[Updates] Curve Is Coming: Get On The Waitlist

Update from Nick 8/14/21: Curve has made some interesting updates to the referral promotion and to the terms and conditions. The short story is that referrals now bump you up 100 places each, there will be a cap of $1,000 back if you make it to the top 100 (i.e. $1K back on $10K spend), the waitlist promo ends on September 6th (indicating that we’ll probably see a launch of the card in the very near future) and there are some additional restrictions about transactions that will not qualify for 10% back. Note also that we have received word that Curve will be a credit card, not a debit card. See more details under the update to the “key terms” section of Stephen’s original post below.

The Curve card is popular in some quarters in the UK as a way to earn additional rewards on your credit card payments. It’s due to launch in the US and they’ve opened up a waitlist for anyone interested in getting a card.

Curve Card

The Deal

Key Terms

Update from Nick 8/14/21: There have been updates to the full Curve USA Waitlist Terms & Conditions page. The big takeaways are:

  • You now move up 100 spots for every referral
  • Your position at 11:59 EDT on September 6, 2021 will determine whether or not you’re in the top 100
  • The 10% cashback is limited to $1,000 back
  • Gift card purchases will be excluded from earning cashback according to the terms. Surprisingly, so will some other large expense categories like insurance premiums and paying taxes. I assume that this part of the terms also applies to the 1% cashback you earn for 6 months just for joining the waitlist. It will be interesting to see how closely that gets enforced.
  • Terms below indicate that you must pass a credit check and that underwriting restrictions apply. We had expected the Curve card to be a debit card, but we have received word that Curve is a credit card. While things like the Go Back In Time feature and the ability to carry one card “to rule them all” are still appealing, it may be hard to justify using a 5/24 slot on Curve unless it comes with long-term rewards and/or some type of welcome bonus.

Quick Thoughts

Curve has the potential to be an interesting addition to your wallet for a number of reasons. It works in a somewhat similar way to PayPal Key in that it’s a single debit credit card number that you can use for your transactions, but you can link many of your credit cards to it and have payment taken from one of those cards instead, thereby earning credit card rewards. One key difference between Curve and PayPal Key is that Curve provides you with a physical card which enables you to conduct in-store transactions.

On top of your regular credit card rewards, Curve will be offering 1% cashback for the first six months of getting the card. That’s a great bonus, especially because there’s no cap listed (as of right now) on how much cashback you can earn during that six month period.

For every person that you refer, you’ll be bumped 50 100 places up the waitlist. If you’re in the top 100 people on the waitlist by the time the card launches, you’ll earn 10% cashback for the first six months. Note that you’d have to refer a lot of people to do that though. When I joined the waitlist the other day, the email confirmation from Curve stated that I’m in 13,109th place. I’d therefore need to refer more than 250 125 people – with people above me not referring anyone – in order to crack the top 100 which seems unlikely.

Curve is advertising an interesting feature called Go Back In Time. This enables you to change payment method up to 30 days after you’ve made a purchase from one card to another. If this works in the way that it sounds, it could be a useful way of meeting the minimum spend requirement for a new card’s welcome bonus. For example, have you ever had an unplanned large expense but weren’t able to get a new credit card in time to pay for it? If so, Curve could solve that problem. You could pay for the purchase with whatever existing card you want, then when your new card arrives you could add that card and have the payment taken from that instead, thereby helping you meet the minimum spend requirement.

a screen shot of a card

The Go Back In Time feature could also be helpful if you have a Player 2 who isn’t very interested in keeping track of bonused spend categories. Rather than labeling their cards to let them know which card should be used for groceries, which should be used for gas, etc., you could just have them pay for everything using a Curve card. You can then switch up the backing card for each transaction after the purchase; while that introduces a little more hassle for you, it can help you maximize your rewards while ensuring your partner doesn’t get annoyed by having to keep track of multiple cards in their wallet.

Depending on how Curve reports transactions, you might be able to see how certain purchases code which will also help maximize rewards. You might not know ahead of time if a winery will code as dining, entertainment or something else, but if that can be seen after your purchase then you can change the payment card accordingly to take advantage of bonused spend categories.

The fact that Curve is a debit card could be helpful for times when debit card transactions are required or preferred over credit card transactions. For example, tax payments made using a debit card have lower fees than when paying with a credit card. With Curve you should get the best of both worlds – you can pay by credit card (as that’s what Curve will draw from), but provided the tax payment service does indeed regard Curve as a debit card you’ll only be charged a small fee rather than the ~2% credit card feeUpdate: We have received word that Curve will be a credit card. Furthermore, terms indicate that tax payments will not earn Curve cashback rewards.

One limitation of Curve is that only Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards will be supported. When they added support for American Express in the UK, Amex promptly shut down their ability to do that, much like they took a dim view of PayPal Key. It’s therefore highly unlikely that Amex will be any more amenable to Curve once it launches in the US, so that’s something to bear in mind.

Curve is also advertising that they have no foreign exchange fees. That could be useful if you have cards that carry those fees because it means that adding them as a backing card for Curve will effectively mean that you can make overseas purchases without incurring that fee by using your Curve card.

Seeing as the card hasn’t actually launched in the US yet, it remains to be seen how smoothly this all runs. Still, it’d be worth joining the waitlist because only people on that list will earn 1% additional cashback for the first six months, plus there’s no obligation to get the card once it’s launched.

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Rob A.

I have had and been using my card for a few weeks now. When it works – it’s super cool. The ‘go back in time’ is awesome for the few mistakes. Unfortunately, a few key purchases didn’t go through and went to the curve credit. When I contacted Curve they said the merchant declined the transaction… seems to happen randomly with a few of my Mastercard linked cards. That means I lost out on the decent % from those cards (only got the 1% temporary curve bonus). I’ll keep using it and hope it is more consistent.
FYI – had to contact customer service a few times and they were awesome.


Just got my invite! It’s a credit card issued by Hatch Bank with rates from 12.99% – 24.99%, but your actual Curve limit will only be about $500 if it’s anything like mine


One other point, you can use it as a debit card to pay bills, taxes, etc. It used to be free in the UK to pay your taxes and other areas where credit cards normally don’t work or cost to work. You can still use it that way with the two lower cards but there is a 2-3% charge.

They realized it was costing them money to do it that way. Now you can still use it free as a debit card but you have to upgrade your curve card to the highest tier which is around £15 (~$20) a month in the UK. Maybe you will find it useful. The 2 non-free Curve cards also offer different benefits. I imagine they will go with the same kind of thing in the US but with some different features that would apply more to Americans than Brits.

The other small down side is that you can only get ONE card for an account. I wanted to give one to my wife as well as use it myself requested one but they informed me that is not a possibility at this time.

I recommend googling the curve card in the UK and seeing how they have it structured.

James Walters

I have a UK Curve card which has my UK and USA cards connected in the app. Curve is a wonderful idea. However, it can be buggy at times. Their customer service is horrible. If they expect to be successful in the USA with their same service level, well it won’t be sustainable as Americans will not tolerate a 2-3 day response time for a fraudulent charge.

[…] Update: Referrals for Curve now bump you 100 places on the wait list rather than 50 spots (ends September 6, 2021), and terms explain that cash back on top of your usual rewards won’t be awarded for paying taxes or insurance or buying gift cards. (HT: Frequent Miler) […]


İt is a credit card, not debit:

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

[…] Update: Referrals for Curve now bump you 100 places on the wait list rather than 50 spots (ends September 6, 2021), and terms explain that cash back on top of your usual rewards won’t be awarded for paying taxes or insurance or buying gift cards. (HT: Frequent Miler) […]


As a Former Curve User I can assure you Curve’s Customer Service is about the worst I’ve experienced. Only reachable by email and very poorly trained. Think the Hype about Curve launching in the US is just that Hype.

If Curve does launch in the US, Curve’s poor Customer Service will ensure they are shut down fairly quickly.


I have been living in the UK for 2 years now and have the basic free Curve card (there are tier levels you can pay a monthly fee for which might be interesting for some but I don’t find it worth it – google it to see the differences). I only use the Curve card for all my transactions (unless it is AmEx). It really cuts down on your wallet size. The Back in Time is an excellent. It works like a charm moving purchases from one card to another. You can only move it ONCE. You can even use it with your ATM card without a fee (if your bank charges one).

The only bad thing I noticed is that you can’t do Back in Time if the charges are in different currencies. Example: I mainly use my USA cards in the UK and set those without a foreign transaction fee to charge in GBP. But if I have a Flex Freedom (which does have a fee) set to charge in USD I cannot move that purchase to my Chase Reserve card set in GBP.

I can’t wait to see what kind of “angles” you are able to figure out using this card in the USA.


Interesting. I wonder how things like car rental insurance will work if you pay with curve, and it’s linked to a travel card that includes insurance. The high end curve card has insurance, but no way anyone in the game would subscribe to that- too many other options already included with cards you probably already have.

Mist Soalar

Can you add VGC/MCGC?


I see Costco in their promo materials. Does this mean the Curve “debit” card will be on the Visa network? Looking at details on the UK card it has the Mastercard logo. I’m curious if/how this could work at retailers like Costco who have exclusive relationships with Visa.


Wow, somehow my # is under 4k. I think I must’ve signed up for this last summer when very tentative info became available

Last edited 2 years ago by dizzy

Im having a hard time figuring out how they make money? Is there a fee for the service yearly?


So I went ahead and looked at the euro versions of the card. https://www.curve.com/legal/terms/
2/3 charge a monthly fee of 10 euro or higher, the free blue one is interesting to me though, it does not have the 1% back at select merchants the other two have. So I guess a few things to watch:
1) Would the consumer who signs up have to pay the CC fees for linked cards per transaction (negating some managed spend benefit)?
2) Would it work for big transactions like rent, even if needed to pay a lower fee (CC % transaction fee – 1% back from 6 month promo) It still may make sense with certain rewards cards for 6 months.


A debit card that pulls from a credit card…. I’ll use it responsibly I swear