Curve review: An app to combine all your cards

Fed up with the hassle of using multiple bank cards? Curve helps you connect all your accounts to a single app and payment card.

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Curve

Curve’s big selling point is that you can connect all of your separate debit and credit cards to your Curve account and then spend from any of them using just a single Curve payment card. So you can leave your bulging purse or wallet at home and head out for the day in the UK or on a longer trip abroad and just take your Curve card with you, managing the whole service from its app. Curve also offers three premium options called Curve X, Curve Black and Curve Metal that come with added benefits but at a cost.

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Curve
Get 1% cashback on the Curve card for the first 30 days
  • Simplify your finances with all your cards in one
  • Manage all your cards through the Curve Mastercard
  • Real-time alerts tell you how much you've spent

What is Curve?

Curve is a fintech company operating in the banking and payments space. It was founded in the UK in 2015 by entrepreneur Shachar Bialick and now has over 4.5 million customers across Europe.

Curve acts as the meeting point for all of your payment accounts, allowing you to keep track of your money – and spend it – whichever bank or credit account it’s being held in. You can use your Curve debit card to make transactions from any funding source that’s added into your Curve Wallet. In other words, you can load all of your Visa and Mastercard debit cards and credit cards onto the app, and then use the Curve card to pay with any of them.

By connecting all your accounts, Curve also works as a virtual bookkeeper. So rather than looking through a mountain of receipts or tabs of online statements, Curve keeps a record and lets you know what you’ve been spending.

What are the features of Curve?

We go into more detail about how Curve works below, but here’s a summary of its main features:

  • Connect all your payment cards. Add all your debit and credit cards to your Curve account.
  • Contactless Curve card. You get a physical contactless Curve card (which is a Mastercard debit card) and can then use this one card to spend money from all the payment cards you have linked to it.
  • App management. Use the Curve app to select which of your connected cards you want a payment to be made with.
  • “Go back in time” feature. Selected the wrong card to pay with? No problem. You have up to 120 days to “switch” purchases (of up to £5,000) between cards.
  • Spending notifications. Get instant alerts when you spend money on your Curve card.
  • Spending analysis. Get category breakdowns of how you’re spending and see all your connected bank balances at a glance.
  • Works with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay. Your Curve card can be added to any of these mobile payment platforms, so you can pay with your phone.
  • Cashback at selected retailers. Earn 1% cashback when you make purchases at certain retailers (more than 100 to choose from, but you can only select a few, depending on which Curve subscription you have).
  • Competitive exchange rates when spending abroad. You’ll get Curve’s exchange rates when spending or withdrawing money with your Curve card abroad.

How does Curve work?

Curve works from your phone, bundling your accounts into one app. This record of your transactions encourages good spending habits. In addition to all this, Curve partners with different companies, allowing customers to spend their money at selected stores to earn cashback.

The app itself relies on simplicity rather than style, with a functional design allowing easy access to every feature:

After you sign up, you’ll receive a contactless Curve card. Customers have complete control over their card, with the ability to freeze and unfreeze at the touch of a button, a feature that provides added security and convenience.

The app is easy to navigate. Features include:

  • Wallet: Add or manage your cards and check the spend on each of them.
  • Launchpad: Get access to all Curve features, manage your account and access customer support.

How to set up a Curve account

Here at Finder, we set up a Curve account and documented the process. Within 5 minutes you can have access to a virtual card that you can start using immediately, and after 5 days you receive your physical card in the post.

  1. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Verify your email address and phone number.
  3. Provide your personal details including address and country of residence.
  4. Choose which type of Curve card you want. We went for Curve Lite, which is free (you also have the choice of Curve X, Curve Black and Curve Metal, which have subscription fees).
  5. Scan any bank cards you wish to connect using your phone’s camera. We connected a Barclay’s debit card.
  6. Any cards you add, you will be asked to verify this through the Open Banking protocol and a small amount will be taken from your card for verification purposes.
  7. You are immediately given a virtual card which you can add to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.
  8. We received our physical Curve card in 5 days.

An image of unboxing the Curve card

Using Curve abroad

Curve makes itself useful on holiday in a variety of ways.

As mentioned already, you can view the balances on your linked cards and accounts, allowing you to check your spending at any time. As well as this, you always have a record of your transactions with Curve, to make sure you don’t go over your holiday spending allowance.

You’ll also get the interbank exchange rate for currency conversion when using your Curve card overseas, plus there’s fee-free international spending and ATM withdrawals on weekdays on all of the paid plans – although your free allowance limit for this will vary depending on what level of Curve subscription you have. There’s no additional weekend fees on EUR, USD or GBP. For other currencies, there’s a weekend fee of 1%.

If you're travelling abroad

If you’re going overseas and are thinking about travel money, head to our travel money section for the cheapest deals on foreign currencies, or to our travel section for tips on how to get cheap flights!

Differences between the Curve cards

Curve Lite cardCurve X cardCurve Black cardCurve Metal card
NameCurve Lite
The Classic
Curve X
The Step Up
Curve Black
The Premium
Curve Metal
The Ultimate
PriceFree£5.99/month£9.99/month£17.99/month
Combine Your Cards in One
Works with Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay
Secure iOS and Android App
Curve Customer Protection up to £100,000
Go Back in Time: Move previous payments, up to £5,000
Up to 30 days

Up to 60 days

Up to 90 days

Up to 120 days
Curve Cash: 1% Cashback6 selected retailers (unlimited time)12 selected retailers (unlimited time)
Access to fair FX ratesAccess up to £250/monthAccess up to £1,000/monthAccess up to £2,000/monthUnlimited access
Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals£300/month£500/month£1,000/month
Worldwide Airport LoungeKey Access
Rental Car Collision Waiver Insurance
Premium 18g metal card

Curve spending limits

Limits are fairly generous when you join, and Curve will also raise them on an individual basis, after a certain amount of time and activity on your account. The free account comes with these standard starting limits:

    • £7,500 daily spending limit.
    • £200 daily withdrawal limit.
    • In the eurozone: €7,500 daily spending limit, €200 daily ATM withdrawal limit.

Subscribers signed up to Curve X, Curve Black and Curve Metal will get higher limits than these on their paid-for plans.

Using Curve with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay

Curve customers in the UK can also add their Curve payment card to Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay, if they’d prefer to make contactless payments using their mobile phone rather than use the physical Curve card. A big advantage here is that any payment card added to Curve will work with those three mobile payment systems, even if the card issuing bank itself doesn’t normally support them.

Fans of wearables can also register their Curve card with Garmin Pay, Fitbit Pay and wena pay, so they can tap and go with their payment watch or fitness wristband.

Is Curve safe?

Curve says that customer privacy and data security is a top priority, and that all data is protected with “industry standard” encryption and security measures.

In terms of spending, purchases made using a Curve card are not covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act – except for their commercial credit card, which is covered. This would normally protect you for purchases over £100 made with a credit card, where the product doesn’t turn up or is damaged, or if the retailer goes bust before delivering your goods. Section 75 doesn’t apply here because the Curve card is a Mastercard debit card, plus Curve is essentially acting as a middleman – you’re technically using your Curve card to make a purchase not the credit card linked to it.

So Curve has instead introduced its own “Curve Customer Protection” policy, which covers most purchases of up to £100,000 (there are a few exceptions). If there is a problem with your purchase, and you have contacted the retailer yourself but not managed to resolve the issue, then Curve will raise a dispute on your behalf to get the money back from the merchant.

Curve users are also protected by Mastercard chargeback rights, where refunds might be provided if goods are damaged, not as described or the merchant has ceased trading.

Pros and cons of Curve

Pros

  • Account can be set up quickly online.
  • Virtual card on registration and physical card arrives in the post.
  • Link all your different debit and credit cards to your one Curve card.
  • A complete record of your spending over these multiple accounts.
  • Spending categorisation can help you budget and save money.
  • Cashback rewards from retailers.
  • Safe and secure.
  • Compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and wearable devices.

Cons

  • Limits on free spending and withdrawals.
  • Digital company, so no face-to-face customer support.
  • Is a payments service, not a bank account (if that’s what you’re looking for).
  • Section 75 consumer rights don’t apply to purchases made with a Curve debit card.

Customer service information for Curve

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

Our verdict: Is a card from Curve worth it?

The main advantage of Curve is that you can go out and about with just one card, instead of bringing all your debit, credit, prepaid and don’t-know-what-else cards. The integration with Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay means that you only need your phone. Plus, say you have a rewards credit card that earns you cashback or reward points but charges a foreign transaction fee – if you use it through Curve, you can make payments abroad without fees while still earning your rewards. Win-win.

But, for anyone with a lot of cards, it can be a bit of a faff to swap your cards around all the time in the app, depending on which one you ultimately want to pay with. Get started by downloading the app.

All in all, Curve is a great tool if you have many different cards and hate carrying them with you all the time, and if you want to save on foreign transaction fees without getting (another!) dedicated card for your travels. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that it’s an innovative fintech solution that will make you look cool with your friends (just saying).

Frequently asked questions

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 has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    PeadarFebruary 21, 2019

    Is there an annual fee for a Revolut card?

      AvatarFinder
      BellaFebruary 22, 2019Finder

      Hi Peadar,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Revolut card doesn’t have an annual fee.

      I hope this clarifies.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

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