UPDATE: 10:00 Thursday 31st JanCurve has released a blog post by CEO Shachar Bialick explaining Curve’s position on what led to Amex functionality being removed. You can read it in full here

UPDATE 01:00 Wednesday 30th Jan – It appears that Curve/Amex functionality has been suspended, less than two days after this was released to the public. Curve Metal applications also seem to be down. I’ll provide more info on this as soon as we get it.

Curve sent the following email to users overnight on Wednesday:

We are extremely sorry that the top-up functionality of your Amex wallet is currently disabled.

Like thousands of other UK merchants, Curve has a valid merchant agreement to accept Amex payments into its e-wallet. However, on Tuesday evening, Amex decided to terminate this agreement and block all Amex transactions to Curve with immediate effect.

Amex has given no good or fair reason for their decision and we believe it is entirely disproportionate and discriminatory to Curve and all our (joint) customers. UK payment regulations clearly state that Curve should be allowed to access the Amex payment network on a level-playing field with every other fee-paying and legitimate merchant.

Rest assured that you can still spend the funds that you have already topped up to your existing Amex Wallets. If you have contacted us for support, we apologise for the delay in response and will endeavour to do so as soon as possible. We will update you as soon as we have any further information.

With your interests in mind, and our mission to deliver a truly innovative product, we intend to fight Amex’s decision with our full might. We believe financial freedom is the future and we are prepared to fight for yours.


Curve has today finally pushed the button on their much-anticipated changes which include the return of Amex support and an all-new Metal card.

Via Curve, you can now use your American Express card to pay for anything and everything – regardless of whether the merchant generally accepts American Express cards or not.


How it works

Curve is an app-based debit card that allows you to link any of your Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards to a single Mastercard debit card. You then pay as normal using your Curve Mastercard and Curve will recharge that purchase to whichever underlying card you currently have selected within the app. You can change this selection at any point.

You can also use your regular debit and credit cards abroad – linked to Curve – with no foreign exchange fees. 

 


Curve card comes in 3 flavours

Curve Blue

Curve Blue card

Features:

  • Free
  • 0.65% charge to use a linked American Express card – this will often still be worth it.
  • 1% cashback at 3 retailers – valid for the first 90 days of your membership
  • Unlimited fee-free foreign exchange
  • Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals – up to £200 /month
  • Go Back in Time up to 14 days*

Curve Black

Curve Black card

Features:

  • £9.99 per month
  • £1,000 of Amex top-ups fee-free each month – 0.65% charge thereafter
  • 1% cashback at 6 premium retailers – valid for the first 90 days of your membership
  • Unlimited fee-free foreign exchange
  • Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals up to £400 /month
  • Go Back in Time up to 14 days*
  • Worldwide travel insurance – underwritten by AXA, more on this below.
  • Electronic gadget insurance – see below for more info

Curve Metal

Curve Metal cards

Features:

  • £14.99 per month or £150 per year if paid upfront
  • Unlimited Amex top-ups 
  • 1% cashback at 6 premium retailers – valid for the first 90 days of your membership
  • Unlimited fee-free foreign exchange
  • Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals – up to £600 /month
  • Go Back in Time up to 14 days
  • Worldwide travel insurance – underwritten by AXA, more on this below.
  • Electronic gadget insurance – see below for more info
  • Rental car Collision Damage Waiver insurance – see below for more info
  • Worldwide airport LoungeKey access – not free aka Amex Platinum, fee per visit will apply.
  • Premium 18g brushed metal card – choose from Blue, Red (limited edition) and Rose Gold

Note that Curve Metal is only currently available to UK residents.


The new Curve Black/Metal features explained

Travel insurance

Provided by AXA Travel Insurance Ltd. Maximum age limit of 70 (so no improvement over Amex Platinum in that sense), pre-existing conditions are not covered.

This PDF contains a full insurance benefits table.

Gadget insurance

£800 cover with a £50 excess payable. Covers accidental loss, theft, or damage to gadgets, although for Black cardholders mobile phones are only covered for loss or theft. Note that mobile phones are limited to one claim within a 365 day period.

Again, see this PDF for a full of benefits, cover levels and exclusions.

Airport lounge access

I’ll update this once we have more information. All we know is that this will give you the right to purchase lounge access at a promised discount of ‘up to 60%’. I would assume the fee will be similar to the £15 fee payable for additional guests on the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard.

Rental car Collision Damage Waiver insurance

This does sound promising, although beware that cover does not apply to vehicles with a value of more than €35,000, which may not get you all that far in certain countries.


What will happen to current Curve Black cardholders?

Existing Curve Black cardholders* will benefit from a three-month free trial of the new Curve Black benefits i.e. £1,000 fee-free Amex top-ups, travel/gadget insurance. After the free trial, if you remain unconvinced of the merits of the new £9.99 a month Curve Black subscription, you’ll be able to keep your original Black benefits (unlimited fee-free foreign spending etc) via a grandfathered tier known as Black Legacy card.

*Anyone who paid the previous £50 one-off Curve Black fee


Why you should have a Curve card

Aside from today’s newly announced benefits, here’s a reminder of some of the other reasons why you should get yourself a Curve card.

Carry just one card

This was actually how Curve was initially marketed. A one-card solution to save you having to ‘lug around’ a full wallet of cards.

You can link an unlimited amount of debit or credit cards to Curve.


Save when you travel abroad

Most UK debit and credit cards add an additional 3% charge for using your card abroad.

When you make a purchase abroad on a Curve card, that transaction is recharged to the underlying credit or debit card in pounds (or alternative currency), thus avoiding any bank surcharges for spending abroad.

Curve now uses the interbank exchange rate and has no additional foreign transaction fees. So you’re able to use your regular UK cards abroad and earn reward points all while avoiding the usual 3% charge for doing so.


Pay by credit card even when ‘the vendor says no’

Many shops/websites you visit on a daily basis will accept credit card payments.

Yet some online sites and smaller shops only accept debit cards. Here’s where Curve really comes into its own. As it’s a (Mastercard) debit card, you should be able to use it to pay your utility bills, council tax, TV licence and even HMRC without issues!

It might just help you to get around HMRC’s ‘ban’ on using personal credit cards for example…

hmrc ban on personal cc.png
Pay your HMRC bill with an Amex by using a Curve card!

Travel back in time

This has been my favourite Curve feature for a long time!

Curve’s ‘Go Back in Time’ feature allows you to switch the card that you paid with and move the transaction to a different card, up to 14 days after purchase.

Curve 'Travel Back in Time'


Get a free £5 just for trying Curve

It’s not just a free card, you can also get £5 of credit just for getting one.

Here’s how it works:

Firstly, download the Curve app. You can use the App Store or Google Play links below or visit the Curve website from your mobile and follow the instructions to download the app.

btn-google-play-59ddee44d31ec18cefa4199e4ae94fb5fa27c7a8c9d476bfeac1b95b359df9d1btn-app-store-19f6436d0ec2b585d860022818923cbb9c9f583ffad57b043deb2386b479a891

Then use code SPACX (our referral code) when ordering your card within the app and you’ll receive a free £5 credit – applied to your Curve Rewards balance – after making your first purchase.

There is no credit check when applying for a Curve card. 


Verdict

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. The ability to use your Amex cards anywhere – even at places where Amex isn’t ordinarily accepted – is revolutionary in the UK miles and points space (assuming it lasts this time 🙂 ).

I do have a couple of reservations about the complexity of some of the limits and features. I know there was a definite desire within Curve not to fall into the trap of trying to spin off the product in too many directions, which makes me wonder if we will see a slimming down in due course…

Curve made themselves truly competitive alongside the likes of Revolut and Monzo when they removed foreign exchange fees. With Amex back on board, I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t at the very least get yourself a free Curve Blue card. With no credit check, all it’ll cost you is five minutes of your time to sign up.

Apply for a Curve Card by downloading their app here – remember that you can get a free £5 of Curve Rewards credit by using our referral code SPACX when you join. 

Have you got a Curve Card?

2 thoughts

  1. Email from Curve yesterday. Amex have pulled out of this agreement suddenly. Curve are challenging this action on legal grounds.
    But at the moment you cannot preload your curve card with Amex card

    Quote-
    We are extremely sorry that the top-up functionality of your Amex wallet is currently disabled.

    Like thousands of other UK merchants, Curve has a valid merchant agreement to accept Amex payments into its e-wallet. However, on Tuesday evening, Amex decided to terminate this agreement and block all Amex transactions to Curve with immediate effect.

    Amex has given no good or fair reason for their decision and we believe it is entirely disproportionate and discriminatory to Curve and all our (joint) customers. UK payment regulations clearly state that Curve should be allowed to access the Amex payment network on a level-playing field with every other fee-paying and legitimate merchant.

    Rest assured that you can still spend the funds that you have already topped up to your existing Amex Wallets. If you have contacted us for support, we apologise for the delay in response and will endeavour to do so as soon as possible. We will update you as soon as we have any further information.

    With your interests in mind, and our mission to deliver a truly innovative product, we intend to fight Amex’s decision with our full might. We believe financial freedom is the future and we are prepared to fight for yours.
    Team Curve

    This email was sent to
    moonmelon1@aol.com

    why did I get this?

    unsubscribe from this list

    update subscription preferences

    Curve · 15-19 Bloomsbury Way · London, London WC1A 2BA · United Kingdom

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.