What is Curve Card?
I’ve posted about Curve Card a few times, it’s increasingly one of the most used cards in my wallet, so I thought it was due a review post! If you’re considering applying, then use code O2MEP for £5 credit after your first transaction.
What is Curve Card?
Curve is a Mastercard Debit card which allows you to link your existing Visa and Mastercards via an App and use one card for all your spending. You spend via your Curve card, and Curve then charges whichever linked card you’ve selected in the App. Because it’s a debit card, you can use it in some circumstances where a credit card may apply a transaction charge, wouldn’t be accepted or wouldn’t earn rewards. Transactions are generally treated by the credit card as purchases, with ‘Crv’ listed as the retailer – they appear as standard retail purchases on your credit card statement, which means they earn rewards if you’ve linked to a reward credit card.
What Options are There?
Curve Blue is the free option and offers 0% FX fees (up to £500/month and excluding transactions on weekends), free foreign cash withdrawals (up to £200/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. This is the option I am using at present and I have to say, I think anyone interested in earning rewards and cashback, or avoiding foreign exchange fees, should have one in their wallet.
There are also more Premium cards: Curve Black and Curve Metal, charged at £9.99/month and £14.99/month respectively. These have increasingly flexible 0% FX limits and added benefits including insurance, airport LoungeKey and increased numbers of retailers where you can get 1% cashback. For a credit card nerd like me, it also has to be said that the Curve Metal card is pretty darn attractive! See here for full details.
Curve Blue and Black are available across 30 European countries, Curve Metal is currently UK only.
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.
What’s My Experience of Using Curve?
I’ve been a Curve customer for a while, and I’ve been impressed with the service throughout. The card arrived promptly, my £5 credit appeared almost immediately after my first transaction, and the App has been very straightforward to use. I’ve never had any issues with transactions and the card has worked in pretty much every situation I’ve tried – including cash withdrawals at home and abroad.
Like many others I was disappointed that the proposed Amex compatibility was blocked (see here), but increasingly I’m finding that the card is still a very useful tool.
Four Reasons Why It’s One of My Favourite Cards!
1. You Can Earn Rewards Abroad, Without Incurring Fees
I always use Curve as my main card abroad, as it gives a fantastic deal. You can spend, and withdraw cash, without incurring fees and whilst getting the interbank rate. Which means you’re getting the best deal on your foreign spending. Then, to top that, you can charge those purchases to your reward credit card, earning points or cashback as if you were spending in GBP – avoiding any fees. Which means you’re getting the best return on your spending.
2. You Can Earn Rewards on Cash Withdrawals
Amazingly, because most credit cards treat Curve transactions as purchases (at least for now), you can withdraw cash at home or abroad via Curve and earn rewards whilst avoiding cash fees or interests. I like this so much that I dedicated a whole post to this here.
3. You Can Earn Rewards When Transferring Money or Loading Cards
Similarly, it appears to be possible to load accounts like Monzo and Monese with Curve, charge this to your credit card and earn rewards. That means even payments to friends, or loading your own account, could earn you a return. I posted about this here, but suggested applying some caution.
4. You Only Have to Carry One Card
The most obvious one – for practical reasons, Curve makes life easier. If, like me, you use multiple cards and juggle them for bonuses and offers, with Curve you can just leave them at home and switch from one to another in the App.
For me Curve is a no-brainer. They pay you £5 for signing up (code O2MEP) and you get a tool which eliminates most foreign exchange fees and opens up new opportunities to earn rewards on your spending. For that reason, it’s my favourite fintech account/card, and one I wouldn’t be without.
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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.