On Monday Curve announced that all cardholders would be able to link their Amex cards to their Curve debit cards – following a successful trial.
If you have a Curve debit card you can link all of your existing Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards to it using the Curve app, to do your spending via the one card. You can see all of your spending in the app, and it can also be used as a way of spending on your credit card in places that don’t officially take credit cards
Monday’s announcement would have meant Amex holders could have linked their account to their Curve card, and used it to collect cashback and rewards in places that don’t accept Amex.
But today, Curve confirmed the link up with Amex abruptly ended on Tuesday evening.
For more information on the best credit card for you, see our Credit Card guides.
What is Curve?
Curve is a debit card that allows you to link your existing debit and credit cards to it using its app (available for Android and iOS).
Whenever you spend on the card, your respective Mastercard or Visa card is charged that amount – though you had to load an e-wallet in advance if you linked Curve to an Amex card.
There are three versions of Curve: A fee-free Blue card, a £9.99/month Black card and a £14.99/month Metal card. All are similar, though its paid-for cards offer extras such as travel insurance and higher overseas withdrawal limits.
Perhaps Curve’s biggest draw is the fact that you can use it at shops and other places which don’t accept credit cards and then charge it to your credit card (though by doing this, you lose Section 75 protection).
This is particularly useful if you’ve a rewards credit card that’ll earn you points – e.g, if you’re paying your HMRC tax bill or shopping at stores which don’t accept credit cards. However, the most generous cashback credit cards are all issued by the American Express, which is no longer supported.
Here are some other benefits of using Curve:
- Change the card you’ve used up to two weeks later. The card lets you do your everyday spending on it, and has a feature which lets you ‘go back in time’ by up to two weeks, to change the card you used for a purchase. This could be useful if you accidentally use the wrong card, or want to manage your credit.
- Lock your card and get PIN reminders in-app. If you lose your card, you can freeze it in the app, and unlock it later if you find it again. You can also get a PIN reminder by entering your password or using your fingerprint ID in the app.
- Spend and withdraw overseas fee-free. Any card you link up with Curve will offer you fee-free overseas spending and cash withdrawals – meaning you can dodge typical 3% fees charged by banks. However, it’s worth nothing that Curve applies a mark-up to its rates at weekends and free withdrawals are limited depending on which of its cards you have. See our MSE news story for how Curve’s overseas perk stacks up.
What if I had linked my Amex to Curve?
In an email to cardholders, Curve has said that any balances held in its Amex wallets will be spendable. You should also be able to withdraw your cash, but if you have any problems or queries contact Curve.
We’ve asked Amex whether its customers will still receive cashback if they spent on their Curve card when linked to an Amex cashback card, and will update when we hear back.
Why is Amex no longer supported by Curve?
The reason as to why American Express has blocked Curve is not yet clear, but in an email to its customers Curve blames Amex for the decision.
Within the email, it says: “Amex has given no good or fair reason for their decision and we believe it is entirely disproportionate and discriminatory to Curve and all our (joint) customers.”
It added: “If you have contacted us for support, we apologise for the delay in response and will endeavour to do so as soon as possible. We will update you as soon as we have any further information.
“With your interests in mind, and our mission to deliver a truly innovative product, we intend to fight Amex’s decision with our full might.”
What does American Express say?
A spokesperson said: “American Express participated in a limited Curve beta test where we enabled a small number of card members to load funds onto an e-wallet using their Amex card in the Curve app.
“Following this beta test we informed Curve that we would not participate in the further roll out of the Curve e-wallet”