With bank cards, credit cards and a crazy amount of store cards bulking out our purses and wallets, there’s no surprise that we are always looking for ways to cut down the plastic.
Alongside this, the increase in modern day technology taking over most aspects of our daily lives, we can see an increase in the
Curve Card is an example of how technology has magically mixed with personal finance, giving us the opportunity to take away the hassle of fighting our way to find the right card in the supermarket, and instead takes a one size fits all approach to those pesky plastic cards.
Who are Curve?
Curve, it sounds pretty cool doesn’t it, and the concept is pretty cool too. Curve was officially started in 2015 in the UK, with the owners of Curve wanting to bring change to the personal finance market.
Curve joined the app market, offering customers the chance to delve into their personal finances at the click of a button. They are passionate about delivering an easy to use product that will positively benefit its users.
Within the space of three years, the Curve Card has expanded massively throughout the UK and Europe, bringing the unique smart card to millions of people.
What is the Curve Card?
The Curve Card is an exciting way to make organising your finances a little easier. There’s nothing worse than having to sieve through all of your credit cards, store cards and whatever other surprise cards you have lurking around, before finding out you’ve picked out the wrong one and are back to square one again.
You might be thinking that this sounds like a mediocre problem, a first world problem perhaps, and yes you would be correct in thinking that, but in a nation of pedanticness we are fantastic at finding resolutions to these less than important issues.
In layman’s terms, the Curve Card is designed so that you can bring all of your cards into one single card. Unlike those traditional plastic cards you’d be used to, the Curve Card is done so through an app which can be easily downloaded onto your smartphone. From there you can add as many cards, whether they are credit or debit cards, meaning everything is in the one, easily accessible place.
You’ll be given a shiny new card, which has all of your cards linked onto it, meaning you’ll no longer need to trawl your purse load of cards everywhere with you.
Using your Curve Card is simple, even for those who are not as technologically gifted. If you are familiar with using Apple Pay or Google Pay then you’ll feel right at home.
How to Get Started
The really good thing about the Curve Card is that it is simple to use, even though it may seem complicated and confusing at first, once you have everything linked up it works like a dream.
The first major step is to download the app, which you can access from the iTunes or Google Play Store depending on what type of phone you have.
Once downloaded you’ll be able to set up your account and start linking your cards to the app. The majority of cards can be accepted onto the app and you can do this by doing it old school and entering the details of your cards in manually, or you could be trendy and scan your cards in which is a little bit quicker.
And once you’ve filled out your details and added all of your cards then you are ready to go.
There are a few options when choosing which Curve Card you would like, each one coming with its own benefits.
Firstly, you can choose the Curve Blue card which is completely free to use. This provides you the opportunity for cashback from three retailers and a £500 per month spend, fee-free when abroad. This card is available to anyone in any country which Curve already operates in, it’s a good option to get you started.
Moving up a notch is the Curve Black card. This card comes with a monthly cost, and at £9.99 a month you are eligible for some upgrades in comparison to their free option. With this card you can spend as much as you want abroad without incurring any charges, cashback from up to six retailers as well as travel and gadget insurance. The Curve Black is also available to anyone in any of the countries where Curve is promoted.
Lastly, and for UK Curve customers only is the Curve Metal. This is Curves most expensive option, with a upfront fee of £150 and ongoing monthly fees of £14.99. This card might not be suitable for everyone, but if you’re looking for additional privileges then this might just be up your street.
Curve have given potential customers the chance to choose from a range of subscriptions, something that other similar services have failed to do. There are no contracts as such, and you can simply cancel whenever you want, with the exception of Curves £14.99 card.
Get Free £5 When You Sign Up
Now that we’ve covered exactly how you can get and use your Curve card it may be a good time to tell you that you can get £5 for free, just for signing up. Using a promo code will give you a free fiver, which is always a great thing to get for free.
To activate the FREE £5 simple do a transaction on your curve card (via your linked debit card) so buy something for just a few pence and then the £5 will go out of pending and be applied to your curve card for you to use!
Instructions for getting your FREE £5 with Curve.
- Sign up and order a Curve card having used the exclusive offer link or the code TMSHED19 and you will see 500 Curve points as pending on their Curve card within the smartphone app.
- Once you receive the Curve card to change the points from pending to available you need to either: Make a purchase (no minimum amount) or use the card at an ATM to change the pin or withdraw money.
This means that that you can get the free £5 without making any purchases unlike, say with Monzo.
Once you have signed up you will be given your own unique promo code. This is a great way to earn a little extra cash by doing very little work. Simply recommended Curve to your friends, family or wider community and for anyone that signs up using your code, you will both receive £5. It’s easy money.
How to Use Your Curve Card
If you’ve set everything up and have your brand new smart card, then you will have completed the hardest part, now it’s plain sailing and you’ll wish you would have signed up sooner.
Thankfully the Curve Card is just like using any other card, you shop either online or in person and enter your pin, scan, swipe or tap your card as normal. One thing you need to remember is to choose the card you’d like to use before trying to use your Curve Card at the checkout, simply use the app, pick the card you want to use, and off you go.
Just like a normal bank card you can use the Curve Card for ATM withdrawals too, although there is a £200 limit, so it’s something to be aware of if you’re needing a larger sum of money.
Alongside this cap, there are others limits to the amount of money you can spend whilst using your Curve Card. There is a daily limit of £2,000, a monthly limit of £5000 and a yearly limit of £10,000. So if you’re prone to spending more than any of these limits then a curve card might not be the most suitable option for you. Fortunately this shouldn’t be an issue for most Curve users, but if you’re looking at a bigger purchase then you may not to consider other avenues.
With the Curve Card you are protected by the Customer Protection regulations, put into place to protect any purchases you make. This isn’t quite as robust as the regulations that are put into place on credit cards but there is something in place to keep you safe.
How Safe is Curve Card?
One major issue with credit and debit cards is keeping your personal information safe. This is especially important in today’s climate where big companies are often hacked which leads to leaking personal customer information.
One major positive that Curve Card has is that you are limiting the number of cards that you are carrying around with you. Instead of carrying your usual 10 cards, Curve stores all of your cards onto an app, meaning you only need to carry the one Curve Card around, making it a lot safer when you’re out and about.
Your Curve Card is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so you can be content knowing that your information will be stored and used in conjunction with the policies that underpin the FCA. Your information is stored safely and your data is never sent to other companies, even the companies that you have bought products through.
What about Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act?
For those who are unaware of just exactly what section 75 is. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act is a piece of legislation that has been put into place to act as an extra measure in protecting the goods and/or services that you buy.
Usually when you pay through a credit card, you are covered through this piece of legislation. However, using Curve means that you are using a middleman to make your purchase, therefore voiding any protection from Section 75 that you would normally have and therefore reducing your access to your consumer rights.
That’s not to say that using a Curve card is a bad idea, and in fact Curve have their own measures in place to protect your purchases.
Curve have what they call Customer Protection which gives customers protection of any products bought up to the value of £100,000. This means that should you come into any problems with the products, good or services that you receive then you can make a claim to get the money back that you paid. You need to make sure that if you do need to claim that you do it quickly, and to the retailer directly.
So although the systems in place by Curve may not be the most robust, they do take care to make sure that you have adequate protection and have easy to use measures in place to avoid any issues with fraud.
Curve Card Features
Although we have discussed the basics of why a curve card might be a smart choice to get rid of some of those plastic cards in your wallet, there are loads of other features and benefits that Curve are proud to showcase to their customers.
Curve offer new customers the chance to gain cashback up to 1% on purchases that they make. This is in line with what type of card that you decided to go with, with the Standard card giving you the chance to get cashback with 3 retailers, whilst the other options allow you to get cashback in up to 6 retailers.
This is only an introductory offer however, and after 90 days the 1% cashback will stop.
The cashback that you earn will go straight onto your curve account, meaning you don’t have to deal with the fuss and hassle of getting your money back.
There are a huge hoard of retailers that you can earn cashback from:
- Just Eat
- John Lewis
- & many, many more
In total there are over 50 retailers where you can receive cashback from, so there’s a choice for everyone. If you choose to upgrade your Curve card then you’ll get access to more retailers than standard card users.
The amount of cashback isn’t huge but in today’s economy, every penny goes a long way, so it’s definitely nothing to be frowned upon.
Spend Wherever You Want
Curve has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and now you can use your Curve Card anywhere where Mastercard is accepted. Simply use it just like you’d use a normal credit or debit card with a current account, remembering to choose the correct card you want to use within the app.
This is a great feature, meaning you won’t have to worry about not having the right card as most retailers will be able to accept your payment.
Go Back in Time Feature
This sounds like a weird science-fiction movie, but I promise it’s another Curve Card feature.
Remember we spoke about choosing the correct card in your app before making a payment, well sometimes you won’t get it right or simply forget to do it. So Curve offer the option to go back in time and change the card that you actually wanted to use in the first place.
This option is available for up to 14 days after the initial transaction. This is a great way of fixing the problem without a massive fuss.
Unlike using a normal credit or debit card, you can receive instant notifications on any purchases that you make, meaning you can easily keep track of what outgoings, and it might just be enough to persuade you not to buy another bar of chocolate.
Easily Manage Your Curve Card
Curve are rather keen on keeping your information secure and are tight in the security department. If you’ve lost your card or are unfortunate enough to have had your card stolen then you can easily lock your card from inside the app. You can also check your PIN if you’ve forgot, something that’s always handy to have quick access to.
Insurance Products on Your App
Not only do Curve offer the chance to simplify your personal finances but they also offer you the chance to get insurance on some of your products.
This feature kicks in if you purchase the £9.99 a month Curve Black card and gives you access to worldwide travel insurance as well as gadget insurance, giving you that extra peace of mind.
If you’re wanting to take it a step further then you can upgrade to the £14.99 a month option and get the Curve Metal card which is available to UK customers only. The extra costs gives you everything you get with the Curve Black card as well as Car Rental insurance and airport lounge access across the world.
Is Curve Card Really For Me?
Making a change like this can take a while to get used to. If you are used to carrying around several cards everywhere you go it might take some time to adjust to having one singular card.
It can be a daunting experience, even though the technology is simplistic in nature and takes no time at all to get used to.
Curve has over 1,165 reviews and with an average rating of ⅘ stars, you can see just how much of a difference having a Curve card can make. Not all reviews have been positive, but just like any product there are likely to be some issues along the line.
If taking your personal finances into your own control is something that you are keen to do, and reducing the plastic that you carry is a dream of yours, then Curve Card might just tick all the boxes.
Pros and Cons of Using Curve
Using a new service like Curve can be a daunting experience, so let’s take a look at the best and not so good parts of using a Curve Card.
- Free to get started – Standard Curve Card doesn’t cost anything to get up and running
- There are a variety of Curve Cards to choose from, giving you the freedom to pick and choose whichever one suits you the best
- Easy to budget with instant notifications coming straight to your phone
- Perfect for organisation, all of your cards are in the one place, no more confusion or lost cards
- There are several levels of security to keep you and your money safe
- Section 75 Protection isn’t available when using your Curve Card so the legislation isn’t in place
- Cash-back is only available as an introductory offer and only 1% at best
- Smartphone is needed, not everyone will feel comfortable keeping all of their financial information in one place which can be easily misplaced
- No more Amex capability since Curves dispute with Amex
If you’re looking for a new solution to your spending habits and are looking to cut down the amount of cards you have, whilst organising everything at the same time, Curve might just be the product that changes you from serial spender to serial saver.
There are many features on the Curve Card that have attracted millions to switch to their easy to use platform. Being able to move all of your existing cards onto one card breathes a breath of fresh air into the financial market, where usually banks and credit card companies are desperate to throw more plastic cards in our faces.
There’s no need to worry about the security of the app, regulated by the FCA gives you the confidence that your data will be in safe hands, and even if you did manage to lose your card you can easily lock the account, meaning no-one can get their hands on your money.
There are a variety of other card apps on the market that do similar things to Curve, and it’s always recommended that you do your research before committing to anything. Luckily there is no minimum term for Curves standard card, so if you decide to try it out and simply don’t like it then you can easily refer back to the traditional method of keeping your cards in your wallet.
Technology has advanced so much over the last few years and is set to continue is exceptional growth.