If you are reading this you likely already know what Curve is, but I’ll give it a brief intro just in case you aren’t sure what exactly the Curve card is. The Curve card is a card that allows you to use almost any card from your wallet but carry just the Curve card with you. You can connect your credit and debit cards to your Curve app and then select which card you would like to use. When you use the Curve card in a store or online the card you selected in the app will be billed.

I’ve been using Curve since the BETA stage and have come to use it daily for both business and personal expenses. After a few years of use, I thought I’d do a review of my experiences with Curve.

The perfect card for Worldwide use

I’ll begin with what I love about Curve. I used to carry around 4 cards, 2 for personal and 2 for business. Curve was inviting as you only have to remember one pin number, although to me I only really used 2 of the 4 cards on a regular basis. And remembering pins wasn’t usually an issue. So where did Curve have its benefits for me? I spend a lot of time away from the UK and my bank charges stupid foreign exchange rates, Curve charges just 1% per transacting and has a flat £2 fee plus 1% for cash withdrawals while abroad. Although it’s not free to use abroad, unless you have a good travel credit card it will likely save you a load of money if you are out of the UK enough.

Curve does have a few drawbacks while abroad. You likely won’t have data on your mobile or often won’t be able to get a good connection as I find. In this case, you can’t switch your payment card in the Curve app so any transactions you make will be billed to the last card you used in Curve. This is no longer much of a problem as Curve introduced a feature that allows you to change the card that was used for a transaction within 14 days of making it. This is a truly awesome feature that saves a lot of admin work if you bill a lot of business purchases on a personal card by accident or vice versa.

Withdraw cash using a credit card and avoid any fees!

The other thing I love about Curve is the ability to withdraw cash using a credit card. Most credit cards will have a fee for withdrawing cash and will also charge interest immediately. With Curve, you can withdraw cash and it will show on the credit card as any other transaction would. If you have a credit card that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions then you can switch the currency of your card in Curve to withdraw cash in a local currency and avoid all fees. This currently only applies to Curves supported currencies so if you are in a country that doesn’t have a supported currency you will get charged the standard rate by Curve. Curve also has other benefits while abroad such as safety. You don’t have to carry your debit card with you at all so the worry of card cloning isn’t so much of a worry. I tend to just carry my Curve card,  Amex and another Mastercard. This serves me well both in the UK and anywhere else. I can withdraw from any debit card that is on my Curve app and I also have a backup card if needed.

No American Express support… yet

Curve Now Does Your Expenses For You By Connecting To Xero Www Imaginecurve Com CopyMy biggest issue with Curve is the lack of Amex support. In the early days of Curve they supported Amex and some would say this is what gave Curve some serious attention. The ability to use your Amex anywhere a Mastercard is accepted. In the UK where Amex isn’t accepted in many places, this was a game changer. Plus getting to use your Amex abroad without the high FX fees. However, Curve no longer supports Amex so you will have to use your Amex outside of Curve.

When it comes to business Curve has as much value when making online payments for services, etc. Most of my business expenses are in USD which incurs a lot of bank charges, Curve drastically reduces these fees as we get charged the flat 1% fee on all FX transactions.

The Curve App

Curves app is very good, it has come a long way since I first started using it. Given you have a connection you can instantly switch between cards and you also get instant notifications when your card is used. This tends to be more efficient in the UK that say 3rd world countries where the notification doesn’t come through until a few days later. The payment notifications are very useful as they offer a nice security insight should your card ever fall into the wrong hands. You would know if someone was using it can you can lock the card from your app instantly.

I have a few concerns with Curve such as what would happen if I lost my phone. I’ve used the Curve support a few times and on all occasions, they were very fast to answer questions and always very helpful. Touch wood, I’ve yet to require their support with a fraud claim. It is worth noting that you will lose any cover that your credit card offers if you use it through your Curve card so that is worth considering when making payments.

What I like about Curve

  • The ability to use all my cards (Except Amex) but only carry one.
  • Curves App, the app is very useful for locking the card and checking transactions on the go.
  • You don’t have to inform your bank or Curve when you travel.
  • FX fees. At just 1% per transaction in foreign currencies, it is likely cheaper than your bank or credit card when using it abroad.
  • Easily change a previous transaction from one card to another.
  • Security. Not having to carry debit cards with me always feels safer.
  • The relatively early rewards system looks like it may become more powerful in the future.

What I dislike about Curve

  • They have a lot of data. All the card details you add and also the transactions you make with Curve.
  • Not sure what happens if I lose my phone. How can I change my Curve cards?
  • FX fees. I have a Curve Black card, I would hope that in the future that the premium card comes with Zero FX fees.
  • Only a small number of currencies are supported. Meaning you can bill your card in the local currency.

If you travel frequently then Curve is a good choice for you, also if you carry more than 2 cards then Curve will certainly be useful.