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Six months ago, the UK’s revolutionary Curve card was a must have for uber travel nerds. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of cards, allowing you to load all your credit cards and debit cards onto one card, and switch seamlessly via the Curve app. No more clunky wallet, but it’s uses were kinda limited beyond that.

With recent developments like 0% foreign transaction fees when you use any of your credit cards abroad via Curve, and the imminent resurgence of using Amex in the app, it’s now a must have for any UK traveler, offering ways to save money every time you travel, while earning rewards from home.

If you get the Curve Card via a friend or referral, you get £5 free, and the basic version of the card is free too which is a really cool deal. The only problem: most people don’t actually know how to unlock their free money, or how they can spend it without the risk of their card being declined!

Register For Curve Card

First, you should really learn why its awesome. For starters, you can use your credit card abroad to earn points, but dodge the foreign transaction fees your rewards credit card, or debit card, would usually charge.

Curve makes all transactions in GBP, so a card you’d usually get hit with a 3% fee when used abroad, like in Greece, won’t get hit!

That’s right, you can earn 1000’s of points abroad without paying any silly fees to earn them. If you already have Curve skip on, but if you don’t go here and enter C5CFD to get your £5 free when you sign up. It’s free and we get a £5 too, so coffee on us! *terms and conditions apply to that free coffee* ; )

Once You’re In

Once you’re in the Curve app and have received your sharp looking Curve Mastercard, you need to load a credit card or debit card to get fully set up.

From that point on, you can use Curve to spend on all your cards, just by using the app. Switching between your linked cards on Curve takes a mere second in the app.

If for example you loaded a NatWest credit or debit card, you could immediately spend on that by using your Curve card. Just select it in the app, and actually tap it, just like the finger says to officially select it. To get your £5 free, you just need to make a normal purchase with the Curve Card.

Spend Some Dough

Now that the card is selected, just go to your favorite supermarket, bar, coffee shop, clothing shop or any place you spend money, and spend some money using one of your linked credit or debit cards via your Curve card.

Your first Curve transaction MUST be done using chip & pin – aka entering your pass code, but then each transaction thereafter can be done using contactless. Curve Card has standard contactless limits, which are currently £45 in the UK.

Once you’ve done your first chip & pin transaction with a linked credit or debit card, you can switch over to your rewards on the Curve Card. Every time you refer someone, you’ll get another £5 when they make their first purchase and of course, they get £5 too, so it can be the gift that keeps on giving.

Cash In Rewards

If you want to know how much money you have in Curve Rewards, just move the decimal over twice. For example this “500 Point” balance means you have £5 to spend. Curve recently updated rewards balances to make them easier, turning them into actual money amounts, rather than “points”.


Read as: when you earn a referral to Curve Card, you’ll see £5 in your rewards, rather than 500 Points.


You can’t go over with your Curve Card Rewards purchase, otherwise it’ll be declined, or put onto a different linked card, so the best thing to do is spend just under, or make an even £5 transaction.

There’s nothing wrong with asking the bar man to put £5 on the card and the rest in cash. Again, for everyone you refer, who then gets the card and does the same, it’s another fiver for you. That can add up nicely!

To use your “free” Curve Rewards cash, just switch from your linked credit or debit card to ‘Curve Rewards’ and tap the Curve Rewards card in the app and make your transaction, just like you did above. When you’re out of free rewards, don’t forget to switch back to another card afterwards!

Do you use Curve?

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...

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10 Comments

  1. Wondering why you announce the Curve card again. I was waiting months, observing that the waiting queue increased without any chance for action. Finally I cancelled everything. IMO they are only collecting data and have no interest in new customers.

  2. Curve is an amazing app/card. You can combine all your cards in one, while also earning 1% on all spends. I can’t recommend this service enough – it’s truly revolutionary.

    Feel free to use my referral code when signing up:
    N79M7JZD (It’ll give you £5 free upon signup)

    Thank you.

  3. I really like the Curve card and can certainly recommend it. It works as a regular MasterCard, but links to any of your existing Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards. The key benefit is that it lets you use any of your existing cards abroad at a good exchange rate and without a transaction fee during weekdays (there’s a small fee at weekends). You can get £5 free when you download the Curve app and sign up using my referral code: QNVXT

  4. I’ve been using my Curve card since January 2018 and use it for nearly all my credit/debit card transactions. I’ve linked all my debit/credit cards(except American express) to my Curve card so is now the one card in my wallet. Through the app you can select which card your Curve card actually links through to(and charges to) and if you realise you’ve made a purchase linked to the wrong card you can use the Go Back In Time feature to change where the transaction is charged (within 14 days of the transaction). So if you initially charge a transaction to a linked debit card, but then realise you want to actually put the transaction on a credit card (or vice versa) you can actually use this feature.

    You can also get 1% cash back with certain retailers and although transactions made by curve aren’t covered by Section 75, they do have their own protection cover up to £100,000.

    Would certainly recommend trialing the card and seeing how good it is.

    To sign up, firstly, download the Curve Card app and sign up to order the card. If you use code KGUC1 in the sign up process then you’ll get £5 credited to your account (so do i)

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