Curve

Curve Metal review

A premium option for the seasoned traveller, Curve Metal is a debit card packed with benefits and perks.

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If you’re abroad so often that you barely remember what sleeping in your bed feels like, Curve Metal can be a good idea for your finances. It is a premium option and is an alternative option to the standard Curve account.

Our review looks at how it works, how to get it and whether the extra features are worth the monthly fee.

What is Curve Metal?

Curve Metal is the top-tier Curve subscription, including all the perks and benefits Curve has to offer, most of which are linked to travelling. It comes with a fancy-looking metal debit card that you can have in black, rose or blue. Its more down-to-earth siblings are the standard Curve plan which is free. Curve X which offers a couple of extra benefits, and the intermediate premium service Curve Black.

Curve’s basic functionality is to allow you to only take one single card with you when you leave the house – the Curve card. You can connect all your Mastercard and Visa cards to it using the Curve app, then select which one you want Curve to take money from and simply pay with the Curve card.

Curve is especially useful when you go abroad because even if your regular cards charge a foreign transaction fee, Curve scraps them in most cases by treating your transaction as if it was a sterling one.

Curve Metal takes all this to the next level by adding travel insurance and other perks to Curve’s basic features.

Curve Metal fees, limits and benefits

In return for Curve Metal’s monthly fee, you get:

  • Unlimited fee-free transactions abroad (on weekdays). Curve’s free option charges a fee on non-sterling transactions after you’ve reached the monthly limit. With Curve Metal, you won’t pay any fees for using your card out of the country, even if you spend more. This is subject to a fair use policy of a set amount per year, beyond which a fee may apply. However, bear in mond there’s still a small exchange fee during the weekend, when the markets are closed.
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad. Like most digital banking apps and challenger banks, Curve sets a monthly limit for fee-free cash withdrawals abroad. If you’re on the Curve Metal plan, you’ve have the highest withdrawal limit available. However, any withdrawals after that will incur a fee.
  • Cashback at selected retailers. You can get cashback when you spend money at 6 selected retailers (3 for Curve Black). You can choose among a really high-quality pool of shops and services, including Ikea, Tesco, Amazon and Netflix. Be aware that reward points expire 6 months after the date they were added to your card.
  • Customer protection. Covers purchases made on your card up to £100,000.
  • Go Back in Time. This feature allows you to switch payments from one card to another, 120 days after you’ve made a purchase.
  • Airport lounge access. More on this below.
  • Metal card. The clue is in the name. With the Curve Metal plan you also get a premium metal card to use.

Curve Metal airport lounge access

Curve Metal gets you airport lounge access via LoungeKey, a programme that offers lounges in more than 1,000 airports in 120 countries.

You just need to show your Curve Metal card at the entrance and use it to pay for it. There’s normally a fee per person (yes, you can buy passes for your travel companions as well), but the price can vary depending on the lounge. Don’t leave your Curve at home or you won’t be able to get in.

Lounge benefits vary, but you’ll usually get a nice and comfy seating area, newspapers to read and some refreshments at the very least. Anything else you might need to know about the LoungeKey programme can be found in this dedicated guide.

Curve Metal vs Curve Black

Some of the extra benefits Curve Metal has on the free Curve option are also included in Curve Black. Basically, the following features are unique to Metal:

  • Higher limit for fee-free cash withdrawals abroad
  • A longer period in which to “Go Back in Time” and switch payments.
  • LoungeKey access
  • The metal card
  • Cashback at 6 selected retailers rather than 3

You’ll need to weigh up whether you’re likely to make use of these additional benefits to work out whether the higher monthly fee is worth paying.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that while you can get rid of your Black membership anytime, the minimum period you can keep Curve Metal for is 6 months, otherwise you’ll be required to pay a fee. How much this is can be found in Curve’s fee schefule.

How to get Curve Metal

Have you decided to give Curve Metal a go? You need to do the following:

  • If you don’t have Curve. Download the app, then you’ll be able to pick your membership of choice during the sign-up process.
  • If you already use Curve. Head to the “card” section of the app, then to “manage subscription” and select the “Metal” tab. Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll be sent your new Metal card within a few days.

Pros and cons of Curve Metal

Pros

  • Only need to take a single payment card with you when travelling abroad.
  • Comes with all the features of the other 3 Curve plans.
  • Additional features include the slick metal card, higher limit of fee-free cash withdrawals overseas, cashback at more retailers and LoungeKey departure lounge access.

Cons

  • A monthly fee which might not be worth it unless you travel very often.
  • As Curve is a debit card, not a credit card, your purchases aren’t covered by section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, although Curve does offer its own consumer protection scheme.
  • Your money isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, as Curve isn’t a bank.

Customer service information for Curve Metal

Email support
Telephone support
In-app or live chat
Contact form
Branch support

Our verdict

The key words here are frequent traveller. If you don’t go abroad at least 4 or 5 times a year, there’s really no point in considering a premium Curve membership at all, as it’ll be cheaper to just pay the occasional ATM fee if you need more than £200 cash.

If you do travel a lot, you might find that Curve Black works better for you than Curve Metal as it gives you many of the features at a cheaper price.

However, if you habitually travel to countries where you pay cash and like to take advantage of an airport lounge, Curve Metal could still be a good solution. But you’ll really need to weigh up the benefits against the cost in order to see if it’s worth it.

Frequently asked questions

Banking scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

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