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

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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.)

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)

  • MGo says:

    Stay away from Curve.

    When you have a lot of credits, they then block your card for so called possible fraudulent behaviour. So you loose all your credits, also referral ones.

    A lot of retries necessary before it works, with sometimes double bookings.

    • roberto says:

      Whilst others have had issues I have used my Curve card in excess of 300 occasions in a dozen countries & have never had a declined transaction. Mine is linked to my Virgin Black Visa and has been faultless in ATM’s, online and epos.

      YMMV but in my mind it’s been a great fx option when (my lloyds) amex is not possible.

  • Roger I says:

    I have both Supercard and Curve, but I have not yet used Curve as I don’t find the f/x fee attractive. Also, the lack of AmEx compatibility stifled my interest.

    As the Supercard works for me, is there much to commend the Curve card?
    Advantages over Supercard:
    1. can change the PIN;
    2. up to £200 cash per month fee-free (is this the case abroad?)
    3. can offer contactless to a non-contactless card.

    Is that it? Thanks.

    • Mikeact says:

      I certainly would not travel with just Curve,Supercard and Lloyds Amex in my wallet. We’re off in the New Year for a three month tour ‘down under’, together with a selection of my other cards. It’s so easy to move money around on line nowadays, and my kids could always ‘top up’ for us if we had a problem. Getting hold of local cash is easy but wrestling which way to do it is always a bit of a ‘cost effective ‘ challenge. At least £200 ATM from Curve helps a little.

    • Rob says:

      You’ve summed it up. I found Curve more reliable in being accepted but that is just my experience.

    • Rob says:

      There is no difference, it is a 1% fee. Still 2% less than most cards of course, and apart from Lloyds all FX free cards have zero rewards.

  • Talay says:

    Downloaded the new Android App, signed in, then it has magically set up the process of ordering me a new card and account !!!

    Useless company !

    • BigDave says:

      I didn’t have a problem – did you use your android gmail account or your curve registered email account to sign up?

    • Graeme says:

      It was doing the same to me as well, but after opening and closing it a few times it stopped.

      It was annoying that it was exactly the same as the old “app” – I thought they’d at least update that! Suspect they wanted to get rid of the negative feedback though.

  • Jonathan says:

    Can someone please clarify something for me please.
    I have a feeling I read that one of Supercard or Curve card now claims to charge for UK based online non-GBP transactions (i.e. purchasing something from Amazon France whilst in UK), however I can’t find anything on either Supercard or Curve on this.

    It’s possible I misinterpreted this and the additional charge only applies for non-GBP POS spend in the UK.

    Thanks

    • Mikeact says:

      I purchased, on line, something from Canada via Supercard…’saved’ around £15 and earned Avios against my linked card.

    • Rob says:

      Supercard rules do specifically say you are charged for transactions from a UK POS in another currency. Curve does not.

    • Andy S says:

      It was supercard, check articles from a week or two ago. Basically they say they could charge on transactions made in the UK but there was no concensus on how they known your in the uk with online websites

    • the_real_a says:

      It is a new supercard addition to T&C`s NOT curve. The term is not quite how you express it – a merchant has a domiciled country in which he contracts with his terminal provider. In your example Amazon is domiciled in Luxemburg (Tax?) but charged in Euro/Pounds so not applicable to the new term. If you (for example) had a friendly travel agent in the UK who would process your booking for a french hotel in Euro`s then you would be hit by the new charge.

      The problem with this is that the consumer has no clue where the merchant terminal is domiciled! And try asking the question to a call center representative – they think you are mad.

  • James says:

    Totally Off Topic.

    Anyone know the best redemption options for TopBonus points (AirBerlin) on Etihad ?
    Hoping perhaps first class to Abu Dhabi or if not then business class – in their best cabins, which I presume are the A380s ???

    Are there any sweet spots anyone’s aware of ?

    Thanks in advance of your help.

  • Concerto says:

    Best redemption options with TopBonus are on airberlin itself, just look at the current TopDeals (off to Abu Dhabi for 7,500 miles myself!). A decent sweetspot is on domestic USA tickets on AA because of non existent taxes.

  • pointsarb says:

    O/T sorry. Does anyone know an easy way to transfer in to Marriott points from a hotel/air partner? I tried looking this up but couldn’t see a way for a UK resident to transfer in to top up an existing Marriott rewards account? I’ll have to exclude SPG as I’m already maxed out there in points purchases (I think there is a 30k limit per year and so I’m maxed out this year?). I need to find 22k Marriott points pronto for a Xmas hotel redemption in Mexico!

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    Cheers

    • Rob says:

      No, can’t be done. Why not buy SPG points?

      • pointsarb says:

        Thanks Rob, I’ve already maxed out my 30k purchase limit on SPG points purchases hence can’t buy any more and neither can anybody else in my house as we have all done the same in preparation for this! I’ll now just have to buy 22k Marriott points from within my Marriott account to top up.

        On the positive side for everyone else, I’m just about to bag 2 * 7 nights + flights packages highlighted here on HFP a while ago. Pretty chuffed that I can do 14 nights on points over Xmas/New Year in Mexico so thanks Rob for the heads up on this great Marriott package offer!

        • Rob says:

          I just booked 4 nights in Kyoto costing £4000 (Cherry Blossom week) for 280k Marriott so I should also apologise for being mean to them in the past and for knocking the benefits of the SPG acquisition (as I used transferred SPG)!

          • pointsarb says:

            Nice one Rob! The SPG:Marriott 1:3 points ratio is one of the most under rated conversions around in my view. I’m now mainly focussed on stock piling SPG points via the SPG Amex for this very reason.

  • kt74 says:

    Not that you didn’t know it previously, but I’ve worked out how Curve makes money…

    …just tried to pay my VAT bill with my Curve card. Given that Curve is targeted at self employed, this should not be an unusual transaction. The fee is a whopping 1.973%. Good thing the EU doesn’t limit interchange fees then…

    I don’t have my other cards with me (because Curve allegedly replaces them), but I doubt the underlying cards are so expensive

    PS Android app? Only about a year after it was initially promised… Start ups, eh?

    • Rob says:

      The EU does not limit interchange fees on business cards.

    • the_real_a says:

      Define making money 🙂

      Curve has burned £3m so far of investors money with with revenues of about £400,000 for transactions (plus any card fees).

      • Rob says:

        The more lose the more you’re worth! Look at Uber, now managing to lose $600m per quarter. Need to work hard to achieve that …..

        • the_real_a says:

          🙂 I did pass up google stock circa 2004 wondering how they would make money. Would be interested to know the Curve business plan however..

    • Andy S says:

      I have just paid my income tax on a “normal” card and the fee was about .6% they did ask for the first 8 numbers first to determine if it was a private or business card and charged the fee accordingly.but its not curve making any money, its hrmc or MasterCard!

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