The Curve Card
Have you heard of this card?? It’s pretty simple; it basically enables you to use just one card for your purchases rather than searching through your debit cards and credit cards when you want to make a purchase. The Curve card is an interesting payment method to use and it makes taking advantage of points and air miles significantly easier. If linked to Visa or MasterCard which earns miles or points you will essentially be earning on debit as well as credit card purchases and foreign transactions will have no 3% FX fee.
Curve isn’t a bank account. If you get a Curve card you are not getting a bank account. The Curve card is simply an intermediary card, a MasterCard that you can link all Visa and MasterCard payments. Using the Curve app you just select which linked card you want to use at any time, the transaction is then automatically charged to the card you have chosen when paying with your Curve card. The shop you’re going to may not even accept credit cards, however, that doesn’t affect your use of the Curve card which is a debit card, meaning you can still earn points on your credit card as long as you have chosen that as your payment method.
Great Features Include:
Cash withdrawals charged as purchases – You can withdraw £200 free of charge per 30day period on the Free Curve Card (Tesco and NatWest/ RBS do not allow this).
No FX fee Monday – Friday on overseas purchases (except for free Curve Blue which is capped at £500 per 30-day period). This is a better deal than using a separate free “no rewards” credit card with 0% FX.
Earn Points when you pay bills – Council tax, utility bills and even HMRC bills are other payments that you can look to make the most of to keep a crewing your air miles or loyalty points. If you’re self-employed you can put your income tax, NI and VAT through your curve card, and there’s no surcharges when doing it! You can also a crew points on ATM withdrawals (although there are limits).
Remember, you cannot use Curve to pay a credit card bill or any other financial services. Any transaction you make is automatically charged to the relevant Visa or MasterCard by Curve. This then shows on your statement as ‘CRV*XXXXXX’ with XXXXXX being the name of the original merchant.
Irrespective of the limits on your underlying cards, Curve has its own daily, monthly and annual limits. Your limits are increased as Curve begins to ‘trust’ your behaviour.
These are the maximum limits you can get according to the website, although some people have been more:
Daily spend (ink ATM withdrawals) – £3,750
Daily ATM withdrawal cap – £1,000
Monthly spending limit (on a rolling 30 day basis) – £20,000
Annual spending limit (on a rolling 12 month basis) – £50,000
You may not get this limit from Day 1 but, as you begin to use the card, your limits will be increased. Feedback from readers who have pushed for increases is that you will struggle to get a limit beyond £50,000 if you purely paying HMRC and making ATM withdrawals. You stand a better chance if you are putting day to day spending through the card.
The Different Types Of Curve
The three different Curve’s are below. They are:
- The basic Curve Card (Curve Blue) is FREE
- Curve Black costs £9.99 per month and allows unlimited foreign exchange recharging and provides some travel and insurance benefits
- Curve Metal costs £14.99 per month or £150 per year and has a choice of three cool metal cards to choose from, allows unlimited foreign exchange recharging, pay-per-use airport lounge access and a broader range of travel and insurance benefits
To sign up to Curve, simply go to this page of their website to download the app. The easiest thing to do is order the free Blue card and then think about upgrading to Black or Metal once you are familiar with it, although you can start immediately on Black or Metal if you want.
Once you have received your card, you can link it to your ‘miles and points earning’ Visa and MasterCard products and start spending.
See the tables below to compare the features and benefits of each card.
To Sum Up
Curve Blue is a risk-free, NO FEE introduction to Curve.
For most HFP readers, Curve Blue – the free version – will be good enough. You can easily upgrade via the app to Curve Black or Curve Metal if you choose to do so at a later date.
How to apply for your Curve Card (free if you choose Blue)
To sign up to Curve, simply go to this page of their website or download the app. The easiest thing to do is order the free Blue card and then upgrade to Black or Metal once you have got familiar with it, although you can start immediately on Black or Metal if you want.