GET €5 for FREE after your first transaction when you apply for the Curve card using my link.
About a month ago I received an invitation to try the Curve App and card (Curve Card Sweden). I was a bit skeptical in the beginning since I had seen for a long time announcements for several new virtual banks such as Revolut, N26, Klarna, etc. that work as pre-paid debit cards and offer you accounts in multiple currencies at zero or very low fees.
Personally, I think the initiative is great since it moves away from big banks that are very structured and charge high maintenance and transaction fees. These new virtual banks go towards a lower-cost alternative, which is great for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small/medium businesses.
On the other hand, despite of the initiative, I never felt attracted to these cards because of their lack of rewards (points or miles). Even though some of them let you fill them up with a Credit Card, the transaction (in most cards) is considered a cash advance or ATM withdrawal, and no points will be earned with the transaction. Then, for me, this means losing a huge opportunity to earn points for your purchases.
However, when I finally took the time to get familiar with Curve, the initiative is completely different: it is not a prepaid debit card that you have to top up (well, technically in their website they say it is); instead, it is a credit card aggregator. In fact, it is the only credit card aggregator in the market today.
What is Curve?
The idea behind Curve is that you can connect all your existing credit and debit cards to it. Then you can just use Curve at the store / online, and the transaction will end up in the card you select in the mobile app. I did a quick test and after downloading the app I was able to successfully connect my Nordea debit card, SAS EuroBonus Mastercard World Premium, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard, and Bank Norwegian Visa:
Once a card is selected as a payment method, the curve logo will appear on top of the card, and below you will be able to see a list of all the transactions made with those cards. Curve also supports cards in multiple currencies (not all, but a lot of them). This means that you can add cards from multiple countries / issuing banks and you will pay no foreign exchange fees when purchasing through Curve.
If they don’t support the currency or the country, keep in mind that the transaction will appear in GBP, since the company is from the UK. In my case, for example, I also have some credit cards from Argentina which I can connect to Curve. However, if I buy something in USD with Curve, then they will convert that amount to GBP and charge it to my Argentinean card. Then my bank will convert back from GBP to USD (because all foreign currency expenses appear in USD) in the monthly statement. This means I’ll be losing some money due to the double currency exchange, so it’s better to keep an eye on this.
Another major caveat is that American Express is not supported. It was, but they had to remove it for a while, hopefully, this will be added back in the near future.
On the bright side, Curve has some neat features. One of them is the ability to categorize your expenses into personal / business on the fly, and afterward, get a breakdown of your spending per category and expense type. In Sweden, you can currently do this using other apps like Tink.
Another sweet one is what they call Go Back in Time, which lets you move one transaction already made to a different card. You can do this 14 days after the transaction was made and up to £1000, they’ll refund the original card and move to the new card. It’s a great feature if you don’t have your phone or internet connection to change the underlying card in the Curve app, or if you want to move things around close to the stated deadlines.
Finally, Curve allows you to get 1% cash back on all your purchases for the first 30 days. If you upgrade to the Curve Black version, this benefit will be unlimited, and they also add travel and electronics insurance.
I was able to get some extra cashback in Marriott International, H&M, and Amazon. You simply pay with Curve and you’ll earn Curve Cash (which shows as another card in your wallet app). This will also earn you points or miles.
My experience so far has been very positive. I’ll be doing a full review on YouTube, but for now here are some quick impressions.
Main advantages of the Curve Card
- Simplifies your wallet. I was able to reduce the cards in my wallet and only bring the Curve and my American Express with me, while still having the option to use my other 10+ cards if I want to.
- You can still earn points and miles! Curve passes the merchant code to the underlying card, which means that the transactions are not considered as a cash advance. The original transaction code will be kept and your credit card issuer will issue points or miles for the purchase
- It’s more secure for online shopping. If your card is stolen or lost you can easily lock it or freeze it. When you buy online you won’t be unveiling the underlying card numbers, only the Curve numbers, which are much more disposable.
- Go Back in Time
- 1% cash back for 30 days
- Send money to friends and share expenses. Easily find friends and send them Curve cash or split expenses with other Curve users.
- Refer family and friends and get 1% for 30 days since they sign up. Tell your friends about Curve and get some money back (they will also get it).
Main disadvantages of Curve
- No American Express: hope they add this feature back in the near future
No Apple Pay: Yes! Since 2020 they now support Apple Pay.
- Some are currencies not supported (Argentinean ARS cards are charged in GBP, as well as all other cards
- Be careful with buyer’s protection and insurance. Many mid or high-end cards offer payment protection or insurance for whatever you buy: a trip, an electronic gadget, a car, etc. If you buy them with Curve, the underlying card will see Curve as an intermediary (not a direct purchase), and for most cards, this will break the protection or insurance included. Curve tries to compensate for this by adding 100.000€ Customer Protection, but it is not the same protection as you have from your original card. For now, I’d advise restricting Curve usage to more daily expenses (groceries, transportation, dining, etc.), while keeping using your original card for major expenses that must be covered by payment protection and insurance.
Wrap up – Curve Card Sweden
Hope this info helps for now. I will be posting a full review soon with a more advanced walk-through. You can give it a shot for free, and if you use my promo code you’ll get some Curve Cash for free for the referral.
Try Curve using my link and get €6 for FREE.