Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Curve Card is now available to the public as a debit card

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 link for a free £10 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.

Curve will pay you £10 for trying it out if you use our link.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (114)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Leo says:

    OT: Sorry if I already posted this but didn’t seem to have gone through first time. Can anyone confirm that after gold to PLAT upgrade any payment made on the Gold card immediately counts towards the platinum bonus spend? And then can you immediately refer someone else for a gold card and receive the 18K referral? We have to book an Airbnb this week and I’d like to make use of the spending opportunity regarding the bonus target etc.

  • will says:

    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.

    • will says:

      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

  • Mark E says:

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

  • 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.

  • Mark Priest says:

    I have and they’re sending me another card 🙂

  • Mo says:

    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,

    • Rob says:

      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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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.