…

    • Jonny says:

      I had that problem too. It’s because some identifiers are the same as in the US.

      To rectify, download the latest version of the app, select the card, click the “info” icon and then edit. You will then be able to change the funding currency.

      If you contact support they say they will refund you the excess costs (likely quite a bit as you’re hit both ways), though might take a while (I’m still waiting – same happened to me).

      • harry says:

        It’s another Curve own-goal (ie problem, their own fault, don’t blame somebody else’s software, they should have run a proper beta first).

        They should be able to pick up the country of residence of the cardholder. If Keith is a UK Curve cardholder, transaction/ buying in GBP @ a UK retailer, then it should have all been very obvious. Funding currency GBP. Item bought GBP. No non-sterling transaction fee. No exchange rate issues.

        Further irritating Amex when customer services are asked to help?

        Simples.

        • Keith says:

          Jonny is correct in that the problem is that the card is “issued in the US”, hence it was processed in USD and converted back into GBP (not GCP as in my previous post!). What’s really odd/surprising is that this is my wife’s BAPP card (the letter B stands for…!) My BAPP card is not producing the same behaviour.

          To give them their due, Curve answered emails (albeit very slowly) and confirmed the problem, and have said that they will refund the losses. I haven’t provided the info for this yet as I’ve only just returned from my trip.

          They also directed me to how to change the card currency as Jonny said, although this is now irrelevant, as the card has been deleted. I’m not sure that I could have done this anyway, as the app is pretty unresponsive on an iPod, which I used as it’s the only iOS device I have access to. The only requirement for the app was iOS 8.4 or later, and I met that. They are now saying that the app is “not optimised for the iPod”. Lack of an Android version is another issue for me.

  • Indigo says:

    Why are/were the Amex transactions so problematic though?

    Has anyone experienced the double transaction issues on MC or Visa linked cards?

  • Petet says:

    Being an expert in this field I can think of many many reasons why Amex or indeed any Issuer would not want to play with Curve. Apple went to great lengths to ensure issuer and scheme branding was maintained and the rails laid down by the schemes can be used by banks to launch their own HCE based mobile payment apps. Who knows one day even Apple may cave in.

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