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

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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.

(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.)

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  1. How does curve make money

    • As stated earlier, they probably don’t.

    • It’s a fin tech start-up, it has no real interest in making money 🙂 Santander is one of the main backers.

    • I thought they are arbitraging merchant charges between Commercial Mastercard Debit vs your linked cards, although I have no idea what the processing rates are.

      If that is the reason they have uncoupled AMEX, wouldn’t it be great to have the option of paying the difference, say 0.5-1% extra for transactions on Amex.

      In any case, our collective spending habits must be worth a little something in the analytics sphere.

  2. Just signed up, 40,000 people in the queue so far.

  3. Nigel Williams says:

    Well, there are 40K people ahead of me in the queue for a card 🙁

  4. Peter K says:

    I had the same problem at Tesco.

  5. Ja Lawrie says:

    Was 40k when joined 4 hours ago, now down to 4K in queue.

    Rob is on to a good referral income ????

  6. Stephen Wan says:

    Hi. I’m kinda new to this. I have a BA Amex card to collect Avios points. I am interested in collecting more Avios points via this Curve card but understand I can’t connect it to my Amex card.

    Does anyone know which Visa or Mastercard credit card is the best for collecting Avios points that I could apply for to connect with the Curve card? Thanks.

  7. You are on the old scheme if you applied before mid Feb.

  8. Miraculously overnight I’ve gone from 46000 in the queue to first ????

  9. Bronwyn says:

    I tried to pay my HMRC Corporation Tax of over £8000 in increments of £500 then down to £100 and none of the payments went through

  10. Does this mean we can pay our AMEX bill with the Curve Card? And actually collect points for paying the Amex on my visa/mastercard?

    £500 Amex Bill paid with a Curve Card connected to Virgin Mastercard?

    • Andrew says:

      Good luck. You won’t be able to use your card for much longer if you continue paying credit card bills with it!

      • Brian W says:

        “Continue paying your credit bills with it and you’ll lose it”……………Can you not read @Andrew? He hasn’t paid a bill with it and is floating the question here in this forum for an educated answer from someone who can help, albeit a question asked before, not to receive a flippant remark. You tripped yourself up on your lack of Curve knowledge earlier in this thread, no need to take it out this poster.

        @Al Says, what @Andrew should have said is that it does currently work, going by recent reports, but its not permitted in the T’s and C’s and Curve will most likely take a dim view on this practice for obvious reasons so best to refrain if you want to keep your Curve card.

        • Neil Spellings says:

          I can’t find anywhere in the T&C where it states you can’t pay your credit card bill using it. They just mention “recycling cash using ATMs” as being barred, but paying off a different CC that’s not linked to your curve card is not recycling cash.

          Other charge/credit card providers are not listed in the blocked merchant categories either.

  11. I signed up to the curve last night and I’m position 40,000 something. I referred a friend who for some reason was immediately accepted and skipped the entire queue, is there any reason for this?

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