Why you need Curve and how to get it now

Get £5 by using the code NOMAD when signing up for Curve

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://nomadgate.com/get-curve/

Nice article @tkrunning! I just signed up for a Curve Black card :partying_face:


1 Like

But due to how Curve works, even ATM withdrawals with your Curve card will look like online transactions to your bank or credit card issuer, so they won’t apply any fees!

This is no longer true.

You’re right Ian, to a certain extent. Curve recently launched their Dynamic MCC system (which I’ve now updated the article to reflect), which passes along more information to your bank or CC issuer. Depending on how your bank codes the transaction, they might add their regular ATM or cash advance fees.

EDIT: Actually, it seems many credit card issuers actually don’t charge you for ATM withdrawals through Curve, even after the changes went live. Below is the data I’ve been able to gather so far.

List of banks NOT charging ATM/cash advance fees:

  • N26 (EU), withdrawals are coded as Insurances & Finances, not ATM.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve (US), withdrawals are coded as Uncategorized, no cash advance fee/interest added, earns points (1x)
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus (US), coded as POI Funding Transaction, no fees/interest charged, earning points (2x)
  • HSBC credit card (UK), according to HFP reader
  • Creation credit cards (UK), according to HFP

In addition, it’s still useful for banks who only charge for ATM withdrawals in other currencies or outside Europe (e.g. ActivoBank).

List of banks charging such fees:

  • Tesco Bank Credit Card (UK) charging 2.95% cash advance fee, according to HFP reader

Please respond if you have additional data points. :bowing_man:

Does Curve work with absolutely any other Mastercard or Visa?

It should support any debit or credit MasterCard and Visa. Only some prepaid cards are supported (like e.g. Revolut), however.

1 Like

@tkrunning This may be a silly follow up question. Or to any other members who may know.

So any Mastercard or visa? Does this apply to all international Mastercards or visas?

Such as, ones from UAE / Dubai, Hong Kong or the likes or Malaysia for example?

After reading your article, I am very interested in giving them a go!

@ualo From my experience, every debit and credit card (Visa or Mastercard) I’ve added has worked. This includes all my debit card and credit cards from Europe, the US, and Canada.

However, it’s important to know that Curve can only charge your cards in a supported currency. Since the currencies for the UAE and Malaysia are not supported by Curve, they could only be charged in the supported currencies (e.g. EUR, GBP, HKD, etc).

Since HKD is a supported currency, you can add a card from Hong Kong and choose HKD as the currency Curve charges, avoiding any extra conversion charges. However, for cards in currencies that are not supported, it might not be worth it using it with Curve if the card has conversion charges.

With prepaid cards, Curve seems to be a little more selective. I tried adding an Irish and French prepaid card and it didn’t work. I messaged Curve about it and they said they will consider adding them. I had no issues adding my Revolut and BNext prepaid card.


Thank you for the information and reply. The link on the currencies, is especially good. Makes sense. I’ll just try out the basic free card and see from there :slight_smile:

I have a GBP Card and a HKD card… UAE and Malaysia are definitely out for now.

I love all these new alternatives that are coming out now. I have N26 and am so happy about it, I don’t think I need anything else - but let’s see - I’m following the development of it all. Thanks for sharing - great article :slight_smile:

Maybe I missed this, but what countries are eligible for Curve, and how does the app determine that when you sign up? From the address you enter there - as in, you can get the card if you’re not an EEA resident, but just have an address there?

Also, what other KYC requirements do they have? Any documents you need to submit?

Wow. Curve has started to support Google pay! Its big because I have some cards which havent supported it.

1 Like

I signed up for the card using a relative’s UK address and received it within a week. Wasn’t asked for any KYC documents at the time. Was even able to use it a few times overseas (outside the EEA). However, Curve eventually locked my account and asked for evidence of residence in the EEA (passport, visa, recent utility bill in your name…). So they may not ask for KYC documents at signup, but they likely will eventually.

1 Like

A few Curve users have reported account closures for being outside the EEA for an extended period of time. See this thread on the Curve Forums.

These users were legal residents of the EU/EEA who were outside of Europe for a few months. Curve offered them a way to prove their ties to the EU/EEA by showing proof of ID and residence (e.g. Utility bill).

Based on this, I don’t think Curve is a good solution for nomads who have no ties to the EU/EEA or don’t spend any time in the EU/EEA during the year.

Perhaps there may be some ways to mitigate this by purchasing something in Euros online occasionally or keeping foreign spend low

In my case, I’m a Canadian residing in Mexico and have been using my Curve Card outside of Europe without problems since November 2019. All of my linked cards are from EU banks. I am planning on going to Europe later this year, so until then, I will keep the spending on my Curve card low.

1 Like

I see the advantage of the Curve card, but how exactly do they make money? Surely, only by taking fees away from the cards they include, so why would any bank or EMI agree to be accepted by Curve?

They probably don’t make any money right now and are depending on their investors while they build out their product and customer base.

Banks / card issuers don’t need to agree to have their cards accepted by Curve, Curve simply acts as a merchant when they recharge a transaction to the selected card. So they’ll receive interchange fees when the Curve card is used to make a purchase but pay merchant fees when they charge the selected card. It depends on the type of card (debit/credit) and the country of issuance of the card whether they make or lose money on this, overall they probably don’t. The use case that would work out best for them is when someone uses Curve outside the EEA with an EEA-issued card as funding source. That way they can receive high uncapped interchange fees and only pay the low capped EEA fees.

They do have premium tiers (Black and Metal) which have subscription fees so I guess they hope to eventually make money from that. Although personally, the premium tiers don’t offer anything that I don’t already have with other cards so for me the free Blue card is all I need.

Niels, thanks very much for the explanation. I’m tempted to get one myself in the future, though for security reasons during holidays, rather than the number of cards in my wallet.