a group of credit cards
Let's cut to the chase. Some links on this site pay us referral fees for sending business and sales. We value your time and money and won't waste it. For our complete advertising policy, click here. The content on this page is not provided by any companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

1% cash back on top of your other credit card rewards? That’s a combo…

Let’s take a second to clarify one thing into crystal: Curve is a clever payment method which now allows you to earn rewards on top of any other rewards you’d earn from your credit card spending. It looks like a normal (well, cool looking) debit card, but it’s far from ordinary. For starters: you can load all your Visa or Mastercard credit cards onto this one card and use them.

While that’s cool and all, the thing that’s very cool is that when you load your credit or debit cards onto Curve, you can switch which one you’re paying with in an instant, using the app. Why do this? Doing so lets you avoid fees your card would usually get charged, like pesky foreign transaction fees, because Curve makes things appear as normal transactions.

That’s the brilliance: Curve charges all your transactions in your local currency as if you’re at home, so even when you’re abroad you won’t get charged the crazy 3% foreign transaction fees your credit card may charge, even if you use that card! Still scratching your head?

Curve has just taken things a step further, with unlimited 1% cash back on top of what your rewards card already earns you, which means it’s time to take a serious look…

a credit card next to a piece of woodWhat’s Changed With Curve

Curve offers three different tiers of card: free, black and metal. All customers have been able to make use of 90 days of 1% cash back on a few merchants of their choosing, but now that cash back offer is being extended in an enticing way, to the tune of indefinitely.

  • Curve Free still gets 1% cash back for 90 days on three retailers you choose.
  • Curve Black now gets 1% cash back indefinitely on three retailers you choose.
  • Metal now jumps to 1% cash back indefinitely on six retailers you choose.

WTF does that mean?

It means you get to pick six merchants from quite an extensive list and when you spend on Curve at any of those 3-6 merchants, you’ll earn 1% cash back instantly on top of any standard rewards. Again, if you were using a rewards earning Mastercard or Visa, like the IHG or Virgin Atlantic credit cards, you’d still earn those rewards too – this is just a very juicy supplement for being clever and using Curve.

Using the Virgin Atlantic Mastercard as an example, you’d earn 1.5 Virgin Miles per £1 spent, but you’d also earn £1 back on each purchase, via Curve. That’s a power duo. 

Talking strategy, you’d definitely want to pick the merchants you actually spend the most money with, like perhaps a Booking.com rather than Costa Coffee. Think sales volume, not frequency. If you spent £10,000 a year at these merchants, you’d earn an extra £100 back, on top of all the miles. The more, the merrier.

Don’t forget you also earn £5 every time someone signs up using your link ; )

The whole “instant” thing is cool, because waiting a month for cash back is boring. Here’s a complete list of all the merchants offering the 1% cash back opportunity, so choose wisely!

a bridge over a canal with buildings and boatsDoes 1% Justify The Curve Card Fees?

If you spring for black or metal, this actually helps to justify a whole lot of everything. You instantly transform your current credit card into one that earns an extra 1% rebate on purchases. That’s good. As far as justifying the annual Curve fees, it can help a lot too. Curve Free is free, Curve black is £9.99 a month and Curve Metal is best paid as a £150 annual fee. The reasons to potentially justify a Curve monthly or annual fee include….

  • The 1% cash back, which can cover some or all of the card fees.
  • The 0-0.5% foreign exchange charges, rather than 2.5-3% on every transaction abroad, which allows you to keep earning points on vacation spend without paying for it and amounts to huge savings.
  • The ability to earn points by paying your HMRC taxes with Curve, while using an underlying credit card to earn points from paying your tax bill. Yes, points for taxes!
  • Worldwide travel insurance (Black, Metal), electronic gadget insurance (Black, Metal).
  • Up to £800 in fee free ATM withdrawals abroad per month using Curve.
  • Being able to refer new users and earn £5 each time. For example, if you don’t have Curve and enter C5CFD when you sign up, I’ll get £5. You’ll then get a code and can do the same for all your friends when they sign up. Voila!

In short, if you spent £1000 per month at your 3-6 retailers, depending on which Curve card you go for, you’d be looking at £10 back in cash back each month. That’s £120 right there, and obviously the more you spend the better.

That instantly justifies the Curve Black, and goes a long way to justifying Metal. When you add in savings from spending abroad without foreign transaction fees and the other bits like earning points from tax, it’s pretty damn compelling.

Enter C5CFD to get £5 to spend when you get your card. You get your free latte and we do too…

If only Curve took Amex ; /

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. Might have been useful before contactless payment became widespread. I’m afraid the ship has already sailed. Who needs this now?

  2. Does anyone know if this can be used with US based cards? I can register an account since I have family living in Poland.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *