When you review as many cards as I have over time, the ever-growing mountain of plastic begins to bother you.
Now although it may not be for the same reasons, I’m sure I’m not alone in having multiple cards.
When you already have a few cards, it’s not hard to see yourself outgrowing your wallet or purse down the line.
This issue led me to create this fully comprehensive Curve review for my readers today.
Before we look into how a Curve card can potentially solve this problem, let’s first take a look at the table of contents:
- What Is Curve?
- How Does a Curve Card Work?
- Sign Up Process
- Is Curve Safe?
- Card Versions
- Curve Reviews
- Pros And Cons
Without any further ado, let’s get straight into this Curve review.
What Is a Curve?
Curve is a MasterCard that allows you to connect all of your other existing cards, meaning you can operate them all from one place.
The card was founded by the serial entrepreneur, Shachar Bialick in 2015.
His main aim was to create a simpler and smarter way to manage financial life.
Curve would release their beta version in 2016 and would make improvements until it’s finalised version in 2018.
It was initially brought out in Ireland and then released in the Uk shortly after.
According to this article by Forbes, the company planned to expand into the US shortly after reaching 300,000 users in Europe.
Unfortunately, progression into the US would be stunted by a difficult relationship with American Express.
It’s likely that they have also encountered infrastructure problems in the US amongst other things.
I say this because researching Curve’s adoption into the US today will only lead you to a signup form for its waitlist.
Aside from this shortcoming, expansion in Europe has been successful and users have been rising healthily over the past few years.
How Does A Curve Card Work?
Curve works via an app, much like many of the ‘new school’ banks/cards that I’ve reviewed in a past.
That means the majority of actions can be down at the touch of a button which as you can imagine is very handy.
Curve doesn’t provide the typical functions of any other bank/card itself because it doesn’t need to.
What I mean by this is functions such as standing orders, direct debits and so on can be set up through your linked bank accounts.
I’ll expand on the ins and outs of Curve over the course of the next two sections.
Sign Up Process
(Note: If you have already signed up, you can skip this part of the Curve review)
First off you’re going to need to download the Curve app.
You can do so via the App/Play store depending on your device type.
This example will be done using an IOS device.
Head over to the AppStore an search for ‘Curve’.
Wait for it to download and press the icon.
You’ll have the option to create an account straight away which we are going to go ahead and do.
Enter your email and you’ll have the option to be set a ‘magic link’ or to set up a password manually.
From here all you need to do is fill out some basic information, including verifying your phone number and you’re good to go.
You’ll then be asked to choose a curve card that best suits you.
After choosing you then have the option to start linking your cards to Curve which you can do via your camera.
Curve will then verify that the card is yours.
Once that’s all completed you can start to use Curve’s virtual card by adding it to your apple wallet.
To get a psychical card you’ll need to pay for its delivery, much like Revolut.
It’s at this point you’ll now have access to Curve’s interface meaning you have successfully set up an account.
From here we can now move onto the interesting features that curve provides.
(Note: All of these features come as standard and don’t require an upgraded plan)
Next up is perhaps the most interesting portion of this Curve review.
‘New school’ companies such as Curve, aside from its primary feature of connecting cards, provide many tools to compete against other cards.
Such tools give you more control over your finances in general, helping develop your money management skills amongst other things.
Let’s take a look at each one in more detail and you’ll understand what I mean.
Curve excels as a card when you take it overseas because not only are there no transaction fees for the card, but for any other card you use through Curve.
That even applies to the card that would otherwise normally have a fee, how cool is that?
It’s fair to say that you’ll have no troubles with this card overseas and should be taken advantage of when on holiday.
You can get real-time notifications on your phone whenever you use your Curve card.
As you can imagine this is handy for a whole host of reasons including money management and identifying fraud.
It’s a simple feature but a useful one that even traditional banks haven’t adopted.
Curve send lets you send money from any of your payment cards on your account to your friends and family.
You can send up to £500 a day in any currency and Curve promise to take care of any FX charges that you may incur (Blue card limited to £500).
It should be noted however that money can only be sent to another Curve cardholder.
To use Curve send all you need to do is head over to the ‘send’ section on the dashboard.
Choose a contact and a title (I.E electricity bill).
Then you can enter the amount, choose the card and send, just like that!
With Curve you’re able to earn 1% cashback from a whole host of retailers including Tesco, ASOS and Uber.
Curve promises to give you 1% cashback on top of the card you’re using through them too!
It should be noted that restrictions do apply and you can find more information on this under the section ‘Card Versions’.
Just when you thought curve couldn’t get any more in house, you have the option to link your loyalty cards.
When you do so you’ll be able to use them at any time just like your other cards.
Curve can currently integrate cards from the likes Tesco, Costa, Boots and much more.
To do this, switch over to the loyalty option on the main screen and add a card of your choice.
Lock You Card
If you ever lose your card or misplace it, you can simply log into the app and lock your card.
To do this all you need to do is move along to the ‘account’ section and press the slider.
This feature potentially saves lengthy and boring phone conversations with your card provider.
Back In Time
Having many linked cards presents a potential problem, paying with the wrong card.
Going ‘back in time’ on the Curve app allows you to switch cards you purchased something on up to 2 weeks (£1000 and below).
Now, this is a feature that as far as I’m aware is completely exclusive to Curve.
A very innovative solution to a genuine problem.
Much like other challenger cards, Curve offers a categorisation option for your money.
This gives you more freedom with your finances and promotes better management overall.
Unlike challenger banks such as Monzo who use a pot system, Curve categorises your money using different colours.
You can pay Uk taxes and/or credit card bills with another card when you turn on Curve fronted.
There is a 1.5% fee per transactions for Blue and black Curve cardholders (more on this later) but only applies when you use curve fronted.
To turn it on, head over to ‘profile’.
Scroll down and you’ll find ‘Curve fronted’.
Your spending timeline on the curve interface documents what goes in and out of your account each day.
In a clean and clear interface, you can see what you’ve been up to with your Curve account.
This has because almost a standard feature with the majority of cards in today’s market but its always useful to know.
This is a feature that has become increasingly important in the current times of the COVID pandemic.
The increase in the contactless limit (£45 in the UK) means you can buy more without the need for a pin.
Is Curve Safe?
Curve is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) via a representative firm.
The goals of the FCA are to:
- Safeguard customers
- Enhance the integrity of the Uk financial system
- Promote healthy competition to improve public service
That means your details and private information is safe and secure.
Unlike most cards/banks, Curve is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
This scheme is designed to protect customers money (usually up to 85,000) if for any reason the company was to go bust.
This is because your Curve balance is classed as e-money, which doesn’t fit the criteria for protection.
It should be noted, however, Curve’s balance is kept separate from customer’s funds (known as safeguarding).
So if for any reason Curve became insolvent, your balance is protected.
For more information on this, check out this article by Curve.
(Note: Curve is not protected by section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act)
Much like Revolut, Curve offers 3 different cards.
Here’s a break down of what’s included in each one so you can determine which better suits you.
|Curve Blue||Curve Black||Curve Metal|
|Cashback||1% - 3 retailers for 90 days||1% - 3 retailers for unlimited time||1% - 6 retailers for unlimited time|
|Curve Protection||Upto £100,000||Upto £100,000||Upto £100,000|
|Insurance||N/A||Travel Insurance Included||Travel, phone and rental car insurance included|
|Spending Limits||£200 withdrawal/Day, £2000/Day, £500/Month & 10,000/Year *||£1,000 withdrawal/Day, £3,750/Day, £20,000/Month & £50,00/Year||£1,000 withdrawal/Day, £3,750/Day, £20,000/Month & £50,00/Year|
|Subscription period||0||0||Minimum of 6 months|
*In relation to blue cardholders, you may be subject to lesser limits initially depending on certain criteria but can increase over time.
As you can see the quite a difference between the perks of each card.
Having said that, do you really want to be paying a reoccurring fee when the standard card has everything MOST people need?
Ultimately it would be your decision and I hope this side by side comparison makes analyses there perks easier.
Curve Card Reviews
As with all my reviews, I like to include other opinions/experiences to arrive at a more well-rounded conclusion.
This Curve review is no exception.
All reviews today are courtesy of Trustpilot.
Before we dive a bit deeper and pick apart some Curve reviews, let’s look at the overall rating from over 3,500 reviews.
As you can see the overall rating is excellent, making up 76% of the reviews.
A great start for sure, but delving into the Curve reviews in more detail will give us a better picture.
First, let’s look at the positive Curve reviews.
This review, aside from praising curve’s overall service, highlights the importance of handy features such as being able to lock your card.
If you were with a more traditional bank/card, it’s likely that this could be a more lengthy process.
This review perhaps highlights the real selling point of the card, the feature that separates it from the rest, it’s all-in-one functionality.
Solving a problem and making life easier for customers is a winning formula and one Curve has certainly tried to achieve.
In the eyes of this user, it seems they have succeeded.
Now, let’s move onto some of the mid-tier reviews.
This is an interesting point that should be taken on by the Curve team.
Aside from this, it’s nice to hear that their experience has been positive.
Curve assesses not only the customer to determine spending limits but merchants in terms of the risk they pose.
It’s not hard to imagine that somewhere down the line you are likely to encounter a transaction block.
That being said most traditional banks solve this problem with a simple text verification.
After doing some digging, I found that Curve offers a way of bypassing their fraud or risky merchant engine.
All you need to do is approve the transaction through the app using a form of identification i.e. face recognition, passcode etc.
The last point made seems to be a totally legitimate criticism and rather counterintuitive for Curve.
It’s also fair to say that a few people have pointed out the same problem, as you’ll see in the next few Curve reviews..
The main criticism seems to relate to problems with transactions.
This, in conjunction with poor customer care/response times.
Perhaps investing in optimising their customer care would make poor reviews such as this more infrequent.
The problem with a few failed transactions means that, much like this customer, you lose faith in the card.
When you worry about using a card, it’s likely you are not going to use it.
That’s a shame but the price to pay for issues that aren’t rectified by customer support.
- FCA regulated
- Link all your cards
- Good range of features
- Free FX charges (Restrictions apply to Blue holders)
- Good reviews
- Curve customer protection
- Clean and clear interface
- Need to optimise customer support
- Some bug related issues
- Transactions problems for some users
Conclusion Of This Curve Review
I’m undeniable that the overall concept of Curve is simple but genius and a sentiment shared by all customers (regardless of experience).
Curve does it’s best to solve an ever-growing problem (literally) and for that it deserves props.
Having said that, innovative ideas are great but it’s the execution that really separates successful companies from the rest.
My 2 cents on this is that Curve is practically there, what I mean by this is that they have all the essentials.
What Curve is lacking in is the optimisation of there features and functions using public feedback.
There are two main criticisms:
- Customer care– This is common with most companies as its a subjective experience. Having said that, some of the user’s experiences with support is unacceptable.
- Transactions– This is the main and perhaps most worrying criticism as transaction issues directly affect customers trust.
If it was me, I would feel inclined to take another primary card alongside my curve card, just to be safe from possible transaction issues.
Whether or not you think this defeats the whole purpose of having Curve will ultimately lead you to whether or not it’s for you.
I hope you enjoyed this Curve review as much as I have researching it.
If you would like to look from some of my other card reviews, I recommend looking at these specifically:
As always be sure to leave a comment as I’d love to hear your take on this Curve review and whether or not it’s worth having.