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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.

  • 304degreesofbikefaff says:

    Which MasterCard do people link their curve to? I find it pretty hard to get excited about this with such low earning rates on MC cards. In fact, I can’t think of any examples where I spent £5+ and the retailer only accepted debit cards.

    • George says:

      The big one is the HMRC- a VAT/PAYE/SA/CT bill is a fact of life that has to be paid, when credit card fees were outlawed the ability to pay with a consumer credit and acquire cheap points / miles was killed off. This is a good (albeit £50k/y limited) substitute for this. There are many similar businesses outside of retail and online retail who also operate a no credit policy.

      I use the black Creation IHG or one of the now withdrawn MBNA Visas mostly.

  • Jon says:

    I mentioned this in a comment a week or so ago, but it seems relevant to repeat it here. If you’re intending to use Curve abroad, always carry a back-up card. The new Curve debit cards appear not always to be accepted by some card readers overseas (so far in my experience it has been the “dumb-terminal / plug into iPad” variety. Not sure whether it’s the fact of it now being a debit card (never had problems when Curve was a credit card) or whether it’s an overseas thing.

    • RussellH says:

      I would never rely on having just one card in the UK either, for that matter.

      I see all sorts of odd things over the years – I have had Belgian debit cards refused in Belgian Hotels and restaurants several times – often they just do not accept debit cards. A couple of summers ago, French Autoroute toll stations would accept neither Belgian (Maestro) nor German (Visa) Debit cards, just UK (Visa) Debit cards, although the Eurozone cards had worked the previous year. I also get my German debit card refused at French pay-at-pump machines, but the Belgian one accepted, which I found particularly odd given that most French debit cards are Visa, not Maestro.

  • Froggitt says:

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

  • 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.

      • JP says:

        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!

  • Nicholas says:

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

    • Lumma says:

      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.

  • JPa says:

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

  • Jon says:

    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.

    • paulm says:

      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.

      • Lumma says:

        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.

  • Genghis says:

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

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