Nutmeg Avios

Curve Card – a no-brainer for UK points collectors – adds rewards for new cardholders

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.

(Well, it added it three weeks ago but we only just got around to fitting it in!)

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 as you can read here.

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.

(EDITED:  an earlier version of this article said that the original rewards scheme had been retained for the business version.  This was wrong, sorry.)

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 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.)

BA and the mystery of the missing super-thin seats
Bits: new Amex / Hilton £50 cashback deal, £15 off Lufthansa, Amex and Mastercard Best Western discounts
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Froggitt says:

    Council tax due. Corporation tax due. Where do I sign up?

  2. skippy_ste says:

    Just checking everyone is doing what I’m doing and paying their AMEX in full with this and double dipping their mileage with it. I’ve linked my Virgin card.

    • Frenzie says:

      Yes, and the more you shout about it the soomer Curve will block this.

    • Genghis says:

      You do whatever you want but I was interviewed earlier this week by Curve and this came up. I wouldn’t.

      • Neil Donoghue says:

        Already had my card blocked for doing this!! Don’t say you haven’t been warned…Now I’ve lost the £200 cash withdrawal and the ability to pay my council tax.

      • Out of interest, why would Curve take a dim view of this vs. paying a tax bill with an underlying credit card?

        I have some opportunity for some similar (but not identical) manufactured spend, and I’m curious to try to see it from Curve’s point of view.

        Would it make any difference to Curve it the underlying card was a debit card vs. a credit card?


    • The Urbanite says:

      You need get their blessing before doing financial transactions or they may just exercise their right to close your account! Check the T&Cs for restricted categories, a merchant that has slipped through the net by no means guarantees they’ll be ok with it!

  3. Nicholas says:

    I’d apply straight away, but I haven’t got a smartphone. Can the app be downloaded to a laptop?

    • You could download an android emulator for a computer and install the app on there

      • RussellH says:

        FWIW, I was advised that that would not work, apparently because the Android security settings do not work properly when run on top of Windows.
        I am no expert at all, but it sounds sensible to me. The advice came from a researcher at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, part of whose work is concerned with computer security.

  4. Just tried paying £100 on Amex with it and it didn’t work.

  5. Due to a customer service error on curves part, they upgraded me to the premium card for free. It’s been useful so far (have linked to my Hilton Barclaycard ), but I’m still nervous about taking out money via a cash machine. Does anyone know whether ATMs charge for cash withdrawals independently of the card issuer? I’ve got to the final stage of withdrawing cash a few times, but the ATM always notes that I may be charged and I chicken out!

    • Mikeact says:

      No, and I’ve used various High Street atm’s, and different linked cards.

    • Only atm’s that charge would be in independent ones in service stations etc. Mine is set up with Hilton card same as yours and works fine with no charges.

    • the_real_a says:

      Not in the UK – but do note that abroad the charges are 1% and £2 if you are withdrawing in a different currency to the underlying card (set in the app). If you have an FX free card then you can change the underlying currency and get charged nothing.

      • Are you still limited to £200 a month if you do this? Could be handy on trips to Germany where paying with cards seems to be a foreign concept at times

        • RussellH says:

          Yes, the only cards that are really widely accepted a debit cards issued by German banks. They have either a V-Pay or a Maestro logo on them, but those are only for foreign use. Inland they use what is now called Giro-Karte, used to be call EC-Karte (and still is by many people, and as in EuroCheque). And the cards can be used in at least two different ways – conventional chip+PIN / Contactless, or by setting up a one-off direct debit by swiping the mag strip, then you sign on the back of the card machine roll, which is covered with seriously small print detailing the Ts+Cs of the transaction.

          Nevertheless, things are changing! It must be at least a year since my German Bank e-mailed me to tell me to stop using my debit card, as my Visa Credit Card was now even accepted by Lidl.

  6. Genghis says:

    I had the business pre pay version from Day 1. Changed to personal debit in Jan. Still have Curve rewards.

  7. How do they make any money from doing this?

    • Not a top priority at the moment it seems. They have many millions of VC investment to spend before it becomes a problem. We like working with companies like this on HFP 🙂 Nutmeg is another case in point ….

  8. Can this be used to make payments into a bank account? I make regular weekly payments by bank transfer to self employed carers who look after my mother. Racking my brains to figure out how I could do this on a debit card!

  9. totaltool says:

    have never seen the physical card so apologies if this is a daft question. does this come with a 16 digit code and three digit security code so i could order stuff on line? ditto re sort code and account number. thanks.

  10. christian kemp says:

    What cashback do you get after the three month period? I have searched the Curve site and cant find this anywhere

  11. ColinJE says:

    Very useful with HMRC now they won’t take credit cards.
    Probably worth mentioning that you lose Section 75 cover if you use the Curve card to pay for goods or services rather than a credit card.

  12. Have had the curve credit card since the launch last year. Asked to have it changed to the curve debit in order to purchase currency online. Tried using it in the travelex website and was told it was not accepted due to its country of issue?!

  13. in a massive 40k+ queue

    No idea how long I have to wait for this.

    • Rebecca says:

      I went down the queue in a week. However its been two weeks since my card was ready and its not arrived yet.
      Hopefully arrives soon as I’m moving house and have lot of debit card only payments to make with solicitors etc!

      • You have to add a card to your app before they send the card. My hubby got an email saying they were ready to send the card but it was never arriving in the post. I emailed them and they said you need to add a card before they will post it.

        • I made the same mistake. Once I added one it came very quickly.
          But not sure it was worth the effort!

  14. Can it also be used to pay bills such on barclays card or amex?

  15. I have the pre paid MasterCard version, under connect > curve cashback on the app, I see no mention of having to select 3 (or 6) merchants for cashback and appears I would get cashback on all of them. Am I right in assuming I’d lose this if I ask for the newer debit type card?

    • Andrew says:

      I changed from the black pre-paid to debit version and still enjoy the same 3% cashback on the rewards scheme as before.

  16. Note that with the recent changes in the terms of conditions any rewards now expire after 6 months if not used. So use any rewards that have sat in your account for a while.

    • Andrew says:

      I convert my points into credit on Amazon. Top tip: Purchase say £5.00 of credit first when Curve is linked to your preferred credit card, because Amazon like to deduct a £1.00 from the card first as a way of verification. This will be refunded within 7 days. When this initial transaction has completed (usually a few minutes) then offload the rewards Cashback in to Amazon.

      • Alex W says:

        I tried this on both my wife’s and my own curve. I topped up my Amazon account with both our curve cards, £1 linked to credit card. Transactions both went through fine, no £1 holding charge.

        Then tried to top up £5 using curve rewards. Transaction failed both times because they deducted the £1 holding charge from the curve rewards balance. How strange and annoying! I can’t understand why they didn’t take the holding charge from the first transaction. Anyway, a week has passed and the £1 holding charges have finally been refunded.

        • Amazon always take a £1 holding charge oj new cards. Remember that Amazon never asks for your security code when making a purchase – they use their own fraud protection which they believe has a similar impact but without the ‘drag’ caused by making customers dig out their CVV code.

        • Alex W says:

          Amazon didn’t take the holding charge off the first transaction of both curve cards. They only took a holding charge for the second transactions.

    • Genghis says:

      This also came up with my conversation with Curve. Whilst it is indeed in the T&Cs, it is not currently being applied as they supposedly do not have the technology yet to implement it.

  17. RussellH says:

    Sorry, but what does

    > more practical features too, such as the ability to export your spending data for analysis

    actually mean??

    I cannot think of when I have ever ‘analysed’ my spending – strange new chemicals I made back in my research days, yes, but not ‘spending’.

    Or does this just mean that Curve does not issue statements. Presumably there is no need, as it works as a gateway to another card that does issue monthly statements / bills?

    • the_real_a says:

      It means you can pull the transaction data in Xero or excel for account purposes. The new buzz in fintech is allowing greater access to one’s own data. For the business card this made perfect sense as you could easily account for expenses. For the consumer card its less of a benefit.

  18. Kathryn says:

    Does anyone know if you can link it to a US card? For example, if my husband got a curve card could we link it to my US Safire visa?

  19. Trying to sign up but the email from them after downloading the app isn’t coming through. Checked junk folder too and nothing. Oh well.

  20. What happens if I link a no FX fee card to curve (Halifax Clarity)? From what I understand it would still use the curve FX + 1% so in this case better not use curve abroad. Or did I miss something?

    • Andrew says:

      It only makes sense to link it to a rewards card that does charge FX fees, that way you pay the reduced 1% to Curve and still gain the rewards from the linked card. Halifax Clarity offers no rewards and charges no FX fees, but linking it to Curve would attract a 1% charge per transaction abroad……pointless.

      • Well the “carry 1 card and leave the rest at home” was the point. But no point if that makes me lose money indeed. Thanks

        • Andrew says:

          In the UK I use Curve linked to Creation IHG card and also carry the same IHG card as back up.

          Abroad……same as above except I carry my Clarity card as back up instead of the IHG card.

        • George says:

          You can tell Curve the natural currency of the underlying card and they will charge that. This means in the USA you set clarity to USD and you’re good to go with no fee

    • Use Clarity abroad if over £100 in value as you will be protected. No protection with Curve.

      Or I think you can change the underlying card currency to say USD if in the USA and avoid the 1%.

    • Just change the currency for the linked card to the one you’re spending in and you’ll be sorted – I’ve done this for many different currencies on the Lloyds Avios Mastercard. Have now switched to using Revolut though for forex transactions since they made it free to top-up using CC, as I can get better benefits topping up Revolut balance from IHG.

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