Shock Update: Amex has pulled Curve functionality, only days after launching. Watch this space for updates. For now, it’s advised not to sign up for any non free version until more clarification is offered.
When’s it actually coming? Will it be free? Is there a limit? Today, Amex is officially back with the UK’s revolutionary Curve Card, and we finally have the answers. When Curve stopped accepting Amex, it was like the announcement that ‘Friends’ was coming to an end after its 10th season. It was a body blow, to say the least. But back in November 18′, Curve began a beta test, offering a select group of users the chance to bring Amex back. That test was successful and its now ready for mass consumption, but that’s far from the whole story developing at Curve. In fact, the entire game has changed…
There are now three tiers of Curve Card, and yes one is still free. Curve “Blue” acts just as it does now. Curve “Black” is an upgraded offering and Curve “Metal” is the premium, flagship brand with a variety of benefits and perks, in aim of justifying its monthly fee. So we’re all on the same page, here’s what continues make Curve interesting.
- You can link all your credit and debit cards onto one Curve card, which you control with an app. You can switch cards in a blink.
- You can spend abroad without paying FX fees, even on cards which charge them. Unlike other no FX cards, you can earn points on all these transactions.
- You can take out cash abroad at ATM’s with no fee, the best way to do it. You’re able to unlock real exchange rates without eating usage fees for ATM’s abroad.
- You can earn points. Curve lets you earn points at places you usually can’t, like your tax bill, or even for taking out cash.
How Amex Now Works With Curve
The big question was how Curve would reintegrate with Amex, and that’s now very clear. Curve users can “top up” their Curve balances using an Amex card. You absolutely earn Amex points on these transactions, despite silly rumors which circulated pre launch. Each card level allows different amounts of “fee free” top ups with Amex, and the “Metal” tier has no maximum. While topping up sounds annoying, you can actually set up “auto top-up”, which means even if you only have a £5 top up balance, and want to buy a £500 watch, it’ll top up automatically in real time. No effort needed. Consider it more of a technicality than a fidget.
Do Note: If you currently have the Curve app, you need to uninstall and reinstall to link your Amex card successfully, otherwise it will not work.
About the no FX fees: Curve doesn’t charge any FX fees during the week, but weekends can be hit with up to 1.5%. That’s still always going to be lower than what all cards charge. Learn more about how that works, and why it happens here, under “fee tables”.
Curve “Blue” is pretty simple. It’s basically what you have right now, if you already have Curve, with the addition of Amex acceptance. Curve “Blue” is free, but it has limits which may make a different version more useful, depending on your spending and travel habits – and your appetite for earning maximum points without any added expense!
- £200 in “fee free” ATM transactions abroad. 2% after that.
- No FX fees on up to £500 monthly credit card spend abroad. Seriously.
- 1% cash back at 3 retailers of your choosing, if you already have card.
- 0.65% fee per Amex top up, on every top up.
Our take: There are “no foreign exchange fee” credit cards for spending abroad, but they don’t allow you to earn points. Curve accomplishes the no fee goal, while allowing you to earn points from the linked card. If you don’t travel or spend much, free is always good and this version is essential for any traveler. If however you spend much more than £500 abroad or take out more than £200 in cash each month abroad, you’re *may* to want to upgrade.
Curve Black is £9.99 per month and you can cancel at any time. While most people will go “ugh” for adding fees, Curve has actually done something rather clever and created benefits which help justify the fee, and not just with points and top up stuff…
- Fee free foreign ATM transactions double to £400 per month. 2% or £2 after.
- You get £1000 in “no fee” Amex top ups each month.
- Unlimited no fee spending in 200 currencies using Mastercard or Visa.
- Travel and gadget insurance, covering delayed flights and some cracks.
Our take: If you use Amex, £4,000 per year or £333 per month in spending abroad would instantly justify the £9.99 per month or £120 a year annual fee, but you could also basically accomplish that low level of spend with the no fee “blue” version. If you do much more than that, and add in the insurance benefits, this is better. But if you’re spending much more than that you should probably consider going all the way to Metal, which is only £2.50 per month more.
At £14.99 per month, or £150 if paid annually, Curve Metal better be worth it. Arguably, it really is if you’re a big spender. That’s especially true if you’re putting major spend through your cards abroad and want points in the process. Extra especially true if that includes earning Amex points on HMRC tax bills! Annual foreign spend on an Amex over £10,000 covers the £150 annual fee, by saving you the 2.99% forex fees Amex would otherwise charge. Those would otherwise amount to £290, if not using Curve. AND, most importantly for some, it’s made of a 18g brushed metal card.
- Fee free foreign ATM access goes up to £600 free withdrawals per month.
- UNLIMITED Amex top ups, with no fee. It’s like the old days.
- Travel and gadget coverage like Curve Black, but with luggage included.
- Collision Damage Waiver Insurance for car rentals worldwide.
- Up to 60% off lounge access, via LoungeKey program.
Our take: If you’re spending £5000 abroad or more each year, the savings you gain from using Amex through Curve versus just using Amex abroad on its own instantly justify having the card.
Don’t forget, many linked Visa and Mastercard credit cards can be used to withdraw cash abroad at ATM’s, which means you earn points even when taking out cash, all with no fee. This helps to unlock spending and benefit bonuses associated with many credit cards.
You can pay absolutely your HMRC tax bill using your Curve, because it’s a debit card. Since the underlying card may be a credit card, you can earn a tremendous amount of points on unavoidable expenses.
Add in benefits like collision damage waiver, device coverage including loss and theft (and screen cracks for everything but phone) and you’ve got a very compelling package. You can choose between Rose Gold, Limited Edition Red and Blue.
Sign Up For Curve And Get £5 Free
Curve offers a new user referral bonus of £5, which is cool. Simply download the app, where you can choose which Curve product to order. When you do, enter C5CFD and you’ll get £5 after your first purchase using Curve regardless what card you choose. You can use it to buy yourself a coffee or anything else under £5, and we get £5 too for hooking up the info. Here’s how that works. Call it friends with benefits.