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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)

  • James D says:

    How does this card handle refunds? Could I potentially buy an item with my curve card linked to my IHG mastercard, gain the points, and then return the item with my curve card linked to my debit card?

    • Rob says:

      Not clear to be honest ….

      • Alan says:

        i just assumed it knew which linked card the original purchase was on and it refunded it onto that card – does it not do that?

    • Genghis says:

      Don’t know precisely. My only experience is that I had one refund go through on Curve to a cancelled Amex (the initial payment card). I had no choice of where the refund went and it went back to the cancelled Amex so had to call Amex up to get it transferred to my bank account.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Refund goes to original card

  • Lev441 says:

    OT: I need to pay a large vat bill this quarter however I don’t have a visa with a limit as large as £20k.

    From Hmrc :

    ”Making more than one card payment
    HMRC limits the number of times you can use a credit or debit card within a certain time to pay your tax.

    There isn’t a set limit – it depends on HMRC’s view of what’s reasonable based on payment card industry standards and guidance.

    The rules apply to multiple card payments against the same tax – you can only make extra card payments if each one’s for a different tax, eg Corporation Tax and employers’ PAYE.

    If you’re unable to pay your bill in full by card, you should use another payment method like a bank transfer.”

    Obviously I want to get the points from my black virgin visa. Do you think I’d get away with 3 x payments spread across 2 weeks?

    • EwanG says:

      I doubt you’ll be able to make 3 payments over 2 weeks. From my experience you might manage two if you do one today and one in a fortnight.

      I was able to make 6 small (2 figure) payments towards personal tax in one day then system did not allow any further card payments for a fortnight. Then have been ok doing one payment every second working day.

      Have also been had corp tax to pay – 1x decent (4 fig) sum but when I tried near 5 figure sum exactly 1 week later it was not approved.

      Shows that it is not simply the value or number of transactions which they look at!

      • EwanG says:

        Just to clarify….

        I doubt you’ll be able to make 3 payments [to one single account i.e. Corp tax, vat or whatever] over 2 weeks….

        • Lev441 says:

          Ugh, such a pain in the ass.

          I may just try it anyway and see what happens, I have three weeks to put the transactions through if I actually calculate my vat return tonight….

          Worse case scenario is that I do 2 x card transactions and the rest by bacs?

          • Boris says:

            Or pay off your balance in the interim if that is the problem.

          • EwanG says:

            Yes a real pain… You definitely need to have patience paying by cards!

            I would give it a shot.

            Hopefully it will allow two card payments with the time you have left or you might get lucky and squeeze three in. Be prepared for a payment by Bacs or DD though!

        • Rob says:

          I have done VAT in weekly chunks with no problem. Will be kicking it off again soon.

          • Lev441 says:

            Rob – have you done this before you’ve sent in the vat return? I know approximately what the bill will be, circa £18k but until I hear back from the accounts about what we’re claiming back I’m not 100% of the final amount.. I’m assuming 2 x £6k amounts with the last one being the final exact figure..

          • Rob says:

            Yes, did it for the September bill. I can only do chunks of £2k or I find my credit card is blocked (not by the Revenue, by the card company).

            I have almost zero reclaimable VAT apart from the office rent so it is straightforward to pay in advance.

    • BLT says:

      I’ve made multiple payment a few days apart to pay a CT bill with HMRC. I think as long as its the same card then I’ve not had a problem.

  • Jac says:

    I took out the Curve card last month again but have not been able to use except for one transaction in Saudi. Each time i used the card, i was told by the seller i had not sufficient funds…,?!
    When i contacted Curve they told me that i had selected my Curve Rewards card for pay,emt even though i never selected this. i sent Curve screen shots, they told me they removed blocks, asked me to try again, and again and again but each time i get the embarrasing answer from the seller: i have no money on my account. For my last trip (this week Ukraine last week Dubai) i had no problem using my brand new supercard but the same transactions failed with Curve each time. So after probably 20 attempts, my Curve card will join the Curve card I took out last spring: somewhere in the drawer.

  • Tilly71 says:

    How long does it take their CS to respond to a question about accounts? Put the message in this morning but no reply as yet?

    • Jonathan says:

      On average, next working day turn around. Apparently there is a phone number but i have never found it.

  • JohnT says:

    PS Was too honest – even though used “Other” as a business option (alongside “employee”) means you get parked for a future release!! And no £5. What proof do they ask for when I suddenly turn into an Entrepeneur I wonder?

  • the-very-real-arry says:

    O/T so I tested Aspire Lounge in T3 today

    • the-very-real-arry says:

      Strange but good experience. Small/ compact yet fits 120 so would feel compact if full – team told me nobody has been turned away in the last 6/7 weeks

      No self pour

      Brilliant bits such as the sleep pods (yep people sleeping on divans) and the Quiet bit where you can get a personal TV on quietly and a very comfy chair

      in fact virtually all the seating is very comfy so that’s a plus

      limited booze offering but cold Guinness behind the bar

      food good, freshly renewed and judging by what I ate, expertly prepared

      not much in the way of get your own soft drinks either so nothing to filch for the 2 kids I left outside (though I grabbed a couple of newspapers)

      loos bright & shiny as you’d expect – I told the mgress to get my one serviced as it was filthy & she literally hopped to it/ I guess with a spurty water tap it was not surprising to see water all over the place

      only had an hour so 2 G&Ts, 2 Guinness, 1 prosecco (you only get 1 free then £4.95), 1 Moretti beer was all I could squeeze in

      miserable barman who preferred to scuttle into the kitchen between scuttling out if somebody appeared at the bar – maybe an off day so no criticism intended or maybe he fancied the very capable cook – other staff A+

  • Neil says:

    I like many have had my ups and downs with Curve! The biggest flaw was when they double charged me for a transaction worth £1100 which took nearly three weeks to refund. Nonetheless, since joining Curve I have spent just over £20k using the card. The biggest perk for me is the security, watching all the transactions pop up instantly on my phone and also being able to withdraw cash while abrod from a credit card! For any newbies, it’s definitely worth a trial!

    • BigDave says:

      I agree – and their support is exemplary – always maximum 24 hours to reply

  • Alex says:

    Does anyone know if Hargreaves Lansdown or any other investment sites take Curve as a debit card?

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