Curve is changing the game of travel - starting with eliminating hidden fees for all of your cards
A little-known fact is that banks and card companies charge up to 5% on foreign spend. For a UK family traveling abroad for two weeks and spending £4792 on average, would mean almost £240 in extra cost!
It is also estimated that more than half of UK holidaymakers have had a major item lost or stolen. Their wallet accounts for a large portion of this, resulting in hours on the phone with multiple banks trying to prove transactions they never made are from stolen cards.
Curve can help make these experiences a thing of the past. Curve gives travellers peace of mind that they are getting the best exchange rate with all of their cards!
How does Curve do this?
Curve gives you more: zero conversion fee abroad for all of your cards
Curve gives you control: you only have to carry one lockable card, and you instantly see all of your spendings with real-time notifications - giving you peace of mind, as you know exactly when Curve is used and for how much.
Curve is simple: no more topping-up needed - no more thinking ahead on how much money is needed, no pesky leftovers in foreign currency after the trip. You also have one PIN to remember, and one point of contact with a 24/7 customer experience team.
We sat down with Arthur Leung, our Head of Product, to ask him about our latest innovation.
Q: Arthur, many thanks for your time. How excited are you about our latest launch?
A: I’m very excited to launch this latest benefit, a game changer as we’ve now made travelling and spending abroad so much simpler, convenient and at a lower cost for all our users.
Q: Let me start with our customers’ questions... how does Curve eliminate the hidden fees?
A: Curve takes care of the currency exchange instead of your bank at the real exchange rate – saving our customers up to 5% in foreign transaction fees which would otherwise be charged by your bank or credit cards when you spend abroad.
Q: What exactly are FX Fees?
A: These are the fees that the bank or a card issuer charges their customers when they make a purchase abroad and foreign currency exchange take place. Customers are being charged up to 5% for each transaction they make depending on their bank or the card they are using. These handling fees garners the bank a profit on each purchase their customers are making.
Q: How much can I spend abroad?
A: We have determined that 85% of Curve users spend less than £500 when abroad per month, and that is the limit we have given our Blue cardholders (beyond which a 2% rate surcharge will apply). For the more intensive travellers, our Black proposition would be better suited, as it features an unlimited fee-free spending limit subject to our Fair Use Policy. As the currency market is closed on the weekends, we need to charge a 0.5% markup on Euros and US Dollars and 1% markup for all other supported currencies. Later on, in November, this becomes 0.5% fee for Euros and US dollars, 1.5% fee for all other currencies).
Q: What about cash withdrawal?
A: Curve has a free cash withdrawal cap of £200 for Curve Blue customers and £400 for Curve Black customers on all major currencies, and gives our customers the interbank rate, so you can easily withdraw cash anywhere Mastercard® is accepted. Curve charges a flat £2 fee or 2% for withdrawals above the cap. This also means customers can limit the amount of cash they carry with them on holiday, reducing the pain should their wallet get lost or stolen.
Q: How do I keep track of my spend abroad?
A: You will be able to see your spend in real time in both the local and home currency. You can filter it in the timeline to track your currency limit.
Q: For the techies out there, how does it actually work?
A: We have integrated with currencies APIs to access uptodate rate information that enable us to perform the FX swap in real time when you make the purchase abroad. We do this by leveraging our integrations to various payment networks. This negates the need to top up beforehand or having to decide how much of the currency you intend to spend before going on a trip.
Q: How will you communicate this great news to Curve users?
A: We have updated our Terms of Service and we are sending an email today to all our user base to tell them the good news. We will also announce it through the app (download from Google Play Store or App Store), social media, and we are doing a marketing campaign to celebrate.