Curve Card now available to the public as a debit card

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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 2019 Curve review, which includes a promo code for a free £5 credit when you sign up.)

Curve Card, the Mastercard that allows you to merge all of your Mastercard and Visa cards into one product, launches to the general public today.

It had previously been available only to anyone who had self-employed income.  It had a generous cashback rewards scheme despite being free because it could charge higher fees to retailers.

The consumer version will be less generous, because Curve does not have any fee arbitrage to play with.  There will be a rewards scheme available soon, however, and I will let you know when it launches.

Put simply, every transaction you charge to Curve is recharged to a linked Visa or Mastercard.  Via the Curve app you can select which card is charged per transaction, allowing you to add your debit card and various Visa and Mastercard credit cards and then switch between them at will.

Financially there are two reasons to use Curve:

You can withdraw £200 of cash per month from an ATM and have it charged to your credit card as a purchase – this means it earns miles and points. 

Foreign currency transactions made on Curve are recharged to your linked Visa or Mastercard in Sterling with a 1% foreign exchange adjustment.  This makes it a better deal than using the underlying card which is likely to have a 3% FX fee.

There will, soon, be a rewards scheme of some sort

There are more practical features too, such as the ability to export your spending data for analysis and the ability (as I found out myself in November when I lost my wallet) to lock the card from your phone.  As Curve is contactless, it is also a way of making any non-contactless Visa or Mastercard you have into a contactless one.

The Curve website is here if you want to know more.  You need to download the Curve app for your phone and order a card from there if you want to try it out.

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

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. done any comparisons on AMEX fx rates v Curve MasterCard? Curve charge 1% but Amex rates around 1.5% worse CHFGBP it seems they go CHFUSD then USDGBP paying a small spread each time so the Lloyds Avios Amex points come at a cost – it’s not a fee free conversion after all. Worth more investigation I think when comparing cards

    • Jonathan says:

      MSE did a visa MasterCard comparison, you may find Amex in there for completeness.

      MasterCard is the most competitive but obviously the rates jump around a little.

      With regards to the triangulation of FX through USD it’s pretty standard in capital markets. There are some pairs which quote directly (and I think CHFGBP happens to be one) but thats not the reason for the implicit cost you’re seeing. Bid mid spread on GBPUSD and USDCHF is under 5bps (0.05%) for each.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Also the card providers set the rate the day before and its the rate at the point when the transaction posts not when it is actually made so some of the spread could be fx fluctuation.

      Does Curve use the mastercard rate or its own ‘live’ spot rate? I seem to remember it differed at different times throughout the day which is different to how the card providers do it but could be wrong.

    • oddly the fx rate has changed by 1.5% between pending and confirmed transaction status. so I retract my comment. its odd because the fx rate has not moved much over the last 48 hours. Perhaps when reserving the credit line a built in margin is added, and then the actual transaction is struck a little later. Happy with my rate now

  2. Is it possible to use Curve as the payment card attached to an Uber account?

  3. Mark Priest says:

    Re-instated my account two days ago (was cancelled) and today received a new card.

    Although it’s a pre-paid business. NOT a debit which I specifically asked for.

  4. Mark Priest says:

    I have and they’re sending me another card 🙂

  5. Hi. Quick question regarding the curve card, I had one years ago and stopped using it when they stopped allowing the link to Amex.
    I’ve reactivated the app and hopefully ill get a new card. I’ve got an upcoming trip to the middle eats and am hoping to take advantage of the lower fx rates.
    Would it better to use this for foreign cash withdrawals – with a UK debit card linked. Also when using abroad, shall I ask to be charged in £ or in the foreign currency? Thanks,
    Mo.

    • Ask to be charged in the foreign currency, otherwise you get ripped off on the rate.

      It is best to link Curve to a Visa or MasterCard credit card as long as it earns point – it will still work with ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month. You can then switch it over to a debit in the Curve app.

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