(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.)