Creation Financial Services, issuers of the IHG Rewards and (closed to new customers) Marriott Visa credit cards, made a very aggressive move on Friday in its dispute with Curve Card.
It appears that the majority of credit cards which had been used with a Curve Card are being closed.
One call centre agent said that 1,800 cardholders were impacted. We cannot confirm this number.
The closure letter states that cards are being closed on 3rd December.
Based on reader discussions with the call centre, but not confirmed in writing by Creation:
- annual free night vouchers on the IHG Rewards Premium credit card will still be desposited if the cardholder spends £10,000 before their card is closed
- there will NOT be a pro-rata refund of the £99 annual fee on the IHG Rewards Premium credit card – although you would be free to dispute this with the Ombudsman
If you cannot trigger your free night voucher by 3rd December but would otherwise, you arguably have a case for a full refund of your IHG Rewards Premium £99 fee for the current year.
Why is Creation banning Curve Card holders?
It isn’t entirely clear what is driving this, although I was told by an independent industry consultant that it was being pushed by National Savings.
Curve Card, for those who don’t have one, is a debit card which allows you to recharge transactions to a linked credit card. You can learn more about Curve Card in this article.
This meant – most specifically – you could deposit money into National Savings and have it charged to a miles or points earning credit card as a purchase. Most Curve Card holders had a £9,000 daily limit albeit capped at £1.8 million per year.
Whilst Curve Card had always had blocks in place for payments to banks, there were certain grey areas such as National Savings, HMRC and various investment firms such as Hargreaves Lansdown.
Creation had initially sent out text message to cardholders a few weeks ago saying that its cards could no longer be used with Curve Card. I was told at that time that mass account closures would follow, and here we are.
One problem is that the ban is catching many people who used Curve Card purely for Apple Pay functionality. It was the only way to add your Creation card to Apple Pay.
For clarity …. the free IHG Rewards credit card is still open to new applicants. Creation is not pulling out of the UK and is only closing these 1,800 (TBC) accounts.
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