N.B. On 30/01/19 Curve contacted customers to inform them that Amex has ‘blocked’ Curve payments just 2 days after the open beta testing started. This means at present it is no longer possible to use an American Express card with Curve.

Update from Curve

Curve have today launched their new ‘Curve Metal’ card, as well as providing details regarding a roll out of the American Express beta testing to include all UK users.

Curve Card

I covered the free Curve Blue previously (here), but basically Curve is a Mastercard which allows you to link your existing Visa and Mastercards via an App and use one card for all your spending. Curve Blue is free and offers 0% FX fees (up to £500/month) and 1% rewards with up to 3 eligible retailers (in addition to any rewards you might earn on the linked card) Handily, it also allows you to go ‘back in time’ and move transactions from one linked card to another if you need to. It’s a great free tool, which you can find out more about on the Curve Website here. If you use the code O2MEP you’ll even get £5 credit after your first transaction.

In late 2018 Curve announced that it would soon be possible to link your American Express card, at a fee of 0.65% of the transaction on the free card. See my previous post here for further info. This feature opens up the possibility to use your Amex card, and earn rewards, with retailers who don’t accept American Express.

What can you get with 20,000 American Express Points?

#AmexReturnstoCurve

Amex support in Curve is being rolled out as an open Beta to all UK customers. This update is due to go live today (Monday the 28th of January 2019). For Curve Black and Curve Metal subscribers, in addition to other benefits, they will now enjoy the American Express Beta functionality.

The basic details for the Curve Black and Metal Cards are (see Curve’s comparison table at the bottom of the article for more info):

New Curve Black

  • All your cards in one
  • Beta American Express compatibility (up to £1,000/month, 0.65% thereafter)
  • 0FX on all cards – (£15k per year fair use policy)
  • Travel Insurance – Medical, Delayed Flights, Personal Items etc
  • Gadget Insurance
  • Go Back in Time all transactions up to £1000
  • £9.99 per month
  • No Minimum Period / Ability to break contract

Curve Metal

  • All your cards in one
  • Beautifully crafted Metal Cards. Choice of Blue, Red(Limited Edition) and Rose Gold card.
  • Beta American Express compatibility
  • 0FX on all cards – (£30k per year fair use policy)
  • Travel Insurance – Medical, Delayed Flights, Lost Baggage, Personal Items etc
  • Gadget Insurance
  • Collision Damage Waiver Car Insurance
  • Go Back in Time all transactions up to £1000
  • £14.99 per month
  • Minimum 6 month period

Amex Beta

Curve has been trialling Amex compatibility with its platform in a closed Beta since November. During Beta testing, they indicated that at least 500 Curve users spent more than £1 million on their Amex cards by paying with Curve and that the reviews were ‘phenomenal’.

Curve tell us: ‘Gone are the days of hearing ‘Sorry we don’t take Amex here’. Enjoy using your Amex all over the world with Curve, without ever missing reward points or paying hefty foreign transaction fees when overseas. Full details about Curve’s Betapilot of American Express® compatibility can be found at imaginecurve.com.’

Curve Metal

Curve Metal is the new Premium version of the Curve card, the metal cards come in ‘Blue Steel, Limited Edition Red and Rose Gold’.

As above, this product works on a subscription model, at £14.99/month. For that you’ll get free American Express transactions and unlimited fee free spending abroad. This means you could use your American Express card, earning rewards and avoiding fees, pretty much anywhere. In some circumstances, particularly when working towards a card bonus this would have value. Although at 0.65% you could spend £2,000 via Amex on Curve Blue for £13, so if you’re after this alone then that might not stack up.

So what else do you get?

Well firstly the attractive novelty of a shiny metal card! (you can decide how much you value that at!)

Curve Metal also comes with worldwide travel insurance for the whole family, worldwide gadget insurance and rental car damage waiver insurance. If you use these in addition to the Amex feature and foreign spending, they certainly add value.

In addition Curve Metal will soon offer LoungeKey membership. This offers discounted, but not free, airport lounge access. Visits cost £15, which Curve indicate is potentially up to a 60% discount – depending on which of the 1,000 eligible lounges you were to use.

A Worthwhile Deal?

This will depend entirely on how much you would be spending abroad, what other cards and insurance you have (and use) and how much you’d be spending on Amex via Curve. If you know you’d use all the perks, put plenty of foreign spend and Amex transactions through it and really want a metal card, then it could certainly be worthwhile.

What Curve Metal definitely does offer is decent convenience, lots of flexibility, perks which could offer decent value to some people and an attractive looking metal card! Personally I’ll be sticking with Curve Blue for now, as the foreign spend limit works OK for me, my Amex Platinum perks mean I wouldn’t need the insurance or LoungeKey and when the compatibility arrives, the 0.65% Amex fee is low enough that I’d have to be spending £2,000+/month before it made sense to pay the £14.99 fee for that alone.

That said, I’d still very much like that metal card – I think that perhaps American Express should take note of the increasing demand for metal cards!

Find out more on the Curve website and if you apply don’t forget to use the code O2MEP (for Blue, Black or Metal) to get £5 credit after your first transaction.

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You can contact me via: takemetothepoints(at)gmail.com

N.B. Disclaimer: This is an amateur, personal blog. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances.

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