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I want to tell you about a type of debit MasterCard called Curve.
Initially I wasn’t sure how I’d use it, but honestly, as the weeks go by, I have realised exactly how important this type of technology is.
Let me show you why.…
What Is Curve?
Curve initially started life as a tool for businesses. The idea was that all the cards a business owner might have (such as credit cards and everyday personal banking cards) could be linked to the Curve card and then all spending is done via Curve rather than the accounts. It’s all your cards in one!
Among many amazing benefits (keep reading!), Curve:
- is seriously convenient, especially with the ability to switch which card you wish to use for payments via the Curve app;
- gives you real-time notifications direct to your phone so you know when money is being spent on your card;
- keeps your money safe by giving you ultimate control with the option to lock the Curve card through the app.
Why is this useful?
Having curve act as a kind of “go-between” means that no accidental spending on the wrong card happens. If you’re a business owner, you may have had the headache of purchasing something for your business on the wrong card and vice versa, well with Curve, this doesn’t happen.
On the app, you can flick between which card you want a transaction to go through, and if you forget to change the card you want to use, then you can “go back in time” and have 14 days to reverse and switch a transaction onto the correct card.
The Curve card also has other benefits for business owners including being linked to accounting software like Xero, offering cheaper international transactions when abroad, having instant notifications when a spend happens, and also the ability to lock the Curve card from the app to keep it secure.
But I’m Not A Business Owner, So Why Should I Care?
I’m glad you asked! This was my first question too – the beauty of this card is that they have opened it up to non-business owners, and it can be linked with budgeting software like YNAB (you need a budget) and has all the same features as the business version.
This is where is gets clever.
If you budget like I do using the money pie method, then to make life easier, I have multiple current accounts to siphon off money into the various slices of the pie. For example, I have one current account dedicated to gifts/charity, one for essentials like my mortgage and bills, and one for spending money on fun things. I find it tiring to try and remember which card is which, so having Curve is an absolute gem.
I have all three of these cards uploaded onto my Curve card, so when I’m out and about, all I do is effortlessly switch between the cards on my app and use the Curve card to make the purchase. Straight away I felt organised and on top of my budget.
The only downside is not having a live link with how much is actually in your bank account in real time, so you will still need a way of making sure you’re not overspending in any given category.
I’ve been reliably informed though that with the new open banking and PSD2 regulations in place, curve are working towards this.
Ok, So What Else Does Curve Do?
You have the chance to link 3 brands to your Curve card (free version) and get 3 months of 1% cashback from these retailers. This a 3 month long introductory cashback program that all users are enrolled into. If you pay for Curve black (which is £50) then you get to choose 6 retailers. You can spend the curve points like you would any transaction, so you could end up from a free coffee or a sarnie for lunch. It really depends on how often you spend with these retailers within the 3 months deadline, so choose strategically (FYI – amazon is included, which beats Topcashback and Quidco).
The other cool thing curve does is allow you to upload a credit card (just not an American Express). This means that if you want to make a transaction on a credit card, but the shop/online retailer in question doesn’t accept credit cards, you can make the purchase via Curve which acts as a debit card and “masks” the fact you’re using a credit card – pretty nifty!
But Wait, There’s More!
And finally, you can use curve to travel with! They have literally just announced that on the premium account (which is the one that costs £50), there are 0% conversion charges on all foreign transactions up to £15,000 in one year. This renews every year on the date you sign up for a Curve card. For the free account, there is a smaller allowance of £500 a month.
This may well be SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than what your bank would charge you! After the allowance has been used, the transactions are charged at 2% (which to be honest is probably still cheaper than your bank!).
In addition, taking money from an ATM costs £2 for non-domestic currency (i.e. withdrawing money in the UK is free up to 10 withdrawals in a calendar month, but do it abroad and it’ll cost £2).
So this week I am on holiday in Orlando Florida following the awesome #FinCon18 conference. It was an event for money-blogging geeks from all over the world to network and learn from each other. I had an awesome time and I’m keen to get going on what I’ve learnt.
While I’m out here, I’m using my Curve card, and I’ll write another blog post when I’m back for how I found it.
There’s also a fab post in their blog about 9 hacks you can use a Curve card for, so why not check it out!
And if you’d like to see more of what I do, I have an awesome private Facebook group full of supportive women all with the same purpose- to look after their money better. I hope to see you in there!
Have a fab weekend!