Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Time running out to pay your HMRC Inland Revenue tax bill with your Curve Card

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

If you have any self-assessment income tax to pay by 31st January, or any VAT to pay in early February, don’t forget that the last day to make HMRC payments for free with a Curve Card is 23rd January.

Unless you have Curve Metal, a 1.5% fee will apply to all HMRC payments made from 24th January if your Curve Card is linked to a credit card

(If you applied for Curve Card after 26th November, you are already paying for Curve Card payments to HMRC.  This article is only for legacy cardholders who applied by 26th November.)

Details of this change can be found on the Curve website here.

If you have tax to pay, I strongly recommend that you pay as much as you can via Curve Card over the next four days.  You are, of course, restricted by your daily and weekly payment limits which can be found in the app.

(If you don’t know anything about Curve Card, you may want to read my introduction here before continuing.)

Curve introducing fee for HMRC payments

From 24th January, is it worth paying 1.5% to use Curve with HMRC?

No.

It is pointless (sic) paying a 1.5% fee to pay HMRC via Curve Card.  There are very few scenarios where the underlying miles and points earned will be worth that.

The only exception may be if you have a Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard, earning 1.5 miles per £1.

Your miles would be costing you 1p each.  This is not a great deal but some people may find it acceptable.  I don’t.

Should you upgrade to Curve Metal?

Good question.

Curve Metal customers will not pay a fee from 24th January.  This is intriguing.  Curve Metal costs £14.95 per month or £150 per year.  If you have substantial tax bills, the upgrade may be attractive.

Let’s run some numbers …..

GREAT DEAL – Pay £50k of tax per year on a Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card (1 Avios per £1) = 50,000 Avios for £150 Curve Metal fee

GREAT DEAL – Pay £40k of tax per year on a Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (1.5 miles per £1) = 60,000 Virgin Flying Club miles for £150 Curve Metal fee

AVERAGE DEAL – Pay £30k of tax per year on an IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard (2 points per £1) = 60,000 status-qualifying IHG Rewards Club points (valued by me at £240) for £150 Curve Metal fee

BAD DEAL – Pay £20k of tax per year on a HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 Avios or other miles per £1) = 10,000 Avios for £150 Curve Metal fee

Whether this works for you is a factor of BOTH how much tax you pay per year AND how generous your best Visa or Mastercard rewards card is.

The bottom line is that:

if you pay enough to HMRC each year, and

you have a large enough Curve limit (most people have £50,000 per rolling 365 day period), and

you have a generous-enough points-earning Visa or Mastercard credit card linked to Curve

…. then Curve Card via Curve Metal may still be an attractive way to pay the Inland Revenue from 24th January.

Don’t forget that Curve Metal has other benefits too

On top of the ability to pay unlimited sums to HMRC – subject to your Curve Card limits, which for most people are £50,000 of charges per year – your £150 annual Curve Metal fee comes with other benefits:

This page of the Curve website compares the three different types of Curve Card.  With regards to Curve Metal:

Card: You get a funky 18g brushed metal card in red, blue or rose gold.  I have the blue one and it is a bit boring to be honest so I’d recommend one of the others!

Foreign exchange fees:  Unlimited transactions with no fee (0.5% fee $ or € and 1.5% fee for other currencies applies to transactions made on a Saturday or Sunday)

ATM withdrawals: Overseas: £600 per 30-day period for free, 2% thereafter / UK: £200 per 30-day period fair use cap

These are the key benefits.  There are other benefits which I do not value highly but which some readers may find useful:

Travel insurance underwritten by AXA  (this looks OK – you can see the policy document here as a PDF – and with an age limit of 70, although the rules are stricter than many policies in terms of, for example, sports you may not play on holiday)

Gadget insurance (maximum value £800 with a £50 excess)

Car rental CDW waiver coverage  (I have this via Amex Platinum but if you do hire cars and don’t have a standalone policy this will be worth something to you – the car must be worth under £25,000 however)

Airport lounge access via LoungeKey (this is NOT free access, you will need to pay a fee of £20 per visit)

1% cashback from six premium retailers.  This is on top of the rewards you will earn from your underlying card.

You won’t necessarily get £150 of annual benefit from this package, but you will get something.  And, of course, you will be retaining the ability to make substantial payments to HMRC via Curve Card.

Final thoughts …..

If you have any tax due over the next few weeks, pay as much as you can via Curve Card by Thursday night.

From Friday, those of you with (say) £30,000+ of HMRC charges per year across VAT, PAYE, income tax etc should think about upgrading to Curve Metal, as long as you have a generous Visa or Mastercard credit card linked.

The losers are likely to be those with under £10,000 or so of HMRC payments.  If this is you, it won’t be worth paying £150 per year for Curve Metal just to make these payments for free and it won’t be worth paying a 1.5% fee to use Curve Blue or Curve Black.

PS …

If you have read this article without knowing anything at all about Curve Card, read my introductory article here.  As it explains, Curve Card is free at the basic level and Curve will actually pay you £5 for trying it out if you use my refer-a-friend code.

(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.)

Comments (159)

  • rams1981 says:

    Shame about Monese. My post office were happy to do £500 top ups. That ended today.

    Coop at £200 takes far longer to get to a substantial balance but will max it whilst I’m still in the free 3 month period.

  • Kenneth says:

    I have a small business. My main supplier insists on payment by bank transfer. Am I missing something or is there any way that Curve can be used to make these payments. I can use my Revolut card, but it cannot be load with Capital ONTAP.

    • Chris says:

      Best bet is to take £500 cash out (metal), then pay that into a bank account. Hoping this doesn’t change too

      • Kenneth says:

        Thanks. I don’t have the metal card. I have legacy black, which is free, so no plans to change that. I withdraw £200 cash every month. I need a way of spending several thousand pounds though.

  • Jonathan C says:

    Hi Rob, I for one am really looking forward to an updated article and break down of options to pay my Tax bill. I am in that middle ground of being both employed and employed and having around 15k ish of tax to pay to HMRC, and the curve card really was great for this.
    Now I feel all avenues are closed and I can’t justify the metal subscription. It seems all options discussed in this thread are problematic, to say the least…. It could be a short article I guess….

  • Phil G says:

    I was thinking the insurance cover was very similar to that provided through nationwide for £13 per month,and considering that the £13 saved would offset the cost. But on reading the sports section skiing was covered but i noticed a strange statement stating that if a sport is the main reason for your trip then it is excluded, on calling them they confirmed this. So skiing is covered but not on a skiing holiday – useful

  • lostforwords says:

    Rob needs to call out curve’s failures for balance