Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Curve Card comes to Android – get paid £5 for trying it out

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

(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.)

Six months after its launch as a purely Apple app, the Curve Card has finally launched for Android.

The £35 application fee is still being waived for new applicants. Even better, your free card will be credited with £5 after you’ve made your first purchase as long as you use a refer-a-friend code when applying.  You will find my code further down this article.

The Curve Card got a lot of coverage on Head for Points this year, for better and worse. It launched as an intermediary payment card which, among other things, allowed you to recharge Visa and MasterCard payments to an American Express card.

This was clearly very attractive to those of us in the miles and points community. Unfortunately, after a couple of months, American Express pulled the plug. This means that Curve has had to double-down on offering added value to Visa and MasterCard cardholders.

What can you do with a Curve Card?

Carry all of your Visa and MasterCard products on one card

Curve is ploughing on and has been adding extra features, moving it closer to its original goal as a payment aggregator. The idea is that you can link all of your Visa and MasterCard products (and, long term, hopefully Amex again) cards to Curve, allowing you to just carry one card with you. Using the Curve app, you can switch the card which is recharged with your purchase. For businesses, there are additional features such as the ability to scan a receipt with your phone and have it stored alongside the transaction data.

Save money when spending abroad

Curve can also be used abroad. It charges the MasterCard rate + 1%, compared with the 3% charged by most credit and debit cards, so you will save 2% AND still receive miles or points from the Visa or MasterCard linked to your Curve Card.

Curve lets you reduce your fees on foreign spend without having to apply for a specialist ‘no FX fees’ credit card. This will put less strain on your credit record if you are thinking of applying for other credit cards.

Earn free miles and points every month

There is another benefit. You can withdraw £200 of cash from an ATM each month and charge it to a Visa or MasterCard credit card as a purchase. If you have the IHG Rewards Club Premium MasterCard, for example, you would earn 400 IHG Rewards Club points per month by doing this, totally free. Additional ATM withdrawals recharged to a credit card will incur a fee. Withdrawals recharged to a debit card are free.

Add contactless functionality to any non-contactless card

One other potential benefit – which I find handy – is that Curve is contactless. If your main Visa or MasterCard product is not contactless, linking it to a Curve card is an easy way to gain contactless functionality.

Curve prepaid MasterCard

Earn £5 when you refer a friend for their own free card

Curve Rewards is now partially live. An additional card is added to your Curve wallet which shows your Curve Rewards balance. This comprises your £5 sign-up bonus (if you were referred by an existing member) and any £5 credits you earned for referring other cardholders.

You will earn £5 for any friends you refer to Curve, even though the card is currently free for a limited period. Your friends will also get £5 credit for signing up. If you have a large social media following you could do quite nicely by promoting Curve at the moment. The £5 reward is triggered with your first purchase using Curve.

Spending your Curve Rewards points is easy. You select the Curve Rewards in the app before you make a purchase and, as long as the purchase is for less than your rewards balance, it will be deducted from your credit. You cannot make ATM withdrawals of your Curve Rewards balance.

Section 75

I should mention Section 75 coverage at this point. Because you are not paying directly with your credit card, you are not not covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the retailer goes bust before you have received your goods.

The same situation applies if you use PayPal, Supercard, Revolut or any other payment intermediary. For large transactions, such as a flight or holiday, it makes more sense to pay directly.

Get £5 free if you apply for a free Curve card

If you use a refer-a-friend code when you sign up – my code is OQB4J – you will also receive 500 Curve Rewards points worth £5 off any purchase.

How to apply

You can download the app from your favourite app store.

Enter referral code OQB4J into the app on the first page when prompted. This is my refer-a-friend code and is required in order to trigger the £5 free credit.

This is the screen of the app where you enter the OQB4J code – click ‘Add A Referral Code’:

curve-pic

This code will get you a Blue Curve Card (usually £35) for free or it will reduce the price of the Black Curve Card, which earns double Rewards Points, from £75 to £50. To be honest, I don’t recommend you take the latter option – start with the free version.

Conclusion

With £2m of new funding just raised Curve is looking to accelerate its roll-out. You have absolutely nothing to lose by giving them a try under this offer.

You will get your £5 sign-up bonus, you can withdraw £200 per month from an ATM and recharge it to a miles or reward points earning credit card and, if it turns out that you spend a lot at the retailers included in Curve Rewards then you will start getting decent amounts of cash rewards back.

Comments (96)

  • Genghis says:

    A slight amendment required: “Supercard also works with Android, unlike Curve.”

    Any more news on Curve Rewards? Wasn’t it launching in the autumn?

  • angrey says:

    “helps keep HFP ticking over”

    Why do you keep down playing the fact that Head for Points is a business? It’s your ‘job’, pays your bills and pays for all the flights and hotels for your any your extended family.

    • Matt says:

      Are you suggesting he should write “helps pay all the bills, flights, and hotels for me and my extended family”…

      I’ve not seen many businesses apply this practice.

      • Callum says:

        I think their point was “ticking over” sounds like it’s barely getting by whereas in reality it generates large amounts of revenue (granted maybe not as profitable as his city days – I’ve not read the books!).

        I’m sure an overly attached reader will come along with a variant of the tired “sod off if you don’t like it”, and their complaint is certainly trivial and rather unnecessary, but it’s not completely pointless.

    • Rob says:

      I haven’t paid for a flight for years 🙂 ‘Ticking over’ is a colloquial Northern phrase …..

      • Tg says:

        Don’t you use avios? You must pay taxes on your avios award flights? That’s still paying for a flight?

    • Nori says:

      Angrey, why do you have to be so bitter? It takes quite a bit of time to write these articles. All of us benefit from the advice given on this blog. I for once will be flying BA first class – something that wouldn’t be possible for me without this blog. I’m very grateful to Rob that he shares his knowledge and travel passion with us. So please, either be part of our community or go elsewhere.

  • Calz says:

    OT
    Getting ready for my first ever Qatar airways 787 biz class, buzzing! Cheers Raffles and merry Christmas 🙂

    • Nick says:

      Calz – You will really enjoy. It is an excellent product. Really comfortable seats / beds on the 787, A350 and A380. Good food and drink too. And of course the benefit of 560 Executive Club Tier Points if you are on a return to many Asian destinations via Doha – from where it’s easy to get BA Silver status.

  • James says:

    Just about to board QR BHX-DOH-HKT. Bleary eyed this morning I forgot to ask for a seat change on my second leg as the front row is now unblocked. Am I now stuck in 2J? The front row on the QR A330 has much more legroom. The website won’t let me change my seat preference anymore

  • Alistair says:

    Curve is a joke. You can’t leave your other cards behind because so many transactions get declined. Curve still made a charge after one decline and it was up to me to notice that and to challenge it. I tried to withdraw cash on two occasions 6 weeks apart and was declined. I asked curve why the decline when there is a £200 daily limit and they said card issuers have asked them to restrict these activities as they are high risk, potentially fraudulent, money laundering, and heat I should not be using curve to withdraw high levels of cash (remember I tried to withdraw £200 once in October and once in December, which is not high level or frequent and is nowhere near the daily limit). They told me if I continue attempting to withdraw high levels of cash then my underlying card may be blocked. Again, I tried it ONCE. Even without cash withdrawals the frequency with which transactions are declined means that you usually have to revert to your real card. With no Amex support, I can’t see any reason for getting and using curve except that it’s free and the referral code will give rob a little payback for his efforts and you £5 to spend, if you can find something that costs exactly £5 or less and don’t get a declined transaction. I’m sure someone will be along soon to say it all works fine for them. (I’d still urge them to check their statements carefully though.)

    • Graeme says:

      My experience is the same – I find it bloody useless and since they whipped Amex out, it’s pretty much been a waste of £35. I chose not to go mad when you could withdraw unlimited cash on the Amex, but should have realised that others would go mental and ruin it quickly.

      Other than that it fails fairly regularly for me at ATMs and when purchasing abroad. I once asked them a question regarding foreign currency, was told it was fine, asked another question and was told it absolutely was not OK – and they threatened to cancel my card.

      I’d take a free one but really I’m gutted that I didn’t take the refund when it was offered.

      • Rob says:

        Didn’t you put £1000 through it to get the £35 back automatically (and keep the card)?

    • John says:

      I withdraw £50 once a week and that doesn’t get declined. I tried £200 once and it didn’t work.

      • Rob says:

        I only do chunks of £200, never had a problem in the UK. I have had trouble abroad occasionally.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No issues at all with £200 a time here also many less declines than Supercard too and had it since about Day one. Great product.

      • Rashad says:

        no issues here either, put monthly £800 through, even managed to withdraw £500 at once

    • BigDave says:

      I’ve only had 3 rejections out of many many transactions:

      1) at a post office machine in Gibraltar that dishes stamps out automatically (since sorted)

      2) Trying to top up a tesco mobile PAYG over the phone…

      3) when I first used it abroad my bank blocked it – curve informed me through the app and told me what to so – sorted

  • Mud Island Mlungu says:

    OT

    Just arrived in JNB on 2 hr delayed flight BA 55 from LHR.

    Have now missed the connection booked on the same ticket. Next flight 7 hrs away.

    Does EU compensation rules cover this considering the original flight originated in the EU?

    • Ahop says:

      Yes. I had the s a me situation. There is case law on it and the airlines are aware if this.

      • Mud Island Mlungu says:

        The reason for the LHR delay was due to some idiot feeling queasy so they had to unboard him and his luggage.

        Does that still count??

        • Mark says:

          nope as far as I am aware, it has to be the airlines responsibility such as a a plane going tech

  • Andrew says:

    You should really point out the major restriction of Curve. It is only for business related spend.

    • Rob says:

      They are fairly casual about that unless you get carried away – but, yes, accounts have been closed.

      The product is switching to a different MasterCard licence in the New Year so this will not be an issue and will be officially letting everyone apply (as opposed to ‘everyone who says they have some form of self employed income’).

      • YL says:

        Apart from ATM, I don’t use Curve card much these days. I followed the ATM fair usage policy each month, but my account was flagged. They asked me to confirm my details first, but 2 weeks later still not happy and asked me to provide them further evidence as self-employed. They also questioned how my cash withdraw could be business use… and sent me their T&C when I actually followed the rule! I provided them what they have asked, so my account is fine now.
        My feeling is that they are not too fuss about where you use the card, the more you use the better for them, but they would prefer not to have someone like me hardly use the card but making sure using the ATM each month!

    • bill says:

      Why use this ahead of revolut?

      • Alan says:

        The main reason would be recharging onto a credit card – Revolut charges for CC top ups. (1% IIRC). For 0% spend abroad I still find my Lloyds Avios the best as I get no fee plus still get points. For ATM withdrawals abroad throughout Revolut is a decent option for no fee (£200/month free limit, 1% after that).

      • Rob says:

        a) Revolut is finicky because you need to load it

        b) especially vs Supercard, Supercard is better because – whilst Revolut gives you a marginally better rate – the difference is swamped by the value of the points you get linking Supercard to a good rewards Visa or MasterCard

        The 1% FX fee means that this doesn’t apply to Curve but you can offset this by doing ‘cash withdrawals charged as purchases’ to your credit card which means it is a wash overall.

  • Andy S says:

    I had an email from curve yesterday so downloaded the app and applied for a “magic link”, then I couldn’t decide whether blue or black so left it until this article arrived. Now the link has expired, but every time i ask for a new one, it still says its expired. i’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the app, applied under a different email address, but no joy.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.