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Why Curve Card is a no-brainer for UK air miles and points collectors

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Curve Card, the free Mastercard that allows you to merge all of your Mastercard and Visa cards into one product, has added an extra benefit – cashback rewards for new cardholders for three months.

This replaced the original rewards scheme offered during the beta phase.

What is Curve Card?

Put simply, every purchase you charge to your Curve Card 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 all of your Visa and Mastercard credit cards and then switch between them at will.

Curve Card is a debit card.  You can use it anywhere where a debit card is accepted – even places where credit cards are not accepted.  This includes paying HMRC as I showed here.

This is why Curve Card is worth having:

You make your debit card purchase using Curve Card

Curve recharges it to your linked Visa or Mastercard credit card

It goes through your linked Visa or Mastercard credit card as a purchase

It therefore earns points from your linked Visa or Mastercard

You have just earned credit card points from making a debit card transaction

And the best bit is that Curve Card is free.  In fact, it is better than free – Curve Card will pay you £5 for taking it out.

It actually gets even better, due to two additional Curve Card benefits:

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 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.

And now a rewards scheme too

Curve Card has recently launched a rewards scheme for new customers. 

For the first three months, it will pay you 1% cashback on your purchases as three retailers of your choice.

The retailers you can choose from include:

Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Starbucks, Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger, EAT, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Boots, GAP, H&M, Top Shop / Topman, ASOS, Zara, Ikea, House of Fraser, TFL, Gett, Virgin Trains, BP, Shell, Netflix, Spotify and more

If you pay £50 for Curve Premium – which I don’t recommend as the extra benefits are few – you can earn 1% back at six retailers instead of three and get access to a wider range which includes:

Amazon, Ocado, Apple, Selfridges, Whole Foods, Uber, easyJet, Four Seasons Hotels, Dishoom

Card limits

Before you too get excited, it is important to note that Curve imposes some limits on what you can spend.  Don’t think that you can instantly pay a huge VAT bill with it.

The maximum spending limit is £3750 per day, £20000 per month and £50000 per year.  As a new cardholder, you are likely to be capped at £2000 per day and £20000 per year.   This limits will increase as the company grows to trust you.

The other warning to note is that purchases with Curve Card do not get you Section 75 coverage in case the retailer goes bust.  This is because there is no direct contract between the card company and the merchant, as Curve sits inbetween.  However Curve does use Mastercard Chargeback for customers to claim on lost goods.

How to order a Curve Card

The Curve Card is FREE so there is no harm in trying it out.

(I am understating the case massively.  If you pay any bills which take a debit card but not a credit card, you would be crazy not to pay them with a Curve Card linked to a rewards Visa or Mastercard.  Similarly, if you withdraw cash from ATMs it is no-brainer to use a Curve Card for the first £200 per month as it will be treated as a points-earning purchase on your linked credit card.)

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 £5 off your first transaction with the card.  You must use a referral code to get the £5 credit.

If you have self-employed income, you may want to get the corporate version although the benefits now appear to be the same as the consumer card.  You can see full details under the ‘Accountants / Business’ tab on the Curve website.  If you use a refer-a-friend code when you sign up for the small business version – my code is OQB4J – you will receive 500 Curve Rewards points (worth £5 off any transaction) when you first use your card.

If you have one of the earlier corporate versions issued as a pre-paid business Mastercard, you may want to enquire about switching to a debit version.  This will also make it easier to use at establishments which had issues with the old card because it was coded as a pre-paid card.  Curve is happy to switch you over to the debit card and it arrives within a few days.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – July 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our July 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

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

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

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 offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

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

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 and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (178)

  • Em Jay says:

    I signed up after reading your article, using your code, but ts says I’m 40,000+ in line!!! Whats the point? Or will this list clear faster than it seems?

    • Tom1 says:

      I was 50,000+ and still received my card in a week or so. That was without using any of the sharing tools to bump yourself up the list

  • Jake says:

    Does it really come up as a debit card in all instances? Can you use it to pay off your amex / credit card statement and it count as a purchase?

    • Tom1 says:

      It actually says debit on the card – and I think people have commented previously to say it definitely shows as a standard debit card when used online.
      Re paying off other cards- I believe it’s mentioned in the t&c’s.

    • Andrew says:

      Although it is a debit card ‘financial’ transactions are blocked so you can’t use it to pay off other credit cards or pay into certain back accounts.

    • Andy P says:

      I tried this last night and it appears to have worked

    • Marcelo says:

      Yes, I have been using curve to pay amex without a problem.

      • Mikeact says:

        And which Amex card would that be ?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There’s no problem doing it but you may get a slap on the wrists from curve or if it’s persistant the card stopped

  • Gail says:

    So Curve relies on a seller that takes Mastercard.
    It doesn’t include AMEX cards which currently offer me the best rate on airline purchases.
    How is it different from Billhop which was also promoted on the this site for similar reasons?
    Thanks for the article!

    • Tom1 says:

      The sweet spot for curve is usually service providers who accept debit cards but not credit cards.
      This allows you to pay something that would usually require s debit card, but charge it to your non-amex credit card.
      We are having our bathroom renovated, and the installer accepts debit cards but not credit. Curve is allowing me to hit spending targets on my credit card.
      The difference with billhop is that they charge I believe. Curve doesn’t?

    • Mr dee says:

      Don’t see any relation to billhop

    • Chris says:

      Bill hop charge 2.95% or similar. Curve is FREE.

    • Rob says:

      Billhop pays money directly into a customers bank account. I can for eg pay my kids piano lessons with Billhop (if I send a copy of the invoice to Billhop) even though the teacher does not take credit or debit cards.

  • Frenske says:

    FYI if signup now for the Black version you can get a Tumi ID Lock wallet for free (apparently worth £50).

    • Frenske says:

      That said I saw only card cases for that price.

    • Genghis says:

      I got the wallet originally. Still using it. It’s a nice product.

      • Rob says:

        Oddly I never intended to use mine but when I lost my wallet (as alluded to in the article) I did switch to the Tumi cardholder whilst TFL found the wallet.

  • Tom1 says:

    Rob, which card do you have?
    I requested my limits to be increased from £2000 a day, and support responded saying with the MasterCard debit they are limited to £3750 per day, but are working to increase this.

    • Rob says:

      I had the business version because that is all they issued before January. It still seems to be that.

      • Alan says:

        It might be worth clarifying that in the article, Rob – I read it as you having those limits on the debit card, which (having asked them twice as I had the higher limits on the prepaid card) is not something they’re allowed to offer on the debit card at present.

  • Tom1 says:

    Think I found the answer…

    Enhanced limits for Curve Debit (Business and Personal) users are:

    £3,750 spend per day
    £20,000 spend per month (rolling 30 days)
    £1,000 cash withdrawal per day
    £50,000 yearly (rolling 365 days)
    Enhanced limits for Curve Prepaid (business) users are:

    £5,000 spend per day
    £15,000 spend per month (rolling 30 days)
    £500 cash withdrawal per day
    £50,000 yearly (rolling 365 days)

    • the_real_a says:

      I have several multiples above those limits on the Prepaid business card just for reference. I have been using it since it launched however.

  • Zana says:

    The £200 cash withdrawal limit per month is your “free” limit without attracting any charges from Curve. While you can withdrawal up to £1,000 per day in cash from your credit cards linked to Curve, Curve will charge you for that privilege!

  • Emily says:

    I applied for the free card about two weeks ago, and have been sent the black one with 3% cash back! 🙂

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