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Curve Card Review – Is it worth the hype?

Curve Card

Curve Card is an all-in-one debit card that acts as a go-between all your credit and debit cards and the payment merchant, lets review the card to see if it still stands up in 2021?

Let’s put this simply, Curve replaces all of your credit and debit cards with one card.

Rather than carrying around all your cards, you have one Curve card and the accompanying phone app to manage the card.

Curve History
Curve was founded in 2015 by Shachar Bialick. The company secured seed funding of $2 million in December 2015.In 2016, Curve advised customers that it would no longer be able to support American Express
Curve launched in Ireland and UK in January 2018. When it launched it had a waiting list of 50,000.

So how does Curve work?

To begin with, you must have a smartphone to use Curve. You can download the app from one of the app stores. After installing the app you will be prompted to sign up.

Sign up using this link for 5 GBP spending money!

Curve App

Remember this is not a bank account or credit card, so there is no credit checks or anything like that, I like to think of it as Paypal in that context. Any transactions you make are recorded to the app but will still also appear in your bank statement prefixed with “cve”.

Once you sign up a physical card will arrive in the post automatically. In the meantime, you can use Apple Pay or Google Pay to make payments using your smartphone or watch. You can also see your card number and expiry dates start way in the app.

black payment terminal
Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

How do I use Curve?

To get started with Curve you can add any Visa or Mastercard, but not an American Express card. You can scan the card using your phone’s camera or manually add the card. I’ve had limited success with the camera scan, depends on camera quality.

You can add as many cards as you wish and select a card that will use the default payment method. But you can change which card you want to process the payment before making a payment. It’s very quick!

You can use the “wallet” tab to see each transaction you have for each card, as well as a tab for cashback. Which basically gives you money back to spend on qualifying transactions.

The Curve Mobile App

The app is a requirement to use the Curve service. Of course, you don’t need to have your phone with you all the time. You can just use the card. But you do need the app to manage which payment method uses the card. The interface is very easy to use and has received an overall positive response from their Customers. There are four tabs on the app “wallet” where all your cards are listed. “My money” shows a timeline of transactions”. “Send” allows you to send money to your friends. And an account management tab. Top Features of the app include:

  • Fast and easy to use.
  • Support for Apple Pay.
  • Easy to add cards and loylty cards.

However, the app is missing 3D secure features. The “send” money feature is not smart, in that it does not detect if your friend has signed up to Curve. In our tests, sending money to someone who has not signed displays an unfriendly message stating “something has gone wrong”.

Cashback

Cashback is only available on the premium cards, but at the time of writing was available on the free tier for two months trial. Once you have enough cash back credit the Curve Card will auto use that money as long as it can pay for a full transaction – you cannot use it for partial payment.

Go Back in Time

‘Go Back in Time’ is a very useful and clever feature. It allows you to move an old payment, as long as it’s less than 90 days – from one card to another card. You can only do this once per transaction and there is a limit on this of 5,000 euros.

Types of Curve


Curve has three different offerings as of writing. Curve Blue (free), Curve black (9.99) (premium) and Curve Metal (14.99).

Each of these three cards offers secure iOS and Android apps, with customer protection up to 100,000 euro, as well as access to their “go back in time” feature. And you can combine all your own cards with one Curve Card.

The difference in the three cards relate to FX rates,1 % cashback is only available on the Curve Black (for 3 selected merchants) and Curve Premium (6 selected merchants).

Both Black and Metal offer Worldwide Travel Insurance.

Curve Metal

The Metal Curve Card offers Mobile Phone Insurance, Worldwide Airport Lounge Key Access, Rental Car Collision Waiver Insurance as well as the 18g metal card itself.

Curve Limits

Curve has limits on how much you spend or withdraw per day. Curve says that these limits will improve the longer you are a Curve customer. The Curve free account offers the following standard starting limits:

  • Daily ATM limit of £200 in the UK or €240 in the Eurozone
  • Daily transaction limit of £2,000 in the UK or €2,400 in the Eurozone

These limits are different if you sign up to Curve Black or the Curve card Metal card, your limits will be higher than those of the Curve Blue card.

  • Daily transaction limit: £3,750
  • Daily ATM limit: £1,000

Other Features of Curve

  • Face ID on supported iPhones
  • Send payments to friends (they need Curve too)
  • Ability to add loyalty cards with many merchants supported.
  • Ability to lock your card if you lose it.
  • Ability to view Card PIN details.
  • Instant transaction notifications.
  • Cut down on FX fees using Curve* Limit of 500 euro every 30 days on the free tier – Unlimited on other tiers.
  • Spending limits. There is a number of spending limits that change as you use the service. Visit their website to check these out.
white and brown cat on clear fish bowl
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Is Curve Safe?

The Curve app is made safe via protection from a four-digit security number and/or face ID. The card comes with a PIN the same as any other debit card which you can use to withdraw money via an ATM or for transactions. Curve does not share your card details with retailers during transactions. You can also freeze a card to prevent its usage via the mobile app.

Gray Areas

There are a few instances where I would not recommend using Curve. For example, many Credit Cards offer consumer protection.

This is providing the transaction is between you (the credit card) and the merchant. If you have a third party in the middle (Curve Card) this becomes a grey area. So if you are spending a lot of money and are not confident in the merchant or quality of the item, I would avoid Curve for these transactions.

Curve do offer their own protection on transactions but I’ve no experience with this.

Curve Customer Support

Curve offers customer support from within the app. Response time is pretty good once inside standard operating hours. However, when we had two declined transactions when buying coffee, curve support was unable to help there and then and had to refer the issue to technical support.

The original linked bank card worked fine. Maybe some teething issues?

Customer Reviews of Curve

Curve users have responded positively to the app. In the app store, there are 88 ratings as of writing this article, with a 4.3 rating. The app is listed under number 19 in Finance. Feedback reflected some of the following points:

  • Hate No support for American Express (this is due to American Expresses withdrawal of service from Curve).
  • Love the ability to block card if wallet stolen.
  • Love instant notifications for transactions.
  • Love customer Service.

Conclusion

Curve allows you to empty out your wallet and use just one card. The app has no hidden fees, making it ideal to use for travelling (now that we can again). The ability to lock the card in case you lose it adds to its security, making it the ideal card for you. The instant notification of transactions feature is a massive bonus. However, we have noticed a few declined transactions so do some testing before you leave your usual cards at home!

Sign up using this link for 5 GBP spending money!

This post is for informational and entertainment purposes only.


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