Edit: This article is now outdated and you you should check the curve website for updated pricing/information. However the principal behind how and why Curve works is still the same.
Let me introduce you to Curve, a smart new bank card aiming to change the way you spend money.
Curve is able to combine an unlimited amount of bank cards into one physical payment card, managed by a secure application on iOS, with an Android version in the works.
Not only does Curve make life easier for your wallet, it also lets you use your cards abroad with no hidden fees or exorbitant exchange rates, and adds a layer of security by never revealing your original card numbers to merchants.
How it works
Curve is, above all else, very financially interesting even if you have a single bank card. The card itself is a MasterCard® prepaid card, which when linked to your original bank cards via the iOS app, allows you to use your cards anywhere in the world – minus the transaction fees and high exchange rates.
Most UK banks will generally include a ‘load’ on top of the exchange rate, usually of 3%. On top of this, each transaction will include a % fee of around 2.5% with a £2 minimum. Curve, on the other hand, uses the MasterCard wholesale rate (generally the best exchange rate possible) with an additional 1% and are very transparent about it.
The only fixed fee Curve impose is for International ATM withdrawals, however you shouldn’t need to use that with such great transaction exchange rates.
Another bonus of the Curve card is payments with Chip & PIN, Mag Stripe and Contactless all being supported. This means that if you attach an American Express card, you are able to use it anywhere that VISA or MasterCard are accepted.
*It’s important to note that Curve does not effect your ability to accumulate loyalty points, bonuses or cashback.*
Curves’ iOS application is pivotal to the usage of their card, yet very simple to use. Users can add new and remove existing cards, choose the next payment card, view the latest transaction of each card and receive notifications each time the card is used.
Every time the Curve card is used, you will be ‘’’instantly’’’ alerted by a notification on your mobile device informing you of the amount and location of the transaction.
Within the application, every transaction from every card is easily available via a neatly arranged screen accessed by the top right menu button. Selecting a transaction makes it possible to add a label, take a photo of the receipt and/or add notes to for future reference.
It is also possible to export a CSV of every transaction which can be imported to spreadsheets or anywhere else you may need them such as accounting software.
Although it is impossible to view the original card details once they have been added to the app, I would love to see extra security features such as TouchID included in future updates.
Curve is currently available (limited to 10,000 beta testers) in two editions; a Blue ’standard’ model and a Black ‘plus’ edition which includes early access to future features and double Curve rewards, a loyalty initiative planned for this summer.
The Blue card is available for £35 whilst the Black comes in at £75, these are however one-off fees and the card is guaranteed for 3 years and will be replaced if lost or stolen.
Curve requires no batteries! We do think we’ll have improved the card after three years’ use, so we’ll ship you a new one for free then.
In you are interested in Curve, use the code vTdV2 at checkout and we will both receive £10 as soon as the card is used for the first time.
If after all you still have some questions about curve then check out the Curve website and Frequently Asked Questions. Otherwise leave your question in the comments section below and I will do my best to find the answer, or if you like you can always get in contact via the contact page or on Twitter.