Curve adds Security, Functionality and Rewards to your Existing Debit and Credit Cards
Slim your wallet at the same time…
[Article updated on 4th July 2022]
In this Article, I will tell you:
- What the Curve card is
- An overview of the added security, functionality and rewards
- How to find the right card, based on your requirements
- How I use Curve in my payment workflow
- How to get a Curve card
What is Curve?
- A Mastercard that maps to your existing Debit and Credit cards, to provide additional security, functionality and rewards
- All features available with the free card
- 1% cashback for up to 6 retailers
How to Pay with Curve
- From the Curve app, you map the Curve Mastercard to an existing debit or credit card
- When you pay with the Curve Mastercard, the payment is taken from the card you mapped
When you pay, you will receive all the security, functionality and rewards that the Curve card provides, as well as the benefits that your payment card provides. This means you can ‘stack up’ on your existing card benefits.
What are the Incentives?
The entry tier gives you a card and all the security and functionality for free.
In the next sections, I detail the Security, Functionality and Rewards that Curve adds to your current payment cards.
What Security does Curve Add?
£100,000 Customer Protection
Paying with a Curve card ensures that you can be refunded up to £100,000 per dispute.
Lock Your Card
From the Curve mobile app, you can lock and unlock your card at any time.
So if you’ve gone home and left your wallet in the office, you can lock it for peace of mind, then unlock it when you pick it up the next day.
Withold Your Bank Details
When using a Curve card, you don’t need to provide your bank or credit card account details to anyone. It’s like giving people your PO box details, instead of your home address.
What Functionality does Curve Add?
How many debit and credit cards do you have in your wallet? You might even have more at home.
Curve is the only payment card you need to carry. You can change which card is mapped from the mobile app.
Go Back In Time
This allows you to move the payment from one card to another, within a 30 day (and £5,000) window.
This is useful when you:
- Want to move a payment to a card that gives better rewards for the purchase
- Want to move the payment from a personal card to a company card
- Have ordered a new debit/credit card, but it hasn’t arrived yet — once it arrives, add it to Curve in the mobile app, then move payments to it
It happens - you make a payment and for some reason it doesn’t go through.
This might be because:
- The card has expired
- There isn’t enough balance on the pre-paid card
- A security check on the card has been triggered
- The card provider is having technical issues
Curve allows you to define up to 2 ‘backup’ cards. These will be used automatically in the event of a failed payment. It works transparently and immediately as soon as there is an issue with the initial payment — you don’t need to re-enter your PIN or eject and re-insert the card.
I have it set up in this order:
- Crypto.com pre-paid Visa debit card
- Credit Card
- Debit card
I have had this trigger when I attempted to make a payment and my Crypto.com pre-paid Visa debit card didn’t have enough credit on it. The payment failed on that card, then was processed on by credit card. The next day, I added money to my Crypto.com pre-paid Visa debit card and then used the Curve ‘Go Back in Time’ feature to move the payment from the credit card to the Crypto.com card, earning me cashback.
Only one PIN and CVV to remember
You only need to remember your Curve PIN, not the PIN of every card you own.
Likewise, you only need to remember one CVV when making payment on websites.
Add Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Curve supports Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay — if your current card doesn’t support it natively, it does now!
Treat Credit Cards as if they were Debit Cards
Some retailers don’t allow payment via credit card. With Curve, the retailers will see the card as a debit Mastercard. This allows you to gain credit card rewards.
Treat Visa cards as Mastercard
Some retailers don’t allow payment via Visa card. With Curve, the retailers will see the card as a debit Mastercard.
Access to Fair FX Rates
Transactions in other currencies are made with the interbank rate. This is the rate that banks use for currency exchange.
The rate may vary over the course of a day, so it could be different to a rate that is only updated once a day (like the Mastercard® rate).
Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals
If you make an ATM withdrawal in another currency while abroad, Curve won’t charge any fees up to a certain amount. Your limits will depend on which Curve card you have.
Real Time Alerts
Real time alerts gives you confirmation of how much you’ve spent and when — also useful for alerting you when your card has been used without your consent.
Curve Fronted empowers you to pay with your Curve debit card by using an underlying credit card in situations where the merchant wouldn’t normally accept credit cards (like paying for tax or utilities).
A 1.5% service fee is applied for these purchases. The Fronted function is disabled by default but can be activated at any time.
Curve Metal customers aren’t charged the Curve Fronted fee, the usage of this functionality is subject to their Fair Use Policy.
Advanced spend tracking
In the mobile app you can:
- See what you have spent from each registered payment card
- See how many Curve reward points you’ve earned (and spent)
- View a summary of spending, by category (accommodation, food, retail, travel, etc.)
- Define purchases as personal or business
- Take photographs of receipts, stored them against purchases
View all your Bank Accounts
Thanks to Curve’s integration with the Open Banking System, you can add other bank and card accounts to the Curve mobile application, allowing you to see all your other accounts in one place.
You can set up condition-based rules based on category or amount.
- Category rules allow you to define which card is used when you spend at select retailers or category (such as cash withdrawals, utilities and groceries)
- Amount rules, allow you to define which card is used when the transaction is above or below an amount
Smart rules are run after Curve Cash Auto-use and before Anti-Embarrassment Mode.
This allows you to split any existing purchase made over the previous year into monthly payments. You can spread transactions into instalments that last either 3, 6, 9 or 12 months at 0% APR for the first month, then 13% representative/15%+ depending on the length of payment. The original purchase is refunded and the first payment is made in 30 days!
The provides the opportunity to free up capital to:
- Relieve financial burden in the event of an emergency (e.g. unexpected car repair)
- Make an investment (e.g. stock market or savings account)
- Purchase an expensive item now, which you know you can pay off over a longer period (e.g. a television or holiday)
What Rewards does Curve Add?
Curve Cash: 1% Cashback
The subscription-based cards give 1% cashback on 3 or 6 retailers that you choose from this list.
The free card also gives 1% cashback, but only at 3 retailers for 30 days — it’s just a trial to see how it would work if you were to subscribe to a paid plan.
The cashback is a nice bonus, remember it’s in addition to rewards from your mapped payment card.
The Rewards feature allows you to select cashback offers from a number of retailers.
The reward will be active for a defined number of days and will have clear instructions.
What Premium Features does Curve Add?
All the features I’ve described so far come included with all cards, even the free card. These additional features can be purchased:
- Worldwide Travel Insurance
- Mobile Phone Insurance
- Rental Car Collision Waiver Insurance
- Worldwide Airport LoungeKey Access
An overview of each insurance policy is given here.
Per country policy documents for the Worldwide Travel insurance is here.
Where is the Curve Card Available?
Curve is currently available to the UK and all 30 countries within the European Economic Area (EEA):
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (excluding Crown Dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man).
It’s expected in the USA soon (join the waitlist)
Which Card Should I get?
The security, functionality and rewards that a Curve card provides, in addition to your existing payment cards; makes using one as your primary payment method a no-brainer — especially when the free version of the card contains all the main features. You will only need to pay a monthly fee if you want the cards fewer restrictions, or travel and insurance benefits (which you can get cheaper elsewhere).
This has all the security and functionality that Curve offers, but is limited to:
- Set 1 Smart Rule
- Add up to 2 payment cards
- Go Back in Time 3 times per month
- Go Back in Time for up to 30 days
- Spend without fees abroad up to £1,000/month
For most people this will be the best option — it’s the one I have.
For most people, the increased limits in functionality won’t be worth the £60 per year charge.
- Add up to 5 payment cards
- Go Back in Time as many times as you want
- Go Back in Time up to 60 days
- Spend without fees abroad up to £2,000/month
Great if you want worldwide travel insurance in an easy to manage subscription, but do check to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere, or if you need specific coverage (e.g. Winter sports).
This tier may be suitable if you want these types of insurance in an easy to manage subscription:
- Worldwide Travel Insurance
- Mobile Phone Insurance
- Rental Car Collision Waiver Insurance
Do check if the insurance meets your requirements.
- Worldwide Airport LoungeKey Access
This makes the flying experience much more enjoyable — free food and drink in a relaxing environment before your flight.
The Curve Metal cards are available in Blue Steel, Red, Rose Gold or Black.
What if I want to Upgrade or Downgrade the Card?
Upgrading Your Card
You can upgrade your subscription whenever you want.
If you have Curve Black and you want to step up to Curve Metal, you’ll get a refund for the remaining period of your Black subscription.
Downgrading Your Card
Contact Curve if you want to downgrade your subscription. You may need to pay a €50/£50 when downgrading from Curve Metal.
You can only have one card per person, so you can’t request additional cards for partners, etc.
Restrictions and Drawbacks
There’s really not much to dislike about Curve — they offer a fantastic set of features for free! You only need to subscribe to the premium cards for a monthly fee if you want the different types of insurance on offer.
Having said that, there are some minor quirks:
- The Rewards feature is nice, but each offer has different restrictions, including the cashback rate, the amount of cashback that you can obtain and number of days it will be active for. This means you must read and remember each offer — I would prefer it if the offers were always active and they only differed by the cashback rate
- American Express (AMEX) is not supported — it was at first, but AMEX pulled out and haven’t been friends since. Curve would really like AMEX to get back on board
- They have an amazing product, but it can be difficult to find some information on their website. Luckily, they have an active community, so you’ll get a reply to any questions very quickly
How I use Curve Card
I’ve been using Curve as my primary method of payment since 2017.
My payment workflow is:
- Curve Card mapped to my primary payment card, which is the Crypto.com pre-paid Visa debit card
- My backup card is a Barclaycard with Hilton rewards points (for use with the Curve anti-embracement feature)
- I have Airtime Rewards, Kidsplay, TopCashback and Quidco passive cashback accounts to the Curve card, so when I use my Curve card at applicable retailers, I get additional rewards
This combination provides the highest level of rewards and security I’ve found.
The Curve Card has enabled me to:
- Swap my leather wallet for a minimalistic hard wallet. I only carry cards and some notes, I will never go back to a standard wallet, they are so bulky!
- Use my watch and phone (via Samsung Pay) as methods of payment. The Crypto.com card I use doesn’t support this natively
- Secure my money and get a replacement card. My card has been used without my permission twice. On both occasions I got notifications in the mobile app instantly, so I blocked the Curve card and reported the incidents to Curve. I got my money back and a replacement card (for free)
- Use the Curve rewards feature to save money off retailers
- Receive 1% cashback at retailers I’ve selected
- Earn money by referring others to use Curve
- Save time when my Crypto.com pre-paid debit card didn’t have enough funds for the purchase — the anti-embarrassment feature took money from my Barclaycard instead
- Remember one PIN and CVV. Also, I only need enter the details of one card on websites
- Earn reward points on my Barclaycard after seeing that the purchase on the Crypto.com debit card didn’t provide cashback (which it doesn’t for a number of retail categories). To achieve this, I used the Curve ‘Go Back In Time’ feature to move the payment from my Crypto.com card to my Barclaycard
- Earn additional cashback on my Crypto.com card. Whilst waiting for my Crypto.com Visa debit card to arrive, I had my Barclaycard as the main payment card. Once the Crypto.com card had arrived, I registered it in the Curve app then used the ‘Go Back In Time’ feature to move all recent transactions from my Barclaycard to my Crypto.com Visa debit card
Watch my Review of Curve
Order a Curve Card
It’s easy — download the app with my link to get £5 credit and give them a try!
Curve offer an innovative solution that hasn’t been matched by any other company.
The security, functionality and rewards it offers stack on top of those offered by the cards you map it to.
I’m genuinely impressed with the free card — it has all the security and functionality benefits. I’m sure they could charge for it, but happily they don’t!
I’ve had my card details stolen twice. Being able to block the card from further use (from the mobile app), get replacement cards and get my money back with no hassle or cost was a good experience.
They have been in the UK and 30 European countries for a few years now — and are currently ‘beta’ (with reduced functionality) in the USA. The USA will become their biggest market. I am very active in the Crypto.com Subreddit and can see that Americans with the Crypto.com pre-paid Visa debit card can’t wait to get their hands on the Curve card, because of the security and functionality that it offers — this will be true of Americans holding other Cryptocurrency related cards as well.
- Sign up to Curve and get £5
- Sign up to Crypto.com with referral code qu80wtyk0i This can be used within 5 days from having your account KYC approved. Get $25 when you stake for a card
- Sign up to the Crypto.com Exchange with referral code qu80wtyk0i, you will get $10 if you stake at least 1,000 CRO and $50 if you stake at least 5,000 CRO
- The Essential Guide to the Visa Debit Card from Crypto.com
- The Essential Guide to the Crypto.com Exchange
- The Essential Guide to Maximising CRO Investment with Crypto.org DeFi
- The Essential Guide to Farming, Harvesting and Mining Cryptocurrencies
- This is why I’m Massively Excited for the Growth of Crypto.com
- The Essential Guide to Discounted Gift Cards with Crypto.com Pay
- The Essential Guide to Generating Some Money the Easy Way, Guaranteed
- The Essential Guide to Saving Money and Building Wealth in the UK
- 5 UK Debit/Credit Card Purchase Passive Reward Schemes — No Investment Needed