(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 points from credit cards? – November 2020 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.