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Curve card is the worst thing to happen to the points game

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  • Pointofview

    Ever since Curve card hit the market multiple cards have had to change terms and conditions to stop people churning money using the card for NSI payments, or paying other credit card balances off.
    Virgin, HSBC, IHG, and MBNA Horizon to name a few have all had to do something about excessive use and it’s all because of Curve.
    Instead of these cards closing down completely (IHG 👍) or having to block multiple codes blocking some genuine transactions in the process why don’t they all just block Curve and have done with it?
    For me, people who use Curve wouldn’t normally have the revenue to generate a lot of points but by using Curve they can churn balance around to earn points and it then ends up costing people who are doing it with genuine spend/turnover or business expense when card companies have to change terms that then makes it more difficult for genuine use.

    Virgin was a great example of this as before Curve you could repay your balance early and get extra points for genuine spending then when Curve got released they had to change this because all of a sudden everyone who owned a Curve card was churning money on phony points making spend.

    Curve equals short-term gain for phony spenders but long-term pain for genuine points collecting and long term it will make earning points harder for genuine spenders.

    yorkieflyer

    I agree, Curve is a parasitic business model.

    TGLoyalty

    What “genuine” use is there for paying companies that use the MCC’s these card companies have blocked with a credit card?

    The fact is most companies that use those MCC’s don’t even accept credit cards directly!

    Curve allowed people to create a loophole and like all loopholes eventually they get closed.

    Harrier25

    Curve allowed people to create a loophole and like all loopholes eventually they get closed.

    Especially when those people constantly shout from the rooftops about everything they do!

    stevenhp1987

    Indeed, if only those people kept quiet about it… they would have continued for longer!

    The whole Bendy “loopholes” lasted far longer than they ever should have, especially given the amount of talk on the subject.

    Pointofview

    What “genuine” use is there for paying companies that use the MCC’s these card companies have blocked with a credit card?

    The fact is most companies that use those MCC’s don’t even accept credit cards directly!

    Curve allowed people to create a loophole and like all loopholes eventually they get closed.

    If I told you what my “genuine” use was you’d get loads of numpties on here trying to replicate my business

    dougzz99

    I agree, Curve is a parasitic business model.

    Different to Google or Apple Pay?

    Harrier25

    Different to Google or Apple Pay?

    err yes, Google Wallet and Apple Pay act as an extension to your credit card, while Curve doesn’t as it has its own identity.

    John

    What “genuine” use is there for paying companies that use the MCC’s these card companies have blocked with a credit card?

    The fact is most companies that use those MCC’s don’t even accept credit cards directly!

    Curve allowed people to create a loophole and like all loopholes eventually they get closed.

    If I told you what my “genuine” use was you’d get loads of numpties on here trying to replicate my business

    If you need to put “genuine” in quotes then it’s not genuine.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Apple Pay is a parasitic business model to the extent that Apple charges substantial fees (compared to what the card companies charge) for taking zero credit risk on the transaction. This pushes up prices for everyone.

    It’s not that the Curve model is flawed per se but that the credit card model in the UK is flawed. Companies pay out more in rewards than they get in fees from the retailer. This only works because annual card fees, interest payments and FX fees make up the difference. When you are artificially pushing through transactions the card company takes all the loss with no opportunity for upside.

    To be fair, Curve has got so complex that we don’t cover it now. The difficulty of knowing which underlying cards are still accepted by which merchants with no fees (and still earning points) is too complicated to bother with.

    Ironically, Curve also loses money on every transaction you make like this, since the debit card fee they receive is lower than the credit card fee they pay out. For Curve, however, it is a way of inflating transaction volumes which is what they use to raise additional funding.

    FFoxSake

    If I told you what my “genuine” use was you’d get loads of numpties on here trying to replicate my business

    If people who try to replicate your “business” are numpties then what would be the best adjective for us to use to describe you?

    AirMax

    I miss my IHG free night vouchers. Hopefully IHG will do another Accelerate promo or some such.

    can

    I’m not sure I understand why people treat cards and miles as charitable giving. Most certainly us lot is the loss making customers for credit cards. But overall they make real good money that they still survive. And remember it is still their choice to block Curve not. If they don’t they must think there is something in it for them.

    I’d not be surprised if big banks start investing in curve. Because it is a smart technology.

    Harrier25

    Ironically, Curve also loses money on every transaction you make like this, since the debit card fee they receive is lower than the credit card fee they pay out. For Curve, however, it is a way of inflating transaction volumes which is what they use to raise additional funding.

    Surely they’ll only get away with inflating transaction volumes for so long before the professional financial institutions investing start demanding to see a profit?

    memesweeper

    It’s not just churning though, is it? Curve has had for me big FX savings benefits, and let me pay tax bills with a card I’d not otherwise be able to. Unfortunately they never enforced their own ‘churning’ rules until too late.

    Grant

    It’s all JDB’s Mr X’s fault.

    Maples

    Curve has had for me big FX savings benefits

    This is the primary reason why I got the card last month because I’m not sure what card’s fully accepted and what payments are declined. I used it in Copenhagen with Barclaycard Avios and didn’t pay a single fee, so Rob’s old articles helped me become aware of it. Still will end up with a minimum of 0.8% cashback to use on a new phone (as planned) if Avios bookings don’t seem tempting enough. Will likely make a Instagram post to my friends that I got flight tickets to £1 and waste the Avios.

    I think they brought back the 0.5% weekend fees now?

    DarrenS

    I think they brought back the 0.5% weekend fees now?[/quote]

    Yes, happened to me in Spain last weekend. I must admit that I did still think it was still free.

    pbcold

    I am enjoying working my way through over 5,000,000 points and would say it was quite a good wheeze.

    TGLoyalty

    What “genuine” use is there for paying companies that use the MCC’s these card companies have blocked with a credit card?

    The fact is most companies that use those MCC’s don’t even accept credit cards directly!

    Curve allowed people to create a loophole and like all loopholes eventually they get closed.

    If I told you what my “genuine” use was you’d get loads of numpties on here trying to replicate my business

    It’s either genuine or not. What’s the need for the quotes and if they replicated it what would be the issue because it’s genuine.

    JDB

    It’s all JDB’s Mr X’s fault.

    Thank you for the erroneous mention. This thread amazes me, seeking to ascribe blame to Curve when it is the twats who have not only gamed the system to excess but then, with great hubris, shouted from the rooftops about their dodgy activity which not only had the effect of highlighting it to card providers but also attracted a raft of very amateur and super clumsy MS players. The combination of the two became intolerable, hence the tightening of rules.

    Although the big players seem much lauded here, MS and similar activities remain very anti-social as the innocents caught up in Creation closures can attest, as can those who still have the card but can’t use Curve to avoid FX fees, and those of use paying higher Amex fees to pay for all the (non) retention bonuses, BAPP upgrade/downgraders and many other victims.

    As I am sure the vast majority of of HfP readers may not speak up but nevertheless believe in doing the ‘right thing’ someone needs to speak up for them.

    Lady London

    If anyone’s using the word “parasitic” about Curve, as in “charges substantial fees (compared to what the card companies charge) for taking zero credit risk on the transaction”, above, then there’s far worse and bigger in the financial services industry.

    Such as the ludicrous rate of 3% for instantaneously completed FX for a nanosecond’s money at risk, that seems to have become accepted as the going rate on credit card and bank statements in the UK. That’s taking the p*$$. As in the stories in the Bible, it’s what eventually got the Jews thrown out of the temple.

    And if anyone’s ever looked at the abuses in fund management… coming soon to an auto-enrolled pension near you, as the private equity-backed consolidators move in.

    Harrier25

    And if anyone’s ever looked at the abuses in fund management… coming soon to an auto-enrolled pension near you, as the private equity-backed consolidators move in.

    Any provider whom offers an auto enrolled pension has an all charges cap of 0.75%, which applies to all scheme administration fees and investment costs.

    Lady London

    …And a very welcome cap @Harrier25. As it’s taking a step towards a benchmark for other participants in fund management ecosystems to know they may have to be ready with an answer as to why fees related to activities they have participated in, may be higher.

    However, Funds Under Management is the holy grail as, regardless of fees, or gains or losses eventually experienced by the beneficiaries of the funds, meanwhile the funds themselves and their flows can be earned off in all sorts of ways.

    Jan M

    Speaking as a user of their free card, who uses it only overseas, I don’t think Curve is long for this world. It’s free product has been substantially downgraded and their promotion of alternative currencies doesn’t bode well.

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