Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Your Curve Card now works with Apple Pay

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Curve Card launched Apple Pay integration yesterday.

This means that, at last, you can add your Curve Card to your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Whilst this was a slightly odd missing feature – Google Pay has worked with Curve for some time – it is also fair to say that it isn’t necessarily a key one.  The key selling point of Curve Card is that you can consolidate all of your existing credit cards onto it, meaning that you don’t need to carry them all around.  This isn’t a problem with Apple Pay, since you can add all of your existing cards anyway and it doesn’t make your phone any heavier!

Curve card

The only obvious upside is if you have a Visa or Mastercard which does not work with Apple Pay.  You can now get around this by linking it to a Curve Card.  The same goes for any card you may have which does not support contactless payment, as Curve Card is contactless.  You can also route foreign currency payments via Curve to avoid the 3% FX fee on your underlying card.

You can learn more about Curve Card in our main reference article here.  Curve Card is FREE and, indeed, they will pay you £5 for trying it out if you use our referral code which is in that article.

PS. As regular readers will know, you can no longer use Curve Card to pay HMRC for free. Unless you have Curve Metal at £14.99 per month, Curve now adds a 1.5% fee to your HMRC transactions. In virtually all scenarios, this means that it makes no sense to use Curve to pay your tax, even though you will receive receive points on the underlying Visa or MasterCard you link to Curve.

There is no Mastercard or Visa where the points are worth 1.5%.  You could make a case for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard which earns 1.5 miles per £1, so you are ‘buying’ miles at 1p, but I still see that as a bit toppy.

And yet, as you can see below, Curve is now actively advertising on Google (bidding against the phrase ‘HMRC’) the ability to use it to circumvent the rules banning credit card payments! Very odd.

Curve ad for paying HMRC


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (141)

  • Anna says:

    Hilton offer not on any of our 5 cards! Hope it appears as I have a stay and park booked at MAN in April where we could easily hit £250 if we eat in the restaurant as well.

    • Pangolin says:

      Ring them up and ask for it to be added. The worst case scenario is no worse than where you currently stand.

  • boardingcalls says:

    Interesting on the Amex offer, but I get 0 offers on any of my 3 cards despite spending a pretty tidy sum in all of them!

    • MattB says:

      Well that’s why, based on history you were going to spend there anyway, so no need to incentivise.

      • Amanda Garnett says:

        We use Hilton regularly (mostly to keep the diamond status as we travel a lot) and pay by Amex when in the UK. We got the last offer that finished in Jan and the new offer is also on now, so Matt’s logic doesn’t work bit I don’t know the logic they use, we have loads of different hotels on the platinum card but haven’t seen the Amex travel offer for ages, where others have.

      • boardingcalls says:

        I mean 0 offers on anything any more not just Hilton. As a matter of fact not stayed in a Hilton for a year so not sure that counts either.

        • meta says:

          Known IT issue. You can try arguing with Amex, they won’t budge. You can also try creating new online account for each of your Amex cards. This might help. Or as a last resort, you can cancel the cards and get them again in 2-3 weeks time. Offers should then start appearing in another 3-4 weeks. If you do that, please cancel it over the phone and mention the reason why you’re doing it. The more people complain the sooner they’ll sort it out.

          • Lady London says:

            Someone also mentioned it’s important to start spending on the cards. Apparently a short while later offers should start.

  • The other Kevin says:

    I signed up for the previous Hilton offer and stayed at the beginning of December. Have chased up Amex numerous times and still no credit coming through. Last feedback was that it could take 90 days from the end date of the promotion!

    • Amanda Garnett says:

      We had to chase on ours and they gave in yesterday and offered a “goodwill gesture” of the £50. They tried telling us over 4 separate phone calls: it wasn’t £250 total so we had to give them the dates from the statements, 2nd call was that “it’s not on cumulative spend” so we asked where it stated that in the Ts and Cs. The 3rd one we were told that we’d get a call back and finally yesterday they gave in.

  • AndyGWP says:

    OT – are FlyBe still being super strict with hand luggage dimensions?

    • Shoestring says:

      are you feeling lucky, punk?

      yep – not worth chancing it for the cost involved if you get challenged

      • Stu_N says:

        I wouldn’t chance it. They are very strict – often every single trolley case is measured when boarding unless it has a “FlyBe approved cabin bag” sticker on it. On the Dash-8s the issue is that bags bigger than their size simply don’t fit in overhead lockers so even if you manage to get an oversize bag on board, if it won’t go in the locker you’ll still at risk of getting charged and the bag checked in.

        Annoying when you’re on an e-Jet where the lockers are so much bigger though.

        • Paul says:

          Yes I was due to be on an e-jet to Paris 2 weeks ago and it was changed to dash the day before. Luckily I spotted this and took a ruck sack instead of
          my usual Samsonite carry-on. Otters were not so lucky and I counted at least a dozen £35 surcharges being handed out at the check-in desk where they were strictly enforcing the sizing rule.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Of course you may get slightly better treatment in the cases where it is ‘Operated by…’ someone else. Such as the very pleasant Eastern Airways operated flights.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Cheers all. It’s Birmingham to Inverness, and I should be fine but awareness of the situation still being policed is enough for me to double check it’s fine before I leave the house! 🙂

    • Alex Sm says:

      I wonder when they finally introduce their new loyalty programme – long overdue! Any ideas?

  • Newbie says:

    What strategy are users using for Avios using Mastercard or Visa when AMEX is not accepted?

  • Deenesh says:

    ‘It is the larger but shorter-range version of the Boeing 787-9, which itself is a larger but shorter-range version of the Boeing 787-8’
    The -9 is longer range than the -8.

  • Kenneth says:

    Slightly OT. Now that Revolut can no longer be topped us using credit cards, at least not Virgin Atlantic cards, can it be topped up using Curve (loaded with a credit card)? I am really struggling to find a use for Revolut now.

    • Paul says:

      Works for me via Curve from a Virgin + card and did this yesterday no problem.

      • Kenneth says:

        And Mastercard at the Revolut end are not going to code it as a cash advance?

        • Chas says:

          My understanding is that Curve pass the underlying MCC on, so Virgin will still classify it as a cash advance. Paul – whilst it might have worked, you’ll probably find that you’ve been charged a fee and interest for doing so. Would be interested for others to confirm this though.

          • Kenneth says:

            Just yesterday I cancelled my Virgin Atlantic Premium card because I can no longer use it to top-up Revolut. Had that confirmed by 3 separate operators at Virgin. I am not surprised that the coding is passed on. However, have just done a small experimental top-up through Curve from my IHG card. Still pending, of course, but I will let people know if that is consider as a cash advance.

          • Chas says:

            Kenneth – I suspect that it will be treated as a cash advance. You’re likely to not be able to tell that until the statement is generated and interest (but not a cash advance fee) is charged. Please report back though.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Doesn’t VA card show cash fees immediately in your account?

          • Chas says:

            I think immediately the transaction moves from Pending… Whereas IHG it’s when the statement is generated.

      • Grant says:

        It works, as in it will allow you to top up via this method, but Curve passes the MCC straight through so if Virgin > Revolut was coded as 4829 – Wire Transfer without Curve it will be coded exactly the same if Curve is used as a conduit, i.e. Virgin will see the transaction as a Wire Transfer.

        • The Urbanite says:

          My VA credit card has never worked with Revolut due to a 3DS security block I have been too lazy to get VM to remove. Maybe has happened to others hence why a few people are happy that it works when using Curve.

          I concur that Paul is likely to have been hit with a cash advance fee and be accruing interest on that transaction and no points awarded to boot so less than ideal.

          • Paul says:

            Sorry guys – duff info as cash advance fee hit the app today after pending transaction lifted. 😩

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          IHG to Revolut incurr fees whichever way you use it.

          • Pangolin says:

            I haven’t had any cash advance fee yet (topped up Jan 17), just a small interest charge.

            This is Creation though so anything is possible (it might not appear till the statement date).

      • cheng says:

        Worked for me too but the transaction shows pending on my virgin app. Hopefully it will come through as a purchase.

        • Grant says:

          If you log in on the Virgin website you can check pending transacations by clicking the drop down on the left hand side of the line entry. It will give a four digit MCC – 6012 = happy days, 4829 = cash advance charge.

          If you used it with Curve and it is showing as 4829 you have the option of using Curve’s ‘go back in time’ feature to charge the top up to another card.

          • nick says:

            Do Lloyds (mastercard avios) charge cash advance fees? Or just interest?

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            I think previously I received a £5.00 cash fee for just £10 purchase on VA free card.
            Is this inline with what is being charged now via Revolut top up?

  • JohnB says:

    OT – If I book a reward flight with Virgin Atlantic the day it becomes available, can I call Virgin and ask them to add the return to the same ticket once the return becomes available?
    I know this is possible with BA, but not sure about Virgin Atlantic.

    • Peter K says:

      OT
      For those struggling with the “pending” message on Monese, contact them by email, or better still, phone.
      My wife has had this message since applying in November and in-app messaging was ignored. The email took 22 days to get a reply (!) but advised it was an issue with the phone number used in the application process (mine was used but it was already in use on my account). She had to ring to get this changed and it was sorted in a few minutes and get account verified.

      Glad it’s sorted but it doesn’t make me want to use them as a main bank with such poor service via non-phone support.