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For a brief moment it looked like Curve Card might have been the ‘Free Miles Machine‘ that Miles/Points enthusiasts in the UK were waiting for. I said at the time that it was always a faint hope, and now it seems to be over before it really started. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, have a read of the article linked to above.
A while ago now (before I even received my card!) Curve introduced a £200.00 monthly limit on fee-free cash withdrawals. This was disappointing, as the ability to earn Points/Miles for free simply by withdrawing cash was the key selling point of Curve for me. The introduction of a limit wasn’t unexpected (they always had a ‘fair usage’ policy), but I had hoped for something a little higher. That said, £200.00 per month is still £2,400 a year towards minimum spend thresholds, so would still be better than nothing.
The big change announced today is that American Express have ‘paused their functionality with Curve’. In other words, you will no longer be able to use your Amex Cards through Curve, from Midday on 31st May.
Curve are (understandably), trying to downplay this as a temporary issue, but my gut reaction to the situation is that Amex has pulled out for the foreseeable future, and that this is a very bad thing. I should say that my view isn’t based on any insider knowledge, so I might be interpreting the signals incorrectly.
In my view the Curve Card had two key features: Free cash withdrawals from credit cards, and the ability to put spend on Amex cards (via your Curve Card) at places where Amex isn’t accepted directly.
I’m really not sure what they are offering that is unique anymore.
Curve are offering £35 worth of Curve Points if you have a Blue card or £50 if you have a Black card when they launch Curve Rewards, as long as you spend a total of £1000 on your Curve card over the next 3 months (see FAQs for details). Alternatively, you can cancel your account and get a refund.
There will be more analysis about the changes, and whether getting or keeping a Curve Card is still worth the money, on InsideFlyerUK later today.
In the meantime, come and discuss your thoughts about the changes, and whether Curve can survive, on the Forum; and if you haven’t seen the two emails Curve sent out this morning, here they are:
I’m Shachar, the CEO of Curve. Today we’ve got some disappointing news. American Express have asked us to pause their functionality with Curve – which means you will not be able to use your Curve card with your Amex for the time being. This begins at midday on May 31st UK time – you’ll shortly receive another email with practical details of what will happen when we pause the American Express functionality – your Curve will continue to work with MasterCard and Visa.
American Express want to ensure there is a seamless customer support process for their Members when using their Card with Curve. We’re continuing discussions with their management, and hope that American Express decide to come back to Curve soon.
We’re continuing to build something big at Curve. The first ever platform to connect you to your everything money – transforming the way you handle your finances, bringing value and saving you time and money. We’re already connecting up all your bank cards, tracking your expenses in real time and saving you money with zero FX fees when you travel. This is just the beginning – we’re working hard on future features such as the ability to move charges between funding cards after you’ve paid, bespoke loyalty rewards and cash-backs, peer-to peer payments and much more.
As a big thank you for being one of Curve’s early adopters we are giving Blue card members £35 and Black card members £50 worth of Curve Points if you spend a total of £1000 over the next three months. You’ll be able to spend your Curve Points at any merchant that accepts MasterCard using your Curve. Please see our FAQs for further details.
We hope you choose to stay with us to continue the exciting journey we’ve begun together. Please write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
I’ll keep you updated.