(EDIT: Curve has changed a lot since this article was published. Please do not rely on the information here. Instead, please click here to read our detailed 2020 Curve review, which includes a link for a free £10 credit when you sign up.)
If you have a Curve Card, you will have received an email from them yesterday which you may have found a little confusing.
There is a big Curve announcement coming this week which I will cover on Thursday morning. If you don’t know about Curve, I will run a full explanation in that article. You can also learn more in this HfP article.
I spoke with Curve’s CEO yesterday to get an understanding of what is going on.
As many Curve cardholders have discovered, Curve has a decline rate which is higher than standard credit cards
A key reason for this is that all Curve transactions carry the same merchant reference code. Standard credit card transactions are coded based on the type of retailer or, for big companies, the exact retailer name. Unfortunately, when your underlying credit card issuer sees transaction after transaction coming through marked as ‘general’, it can trigger fraud concerns.
In order to improve acceptance, Curve transactions will now carry a merchant reference code which reflects the underlying transaction. Your underlying credit card company will now see a mix of retailer types coming through instead of just ‘general’, ‘general’, ‘general’ etc.
Another upside here is that it will trigger sector-based and, for large retailers with their own merchant code, company-based promotions. For example, the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard – until the end of the month – offers a £20 Uber credit for a £500 airline transaction. A bonus like this should now trigger if you paid with Curve as it would now carry an airline merchant code.
As part of this recoding, ATM withdrawals made using Curve will now be identifiable as cash transactions by your card issuer.
It is important to note that, short term, my understanding is that there should NOT be charges for making ATM withdrawals with Curve. However, over time, it is possible that individual credit card companies will make changes to treat these transactions as cash withdrawals.
ATM withdrawals made using Curve when it is linked to a debit card will continue to be free regardless.
We have seen the same thing happen with Revolut. Some credit card companies have changed their terms and conditions recently to treat Revolut transactions as pseudo-cash, and so incurring cash withdrawal fees. Other credit card companies have not, so you can load your Revolt card from those credit cards and have it treated as a purchase, earning miles and points. Our main article on Revolut including a HfP special offer for applying is here.
For now, you should be able to continue making £200 per month of ATM withdrawals with Curve Card and have them treated as a purchase, earning miles and points on the underlying card. Keep an eye on your emails and card statements, however, as you may receive notice from your underlying issuer that this will change.
You can find out more about Curve in this article.
Curve will pay you £10 for trying it out if you use our link.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 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:
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: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can 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 – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
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.