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Curve Card Review: What is a Curve Card and How Does It Work?

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All cards in one: 8/10
‘Go Back in Time’ feature: 8.5/10
Cashback: 8.5/10
Curve Fronted: 9/10
Anti-embarrassment mode: 10/10
Curve Flex: 9/10
Smart Rules: 9/10
What Is a Curve Card?

Price: Free

Updated: August, 25, 2022

Pros

  • Detailed spending analysis
  • Spending notifications
  • Fee-free weekends
  • Anti-embarrassment mode
  • Option to add phone and travel insurance
  • Cashback available
  • Cons

  • No Section 75 credit card protection
  • Supports only Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards
  • Limited spending and cash withdrawal
  • Curve’s biggest appeal is that it allows you to combine all of your existing credit, debit, and (some) prepaid cards in one place.

    But what is a Curve card exactly, what does it offer, and is it any good?

    Let’s find out.

    What is a Curve Card?

    Curve is a relatively new fintech company in the UK that launched its operations in 2015 and now counts more than 4 million customers. 

    The reason behind its quick shot to popularity is convenience– which is the main reason why people choose mobile-only banks over traditional banks

    The Curve card acts as a meeting point for all of your payment accounts – regardless of whether it’s a credit, debit, or prepaid card– which you can use to track your money, withdraw cash from the ATM, and make Curve payments.

    You may be interested in: Top 10 Banks in the UK

    How To Apply For a Curve Card?

    To apply for a Curve card:

    1. Download the Curve app from App Store or Google Play. 
    1. Create an account. Enter your email, create a password, and verify your email address (you’ll receive a link to your email that you’ll need to click on).
    1. Provide personal details (including your residential address).
    1. Choose the type of card you want to get: Curve, Curve X, Curve Black, or Curve Metal.
    1. Add your cards to your Curve wallet by entering your card details or scanning them through the camera. Curve may ask you to verify this through the Open Banking protocol. The company will charge you a small amount and refund it for every verification. 

    How Does a Curve Card Work?

    Once you create an account, you can immediately add your Curve virtual cards to Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung, or Curve Pay. 

    Your physical cash card should arrive in up to 7 days. Keep in mind that you’ll have to activate it through the app before you can start using it. 

    Photo Credit: Curve.com

    The Curve card is available only for UK and EEA residents (31 countries) and works like any other contactless card. 

    You can link Mastercard, Visa, Diner, and Discover debit and credit cards or prepaid cards, but it doesn’t support cards like American Express, Maestro, Diners Club, JCB, or Union Pay.

    When shopping with a Curve card, you’ll have to select the card you want to use via the app. You can use the card online, at ATMs (where Mastercard is accepted), and in stores. 

    You may be interested in: The Best Mobile-Only Banks in the UK

    Curve Pricing 

    Curve has one free card (which comes with a one-off delivery fee) and three other cards with monthly fees and some extra features.

    Here’s what they have to offer. 

    Photo Credit: Curve.com

    Curve Card Features

    A Curve card comes with the following benefits:

    Worldwide usage 

    You can use your Curve card at any establishment that works with Mastercard. The Curve card is essentially a debit card, which means you can pay at retailers that don’t accept credit cards. 

    Insights

    The Curve app makes it easy to track your spending. Curve allows customers to see a detailed overview of how much, when, and where they are spending across their personal and business cards.

    You can see your monthly spending habits grouped by category, and individual purchases, and compare month-on-month spending.  However, if you like more see more budgeting option here are our top picks for the best budgeting apps for 2022.

    Go Back in Time

    Curve has a unique feature called ‘Go Back in Time’ that allows users to move transactions they’ve made from one card to another in the Curve app or spread the cost of any repayment.

    The move does not affect your credit score but you can only ‘go back’ as far as 30 days. You can move transactions of up to £5,000 through the app, but for more, you’ll have to reach out to Curve’s customer support team.

    Curve cashback

    Curve Black and Metal plans allow you to get 1% cashback with 3 – 6 eligible retailers (that you can choose) depending on which Curve subscription plan you have. The cashback system works similarly to any other cashback app. The company also offers an introductory 1% cashback for all new customers for 30 days– an offer they plan to discontinue at the end of 2022.

    Anti-embarrassment mode

    The anti-embarrassment mode allows you to set a backup to cover a Curve payment in case your purchase gets declined for not having enough funds on the card that you initially picked. 

    Customer protection

    Curve customers can make a claim with the company to get a refund of up to £100,000 when an unrecognized or unauthorized transaction occurs. 

    Fee-free ATM withdrawal

    Curve doesn’t charge any ATM fees as long as the payment card is set to the same currency that’s being withdrawn.

    Curve Flex

    Curve Flex is essentially a Buy Now, Pay Later scheme that lets you dip into past purchases and split them into monthly installments of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. 

    Curve will perform a soft check when you apply –which won’t affect your credit score – but it will also conduct a hard inquiry when approving the loan.

    Curve Fronted 

    The Curve Fronted feature in the mobile app lets you pick a card to pay your tax and credit card bills.

    Smart Rules

    With Curve, you can choose a card to make payments for a certain category or amount and reduce the hassle of picking a card before every payment.

    Spending Limits

    Curve has generous limits compared to other platforms. They vary based on the country and currency.

    Photo Credit: Curve.com

    Fees

    Delivery fee 

    The Curve card has a delivery fee of €4.99 only if you pick the free Curve (former Curve Blue) card. It’s free for any other card from Curve. 

    Verification fee

    The company will also charge you £1 to verify your identity when adding cards, which is refunded.

    Fees abroad

    Curve and Curve X cardholders can spend up to £/€1000 and £/€2,000 fee-free per month respectively on purchases abroad and here’s a 2% fee on foreign ATM withdrawals too. 

    This limit does not apply to those that have a Curve Black and Curve Metal card, but they’ll still have to pay a 2% on foreign ATM withdrawals of over £/€600 per month. 

    Curve Fronted fee

    There’s also a 1.5% fee per transaction for Curve Fronted (but only for Curve and Curve X cardholders).

    Conversion rate

    You’ll get the interbank exchange rate for currency conversion when using your Curve card abroad and there’s fee-free international spending and ATM withdrawals on weekdays.

    Curve charges a fee of 2% for conversions over £1,000 per rolling 30-day period on purchases from Monday to Friday.

    Customer Support

    Customers can reach Curve’s customer support team via:

    • Chat: Curve customers have access to an in-app chat that can answer some common questions regarding the card’s uses. 
    • Twitter: Tag @AskCurve on Twitter anytime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m and their customer support team will get back to you when they can. 

    Is Curve Card Safe?

    Curve UK Limited is a legitimate, FCA-regulated company (Financial Conduct Authority).

    As such, it does not share your bank account details with retailers and has certain security regulations in place to make sure that your data is safe and protected. For example, it is both PCI DSS- and GDPR – compliant.

    Curve also protects customers’ money of up to £100,000 if something goes wrong under its Customer Protection Policy.

    Bottom Line

    The Curve card is a digital wallet app that allows you to link all of your existing debit and credit cards in one place. The company offers transparent fees, a variety of unique features (like switching card payments after making a purchase), and the ability to use it anywhere in the world (where Mastercard is accepted).

    FAQ

    How does Curve card make money?

    The company makes money through different fees. For example, Curve charges customers a fee on overseas spending and withdrawal charges, as well as exceeding set limits on certain purchases and withdrawals.

    Is a Curve card free?

    Opening a Curve account is free and doesn’t come with any maintenance costs but you will have to pay a one-off £4.99 delivery fee to get the card.

    Can I withdraw cash with Curve?

    Cash withdrawals via Curve are fee-free as long as the card currency matches the currency you’re withdrawing.

    What is a Curve card?

    A Curve card is a card that combines your credit and debit cards and links them to one main card which you can use to make payments, withdraw cash, and more.

    My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.