How do you fancy having all your credit and debit cards all linked into one? Or would you like a better exchange rate when you’re spending abroad? Or cashback from a range of retailers? Or even, a free £5? Then take a look at this Curve card review and see my promo code below.
Believe it or not, I have 5 current accounts. Not because I collect bank cards, but so I can get freebies out of them. On top of that, I have several credit cards too, partly because of the extra protection you get when buying and also because some of them give cashback.
In all honesty though, I only use 1 of these cards regularly, so it’s never crossed my mind to bundle them all together. But, when I found out that I could earn a free £5 just for trying out the card, I thought why not?
What is the point of the Curve card?
Curve allows you to combine all your payment cards into one and then use an app to monitor all your transactions. You can even switch your payment method after making a transaction. The card is provided by Mastercard and so can be used anywhere you see the Mastercard sign.
Who is Curve?
Curve OS Limited is based in London and was first registered in April 2015.
Taken from their website:
Curve is to Banking what Netflix is to TV and Spotify to Music. We connect All Your Cards in One Smart Card. And One Even Smarter App. We bring you financial freedom and endless opportunities. All in One place. Simply One-derful.
Is it safe?
Your data on Curve is protected with financial services industry-standard encryption and security measures. Curve is also an appointed representative of a firm regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
If you should lose your card, just by clicking a button on the app will stop the card from being used.
How does Curve work?
You will need to fill in a fairly quick and painless application and you will be sent a physical Curve card. Then, you will need to download the Curve app. From here you can then link all your credit and debit cards.
The app allows you to choose which bank account or credit card you want the money taken out from when you make a purchase using your Curve card. All it takes is a simple swipe.
When you’re abroad, Curve won’t charge you fees for purchases or when you withdraw cash, up to a certain amount (more below). They will also charge you the interbank exchange rate, which means you won’t get stung for a hefty fee when changing one currency for another.
Curve also offers you an option to receive email receipt every time you make a purchase. This could be particularly useful if you need to track your spending for tax purposes.
Go Back in Time
One of my favourite features of Curve is its ‘Go Back in Time feature.’ This allows you to move any transaction you make from one card to another. You have 14 days to do this and the amount has to be under £1000.
This is especially useful for anybody that may also have a corporate credit card attached to their Curve account and pays for that coffee with it in error.
Cashback (aka Curve Cash)
When you join Curve, you will be able to earn 1% cashback when you shop. If you opt for Curve Blue, you can choose 3 retailers and you will earn your cashback for 90 days.
Curve Black customers earn for an unlimited period of time from 3 retailers, whilst Curve Metal customers can earn cashback indefinitely from 6 retailers.
There are over 50 retailers to choose from, with most of the big shops listed. Amazon, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, McDonald’s, Burger King, Shell, and Netflix to name just a few.
The money you earn is paid back in to a separate section on your Curve card. When you decide to spend it, you will just need to select the option from your Curve app.
How much does Curve cost?
There are 3 options to choose from when you open your Curve account. Unsurprisingly, the more you pay, the greater the benefits.
|Curve Blue||Curve Black||Curve Metal|
|ATM free withdrawals (per month)||£200||£400||£600|
|Car spending abroad (per month)||£500||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Curve cash (aka cashback)||3 retailers (90 days)||3 retailers||6 retailers|
|Worldwide travel insurance||Not included||Yes||Yes|
|Extras||Mobile Phone insurance|
Worldwide airport loungeKey
Rental car collision waiver
How much you have to pay for withdrawing cash using your Curve card varies, depending on the debit or credit card that it is currently linked to and whether you’re using a domestic or foreign cash machine.
- You can make 10 free withdrawals per month from domestic machines. After 10, it costs £0.50 per transaction, if the linked card is a debit card. For a credit card, it is only free up to £200 per month and 2% after.
- You can withdraw up to £200 from foreign ATMs for free. Any more and you are charged a 2% fee, with a minimum charge of £2.
Remember that these are fees purely charged by Curve and you may also have to pay fees to the issuer of your linked card. For example, most credit cards charge at least a 2% fee when withdrawing cash. If you withdraw large sums from a credit card on a regular basis, your fees could be twice as much if you do it through Curve.
There is also a standard cash withdrawal limit of £200 per day with Curve.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the Curve card is contactless. Although, that may not sound particularly exciting, it is actually very useful. I find that some cards can be a little temperamental when it comes to contactless technology, with some refusing to work at all.
If this is the case, instead of having to order a new card, I can switch to Curve.
Any downsides to Curve?
First of all, you need to note that foreign transactions aren’t always free.
Curve does explain: From Fridays at 23:59 to Sundays 23:59, the UK foreign exchange markets are closed. During this time, we take the rate from Friday and charge an additional 0.5% for all transactions made in GBP, EUR and USD and 1.5% for all other supported currencies.
So, be aware that any transactions you make at a weekend will come with a fee.
And then there’s the app itself. To change your payment card (or switch to Curve Cash) takes just a swipe of a finger. This can cause more issues than you would think. I ordered my shopping from Sainsbury’s and had accidentally switched over to Curve Cash. There wasn’t enough there to cover my payment and I got an email from Sainsbury’s telling me to call them, otherwise they wouldn’t deliver my shopping. I have also been declined in Tesco because I had accidently switched too. But, you’ll only make that mistake once. Or twice in my case.
Section 75 cover
Another downside to using Curve is that you will not be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This piece of legislation allows you to claim your money back on purchases over £100 if something should go wrong. But using a 3rd party provider such as Curve, excludes you from the cover.
However, Curve does state that your purchase will be covered by Mastercard’s chargeback protection. You can claim for purchases over £10 if:
- The company goes into administration
- The item is not as described
- Technical issues
- Clerical error such as being charged twice
But remember, Section 75 is written into law. The chargeback protection is down to Mastercard’s discretion.
My Curve card review conclusion
I wasn’t initially sure if I would use the card long-term. I liked the £5 for signing up and the 1% cashback over 3 months was also a winner. In fact, Curve actually extended it to 6 months for me and earnt me just over £27. So, £32 for very little effort is always welcome.
But I did think I would put the card away into my draw and never see it again. But the chip stopped working on my main credit card, so I decided to break out my Curve card again as a replacement. And then I realised there was no point carrying around all these cards in my wallet, and so, now I’m back down to one.
The paid-for versions of the card aren’t cheap and would probably only suit somebody who travels internationally quite often. Although in this case, you may also want to look at the Revolut card as an alternative.
Curve promo code
Click the button below to find out more about earning your free £5 from Curve. Don’t forget to use my Curve promo code DGP8V49D when you join.
How do I add my Curve card to Apple Pay?
You can add your Curve Card to Apple Pay on your iPhone through the Curve app. Just click ‘Account’ and then select ‘Add to Apple Wallet’. Just click ‘next’, accept the terms and conditions and it will be ready to use.
How do I cancel my account?
To cancel, just complete the Account Cancellation Form here.
Which is the best Curve card?
This really depends on your needs. The Curve Blue (the free version) will suit the majority of people. However, if you travel abroad quite often, then the benefits of the Metal card should appeal.
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