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

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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?


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)

  • Adam says:

    OT: Looking for an article posted about a month ago (I think?) which lists every destination against availability? Can’t find it for the life of me. Does anyone have a link?

    • memesweeper says:

      yes your payment reference changes, but you can pay corp. tax for years that you’ve not yet filed. I started paying mine early this year, a month or two before the accountant was ready to file.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Would it still be safe to pay brighton moving forward?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Right now its JUST HMRC. In the future they could add a charge like they have said for NS&I etc

  • RTS says:

    Does the changes effect using curve to double dip?

  • Bee says:

    Does any one have any experience with linking the sainsburys credit card to the curve card. How are the transactions treated?

    • Jon says:

      I have it linked. ATM withdrawals are currently posting as purchases so no fees on that.

  • Dubious says:

    Argh, that’s a shame. HMRC just assessed me as being due for a tax refund 🙁
    No points for me.

  • Zac says:

    No point upgrading for Curve metal if Curve don’t currently honour payments to HMRC via current card. Clearly there are a number of issues with making such payments to HMRC currently and probably only a matter of time before they stop.

    • Jonny says:

      They’re not stupid. And you’re not the first.
      Most likely you’ll simply be banned and they’ll transfer any left over funds to your bank account.
      that’s what happened to me at least.

  • jules says:

    OT: Received an email the other day from Monese asking what I’m using the account for, the source of my numerous Paypoint top-ups and proof of residency. Obviously I’ve been using Brighton, but any issues with telling them?

    • jc says:

      If you’re paying Brighton, they know you’re paying Brighton.

      “I am using the account for my day-to-day spend (shopping, bills, etc)” ?

      • Al Pal says:

        what is Brighton pls?

      • jules says:

        Thanks JC. I’m not paying Brighton but using Brighton to top up

        • jc says:

          OK I’m with you – you’re talking about the “source of funds” part? They presumably mean “can you justify how you legitimately got your hands on that money in the first place” (so source would be your salary = payslips, or proof of inheritance, etc etc etc)… not “can you tell us which card you used and why”

    • Jonny says:

      They’re not stupid. And you’re not the first.
      Most likely you’ll simply be banned and they’ll transfer any left over funds to your bank account.
      that’s what happened to me at least.

      • The Urbanite says:

        Proof of source of funds and KYC don’t have to be game over – there are ways to handle them!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      I got banned after supplying all relevant info, good luck. It looks like P.O top ups were to blame.

      • idrive says:

        Well, probably it should be also considered the total amount and the way the account was used: sent transfers to yourself straight away? To pay off the balance?
        As I see it, if you are given an opportunity to use a channel you should not be banned because you are using it: whatever that is, PP/PO or CC topup.
        There is a number of reasons why you would want to do that and they could well be legitimate.

        • The Urbanite says:

          I suspect it’s less about legitimacy and more about how much it is costing them. My guess is it costs them rather more than the 0.2% the top up fee starts from.

          I also suspect a few AML departments don’t understand MS (probably for the best) and will err on the side of caution if odd activity flags up and you don’t have the salary or savings to support the top ups.

          • The Urbanite says:

            Correction – just remembered the fee doesn’t start from 0.2% so ignore that bit. My bad.

    • Ian Gilbert says:

      I used a PO where I have topped up Monese a few times with no problems but it would not go through today when using Amex. Tried 500 and 250, neither would work. Has something changed on this?

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Believe something has changed with the P.O. terminals, the route may be dead.

        • ashish says:

          Try the CoOp, McColls store of some gas station

          • Sina says:

            I tried two POs today, I think they’ve removed the top up by credit card option! I’ve only done it twice last week! Talking about luck 😅

  • MinR says:

    I was paid a tax refund on a redundancy payment twice this year, and HMRC advised I should get a letter at some point to repay. My personal tax account doesn’t show any payment due just yet. Any idea how I can make the payment in advance before the Curve deadline?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You would normally get a P800 in the autumn after the end of the tax year. You can settle this using ‘pay my simple assessement’, but you need a charge reference number. The helpline might be able to take a payment from you if you call and say you know you have underpaid for the year and want to pay now. But they might just tell you to wait for the bill, it might not be possible to match up the funds until the charge is created. Best call and ask.