Curve Card Coming To USA: Join Waitlist To Earn More Rewards

Curve Card Coming To USA: Join Waitlist To Earn More Rewards

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Curve has plans to launch in the United States in the near future, and it could prove super lucrative if it does in fact happen. I’m not holding my breath until it officially launches, since there are so many finance concepts that seem to be in the “startup” stage forever — for example, what happened to the X1 Credit Card?

Regardless, I’d recommend getting on the Curve waitlist, as it will give you an extra bonus if/when it launches, and there’s no obligation to actually get the product. If Curve enters the market, it could be a game-changer for many people using rewards credit cards.

What is Curve?

The concept behind Curve is fascinating — it’s a credit card you can make payments with, and it can be linked to your rewards credit card. Here’s the general idea when you get Curve:

  • Curve allows you to link credit cards from Mastercard, Visa, Diners, and Discover (American Express is excluded for now)
  • Then you can make all of your purchases with your Curve credit card, rather than using individual credit cards — essentially Curve pays the merchant, and then Curve charges your credit card
  • One of your designated individual credit cards will be charged through Curve for those purchases — transactions will still show up on your individual credit cards, but there will be a note making it clear that the purchase was through Curve, though you’ll still earn bonus points based on the merchant you made the purchase with
  • There are plenty of advantages to using Curve — there are no foreign transaction fees, you can switch the card you paid with for a period of 30 days, Curve offers contactless technology, and more

The concept might sound wild, though Curve has existed in the United Kingdom for a while, so this has been tried and tested elsewhere. We just haven’t seen it in the United States yet.

What are the benefits of using Curve?

Above I explained some of the basic features of Curve, though let me give some more concrete examples:

  • The Citi Double Cash is the best card for everyday spending, but it has foreign transaction fees; you could use Curve to make payments abroad with no foreign transaction fees, and then have it charged to the Citi Double Cash
  • If you’re looking to maximize credit card rewards, you can change the card you’ve used to pay for a purchase for 30 days; this can be useful if you didn’t use a card with the right bonus category, or if you have a spouse who isn’t great at using the right credit card for the right kinds of purchases
  • If you join the Curve waitlist now (more on that below) you can earn 1% back on purchases for the first six months, in addition to your credit card rewards

How does Curve make money?

You might be thinking to yourself “this sounds too good to be true, so what’s the catch, and how does Curve make money?” Well, that’s a great question.

Like so many companies nowadays, I’m guessing the answer is that Curve probably won’t make money, or at least isn’t looking to make money directly from consumers. I’m guessing venture capital companies will be funding these rewards, and that this is a play for collecting data on consumers, market share, etc.

Curve waitlist & refer-a-friend program

There are two potential benefits to getting on the Curve waitlist by September 6, 2021, and also to referring others to join:

  • All beta users who join the waitlist will receive an additional 1% cash back on every purchase for the first six months, in addition to the credit card rewards that they earn
  • The people in the top 100 spots on the waitlist will receive 10% cash back on their purchases for the first six months, for a total of up to $1,000 in rewards; for each person you refer, your spot on the list goes up by 100 places

Note that for the 1-10% cash back, paying taxes, paying for insurance, or buying gift cards, won’t qualify for that bonus.

OMAAT readers are also welcome to leave their referral codes in the comments section, so that others can use them.

Bottom line

Curve plans on entering the United States market in the near future, and it could prove very useful for anyone collecting miles & points. Curve essentially lets you use a single payment card, and then link several other cards so that you can maximize your rewards with every transaction.

If you join the waitlist now, you’ll even be able to earn 1% cashback on your purchases for the first six months, on top of the credit card rewards you usually earn. There’s plenty of long-term value beyond that, like no foreign transaction fees (which pairs nicely with cards that are rewarding but have foreign transaction fees), the chance to change which card you use for transactions after the fact, and more.

Hopefully Curve does actually launch in the United States in the near future, and doesn’t stay in “startup” mode forever.

What do you make of Curve? Could you see yourself using it?

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  1. Clifford

    I've had the Curve card in Europe for a few years. I've not used it extensively, and I had an issue once where I tried to pay using the Curve card, and the money was taken from the backing credit card, but the payment didn't go through at the merchant. I complained and got a refund from Curve, but the issue has put me off using it too much going forward.

  2. Chris Muncy

    Coin was just hardware for lack of a better term. I had one and loved it and was disappointed when it shut down.

  3. Nick

    Being a Brit, I have held a Curve card for four years now, and your right, once you get your head around the way it works... It is simply amazing. So personally would recommend looking at the "waitlist". And btw I am not employed or have any connection to Curve, only someone who has the card as a general consumer and happy with what it offers.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Nick, you’re very enthusiastic, but non-specific, what is “amazing” about it?

    2. Marcus

      One thing that would appeal to me is that I would only have to remember one PIN, i.e. the Curve PIN. Also, here in the UK there's only a very limited number of debit and credit cards that do not charge foreign exchange fees (luckily I've got those). The ones that do typically charge 2.99% and sometimes a flat fee of £1 or £2 on top of that. In their T&C's they say they use...

      One thing that would appeal to me is that I would only have to remember one PIN, i.e. the Curve PIN. Also, here in the UK there's only a very limited number of debit and credit cards that do not charge foreign exchange fees (luckily I've got those). The ones that do typically charge 2.99% and sometimes a flat fee of £1 or £2 on top of that. In their T&C's they say they use a fair exchange rate collected from their wholesale provider. I don't know though how that compares to the true Mastercard exchange rate.

    3. Never In Doubt

      That makes some sense if your options for no intl fee cards are so limited.

      That’s not really a problem for Americans.

    4. Callum

      It's not remotely amazing. I've had it for years too and very rarely use it.

      I can see why people like it (no FX fees on weekdays, swapping transactions between cards), but it has been gutted from what it originally was and is now largely pointless.

  4. Tracy

    Can the underlying card be in another person's name? (Essentially can the Curve card act like an FX-free supp card?)

    1. Sam G

      I don't know about officially but I've had no problems doing this. Note that each card can only be added to one persons Curve account. This causes issues if your supps have exactly the same card details as you as only one of you can add the card to your Curve account

    2. Tracy

      I see, still sounds good though, thanks very much!

  5. iamhere

    What would the transaction be classified as?

  6. Steven L.

    If Curve is making the payment and then in turn charging your credit card, the transaction is settled between the card issuer and Curve instead of the card issuer and the merchant, right? What happens to the insurance, purchase protection, and other benefits that would otherwise normally apply?

    Do bonus point categories still work? What about more specific cases like adding a World of Hyatt credit to Curve and using the Curve card at a...

    If Curve is making the payment and then in turn charging your credit card, the transaction is settled between the card issuer and Curve instead of the card issuer and the merchant, right? What happens to the insurance, purchase protection, and other benefits that would otherwise normally apply?

    Do bonus point categories still work? What about more specific cases like adding a World of Hyatt credit to Curve and using the Curve card at a Hyatt; would I still get the bonus points there?

    1. Klavs

      Those are questions that we don't currently know the answer to.
      I have been using it in the Europe until recently when my bank dropped fx charges. Curve does pass on some merchant ID's as some of my payment do register as specific purchases under the auto accounting at my bank. It isn't full proof in my experience.

  7. Polarbear

    If they pay first, then route to my actual card, wouldn’t my actual card see a charge from Curve, not the actual merchant?
    If I change the actual card on day 29, would not the new card see it as transaction on day 29, thus extending grace period?

  8. Erik

    Curve's Customer Support is only available by email and their Customer Service is about the worst I've experienced. Would not use Curve Again if you paid me.

    Think the chances of Curve launching in the US are low and the probability of Curve being able to continue to do business in the US if launched are even less.

  9. Eskimo

    Somebody please explain to me how adding another middle man would benefit me or make the transaction fees lower?

    I get that you have the intro 1% for 6 months, then what?
    What about the more you refer, the higher on the list. This is a new Ponzi?

    Another startup trying to solve a problem that we don't have.

    1. Klavs

      The product is more useful in the EU market where they started with many banks having fx fees.
      I think this might be useful more to people of lower income levels/credit score who might not have access to credit cards without fx charges. It has always been a niche product and in most cases will stay that way.

    2. Eskimo

      LOL, no fx charges?
      Did anyone care to tell us what fx rates will be used?
      I would be more than happy to pay fx fees over dynamic currency conversion all the time.

      I agree about the niche product, but how will they even survive. I have tendency to not give personal information to companies that would likely fail. Yes, they protect your privacy. But up until they cease operations, and after maybe the highest bidder?

  10. Alan

    I've used Curve for a couple of years now in the UK - my referral link is http://www.curve.app/join#GSVVI

  11. dalo

    I must be missing something. The Citi Double Cash is cited but, the Capitol One Venture gets 2X for everything. Is the Double Cash actually better than the Venture?

    1. Never In Doubt

      No, I think Ben just wanted to use an example of a common card with an intl transaction fee that would be "improved" by the Curve product.

    2. Mark

      I’ve had Venture and currently use Double Cash. They’re both good cards with 2% rewards. The only downsides to Double Cash are the foreign transaction fee, and the $25 minimum for cashing in a reward. Otherwise, I prefer Double Cash because $25 cash is a little more useful than applying $25 to travel expenses, and Venture charges an annual fee of nearly $100. Even though Venture will reimburse you for a Global Entry application, that's...

      I’ve had Venture and currently use Double Cash. They’re both good cards with 2% rewards. The only downsides to Double Cash are the foreign transaction fee, and the $25 minimum for cashing in a reward. Otherwise, I prefer Double Cash because $25 cash is a little more useful than applying $25 to travel expenses, and Venture charges an annual fee of nearly $100. Even though Venture will reimburse you for a Global Entry application, that's still less flexible than a cash rebate.

    3. Mark

      The Double Cash is better than the Venture for one reason: No annual fee. But it does have foreign transaction fees (unlike any cap one card).

  12. rsa127

    As European user of Curve for 2 years and 20+ card Business specialist I can say:
    1. Curve will never make money, they will always bring losses. Fees they need to pay are significantly higher than income from interchange. As consumer obviously I don’t care :-).
    2. It is not exactly true there are no currency exchange fees. Curve charges extra over weekend. Also there is a fee if you exceed quite low...

    As European user of Curve for 2 years and 20+ card Business specialist I can say:
    1. Curve will never make money, they will always bring losses. Fees they need to pay are significantly higher than income from interchange. As consumer obviously I don’t care :-).
    2. It is not exactly true there are no currency exchange fees. Curve charges extra over weekend. Also there is a fee if you exceed quite low monthly limit.
    3. There is no way that issuer of linked card will treat purchase as made in particular merchant. It will always see it as Curve payment. So no increased bonus if you paid at the hotel for example.
    4. Personally I use possibility to change card charged quite a lot.

    1. Sam G

      3. isn't quite that simple - Curve passes the MCC , so if it's a travel spend then you'd get the bonus points if you use a travel bonus card for example. But if you get points for spending at a Marriott then that won't work as you're right, they see it as *CRV Marriott XYZ instead of Marriott

    2. Mark

      Please explain “Curve charges extra over weekend.”

    3. Marcus

      This is copied from the UK terms and conditions:

      "Weekend exchange rate. This is the rate at the time the markets are closed in London, UK. It will apply from the time the markets close until they open again."

      I assume they add a little something to the exchange rate they use (and charge your account with) in case it moves unfavourably before Monday (when they have to settle with their wholesale currency provider).

  13. John

    So, can it route grocery transactions to a certain card, travel to another, dining to another?

    1. Never In Doubt

      No.

      Where did you get that idea?

      But that *would* actually be a benefit!

    2. Never In Doubt

      Maybe what confused you is the ability to *change* what card a transaction was routed to *after* the fact.

      That seems to be a small benefit, but, again, how complicated is your life if you regularly need to do something like that?

    3. Alan

      Quarterly categories change. Overall cards get refreshes where categories change. You may need a specific type of transferrable point for an upcoming redemption. Your authorized users (such as a spouse) may prefer to use a single card, leaving points on the table.

      There are any number of potential reasons this could come in handy. I'd be excited for the idea of going through once a week and making sure the most lucrative card was used...

      Quarterly categories change. Overall cards get refreshes where categories change. You may need a specific type of transferrable point for an upcoming redemption. Your authorized users (such as a spouse) may prefer to use a single card, leaving points on the table.

      There are any number of potential reasons this could come in handy. I'd be excited for the idea of going through once a week and making sure the most lucrative card was used for every purchase. Leaving points on the table is giving away money.

  14. LTL

    Isn't this basically like Coin, which promised something similar and then launched in 2015 only to shut down in 2016?

    1. Steven L.

      Not really. Coin was a product that actively mimicked whatever cards you copied onto it; the payment terminal wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the Coin and the real card. Coin died because unlike with old magnetic stripe cards, you can’t easily copy over the information from a chip card, and this was post-Target hack when all the card issuers started pushing hard for chip reader terminals.

      Meanwhile, this thing behaves as a...

      Not really. Coin was a product that actively mimicked whatever cards you copied onto it; the payment terminal wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the Coin and the real card. Coin died because unlike with old magnetic stripe cards, you can’t easily copy over the information from a chip card, and this was post-Target hack when all the card issuers started pushing hard for chip reader terminals.

      Meanwhile, this thing behaves as a passthrough, slurping up all your transaction data. Coin was a little gimmicky; this is much, much worse. Honestly it’s disappointing to see Ben promoting this.

  15. ovacikar

    İt is a credit card , read the updated t&c

    Joining the waitlist to apply for a Curve credit card does not guarantee eligibility for the card.

  16. Jim F.

    Isn't the U.S. Curve product going to be a credit rather than a debit card and, if so, how does this change the value proposition?

  17. Tiny wallet

    @Never In Doubt - only ever having to carry a single card, but being able to maximize rewards by putting each purchase on the best card for it, would be pretty big for me. Even when I have carried several different rewards cards, I have a hard time keeping track of which is best to use at a given time.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Don’t have Apple Pay or Google/Android Pay?

      If your use of in person physical cards is so complex/burdensome because of the vast number of them, you’re doing it wrong.

      You’re also confused, nothing about Curve helps you “keep track of which is best”.

    2. LukeCT

      If you're not sure what the MCC is, you could put the spend on Curve first, then redirect the spend to the card with the bonus cat after.

    3. Never In Doubt

      Edge case at best!

      But I guess if you're making lots of big charges with uncertain coding (really?), and micromanaging the f**k out of them, this is the offer for you!

  18. Never In Doubt

    Best of luck with the referral clicks, but except for “eliminate intl transaction fees from a card”, which is likely an edge case for most OMAAT readers, where’s the benefit?

    1. henare

      The benefit is that you can lose your Curve and whoever finds it has access to a whole bunch of your cards! :)

    2. Nick

      No they can't. Only if they have the app, your password and secondary authentication details AND they have gone through a series of questions and answers when you install the app and get all of them right. So I feel better security than most credit card companies...5

  19. James

    Do you think this can be used for rent payments for landlords that accept debit cards?

    1. ovacikar

      It's a credit card, according to the T&C

      Joining the waitlist to apply for a Curve credit card does not guarantee eligibility for the card.

    2. Nick

      Yes in the UK it can be as long as the card that you nominate to take the payment has enough cash in that account.

Featured Comments Load all 46 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

dalo

I must be missing something. The Citi Double Cash is cited but, the Capitol One Venture gets 2X for everything. Is the Double Cash actually better than the Venture?

LTL

Isn't this basically like Coin, which promised something similar and then launched in 2015 only to shut down in 2016?

Never In Doubt

Don’t have Apple Pay or Google/Android Pay? If your use of in person physical cards is so complex/burdensome because of the vast number of them, you’re doing it wrong. You’re also confused, nothing about Curve helps you “keep track of which is best”.

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