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Can I still get a Curve card for free?

Curve card
Curve ball: the Curve card tiers have been revamped

I’m a big fan of Curve – the service that allows you to replace all your bank cards with only one Mastercard. You can read my full Curve card review here. However, over the past couple of days Curve customers have been sent a barrage of emails explaining new monthly charges for the previously free service. What’s going on? Will you have to pay for Curve from now on? Here’s the lowdown on the new tiers.

Curve Black

If you’re an existing Curve Black customer, you may have noticed that you’ve been “upgraded” to the “new” Black, which comes with a range of benefits. These include worldwide travel insurance, gadget insurance, purchase protection and more.

Of course, this comes at a cost to Curve so the new Curve Black card will cost £9.99 per month.

Does that mean existing Curve Black customers who are currently getting the service for free now have to pay? No. Curve is giving existing customers a three-month trial of the benefits, but the company “will get in touch before your free trial ends and you will have the option to roll back to your current benefit package at no cost (Curve Black Legacy), or continue with the new Curve Black”.

So make sure to keep an eye out for the cancellation email in and around the end of April.

However, it seems the free Curve Black tier has now been removed for new customers. The only free tier is now Curve Blue – you can see a comparison of the different tiers here, including the new Curve Metal (more details below).

Curve Metal

The company is also introducing a new tier of Card called Curve Metal.

Curve Metal includes all the Curve Black benefits, plus a rental car damage waiver and (eventually) discounted lounge access at a number of airports. It’s clearly being pitched at business travellers.

Curve Metal will cost £14.99 per month, although current Curve Black customers can get two months free (once they pay for the first instalment). But if you opt to try out Curve Metal you can’t go back to the free Curve Black Legacy tier.

Amex support

One of the supposed benefits of the new Curve Black and Curve Metal is the long-awaited support for American Express cards. However, it seems Amex isn’t willing to play ball.

A message sent to Curve customers this morning claims that “Amex decided to terminate this agreement and block all Amex transactions to Curve with immediate effect”.

Curve claims this move is “disproportionate and discriminatory to Curve and all our (joint) customers”.

“UK payment regulations clearly state that Curve should be allowed to access the Amex payment network on a level-playing field with every other fee-paying and legitimate merchant,” the company adds.

Until that dispute is settled, you’re going to have to wait a little longer to use Amex with Curve.

Now read this: Do I need to tell my bank before travelling abroad?

 

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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