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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.

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

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.

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

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 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.

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

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 a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (177)

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

  • Jonathan says:

    Great article.

    As some others have pointed out, the main airline points cards are AMEX and for me personally, I would only take out a Curve card if I could link it to my AMEX card, as I might as well just use my card directly with a retailer.

    Hopefully that will change in the future. Whilst here thank you for such a great news resource!

  • Memesweeper says:

    I use Curve (business version) everywhere in the U.K. that doesn’t take Amex, and luckily my need for cash rarely exceeds £200/month. I use it everywhere abroad I possibly can.

    It’s slimmed down my wallet, gives me a great app to manage and analyse spending, a few bonus reward points and the ‘go back in time’ feature for switching which card spend lands on is just genius.

    Recently switched from business prepay to debit and this has opened up new options for points earning (eg paying rent!) — super handy.

    Very occasionally they have an IT downtime period, so always carry another card or some cash. Also doesn’t work for buying cash at Bureau de Change in the UK (although that experience was with the prepay card). Abroad it works in ATMs so not a huge problem missing out on cash prior to departure. Really can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Adam says:

    So can you pay amex with a curve card? It gave me the impression someone above has successfully?

    • mark2 says:

      If you can, it won’t last long if everyone piles in!

    • Lady London says:

      I think the answer is ‘not for long’ and maybe even ‘not if you want to keep the card’ based on a poster’s comment I saw on HfP quite recently.

  • Nigel says:

    Can curve be linked to an AmEx debit card thereby increasing AmEx’s acceptability? I guess not….
    Surely curve charge a % fee of the transaction for the privilege do they not? If so it is extremely remiss not to mention this in an article that includes a possible personal gain code!
    Hmm come on Rob!

    • mark2 says:

      Do Amex issue debit cards?

    • Callum says:

      You’re seriously moaning at Rob about an assumption you’ve made and didn’t even bother finding out whether you’re right or not beforehand?

      There’s no such thing as an Amex debit card, Amex credit cards can’t be linked (as mentioned in this very article) and there isn’t a transaction fee for using it in the UK. The fee abroad is 1%, again mentioned in this article.

    • George says:

      When has Rob ever failed to mention a fee in order to encourage us to sign up for anything?

      Curve is free, and as has been mentioned in previous posts about them, they make a loss on pure interchange.

      There is no such thing as an AmEx debit card and while Curve did originally support the full range of AmEx, they stopped a year or so back (I believe at the request of AmEx).

      • Mikeact says:

        Some people just don’t take the time or effort to read articles, or even check out details for themselves…very annoying.

  • Mikeact says:

    I have used it as much as possible, both home and overseas, except where I can use my Amex card. It’s always worked a treat and on the one occasion I ran into a problem in Spain, their help desk people are to be commended.

  • Doug M says:

    Not that I suppose anyone cares, but how is this sustainable?

    • Rob says:

      They raised another £10m last year, is the answer. Some serious people now invested, including Santander. One part of it will work and the rest will be dropped, in the same way that (for eg) Bink is moving towards being a pure technology play – letting retailers add loyalty points based on credit card used – and will probably drop the app and the consumer front end.

      • Doug M says:

        Odd to me, I guess I just don’t get venture capital. Blink seems completely redundant to me. A loyalty convenience scheme without Tesco or Nectar seems, so what.

        • Rob says:

          It’s very simple. You throw money at 100 companies, watch 89 go bust, 10 return 10x and then hopefully find the 100th is the next Uber, Dropbox, Deliveroo etc.

  • Dave says:

    Put simply. Can this be used to pay off your credit card balances?

  • Lady London says:

    Wouldn’t it still help establish a use pattern for volume, if you use it in places you could use Amex direct anyway?

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

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