Trips are not just about packing and planning an itinerary. It’s also a financial issue: budgeting, buying currency, often opening or crediting a foreign currency account, buying insurance…. How do we pay abroad so that we are not surprised by additional fees? We invite you to read about the Curve card, which we have started testing, and you can get £10 to start!
At a time when countries are opening and closing to tourists, entry requirements for each country are different, airspace is being closed, the world situation is unstable and exchange rates are raging, travel is definitely hampered. Planning a trip requires a great deal of flexibility, but there will always be unforeseen situations such as significant jumps in the currency market, which may cause the budget for a planned trip to have to be increased significantly.
This is what is happening now. Both the dollar and the euro are soaring, and those with trips planned are already clutching their heads. A trip that only a month ago cost $100, or about $400, now costs $450, and that’s only because of the dollar exchange rate.
While we have no influence on the exchange rate itself, the rate at which we will exchange currency already has a little. We can choose an exchange office, with the best rate, we can transfer the funds at a bank that has better terms, or we can use solutions that convert the money on the fly, at the best bank rates.
And about the latter solution we would like to write you a few words today, because it is, however, one of the main advantages (although there are many more) of the Curve card, which has recently made its way into our “wallet”.
Table of contents
How many currency cards to have in order not to go crazy?
So far we have been using currency cards and, of course, Revolut. We have foreign currency accounts (in USD, EUR, GBP) and payment cards for them (per account or card swap – in one of the banks we have this option) set up in several banks. I won’t write how many times we forgot to swipe the card and it took cash off the wrong account ;) You can also order currency cards – however, we try to minimize the number of cards and cash taken on the trip.
We value convenience and even more so security. It’s been a long time since we’ve carried a wallet and any payment cards. In fact, we only take the cards on trips, but this too will change very soon. And yes, our children are aware that shopping is paid with a PHONE, not with cash or a debit card :)
So sooner we plug these currency cards into Google Pay and pay on trips that way. But here, too, you need to remember to rewire the card when you leave, and of course, contactless payments are not as popular everywhere in the world as they are here (so a physical card as a safety copy will also come in handy).
With help for the forgetful and those who value maximum convenience comes Curve, which offers a card and an app that aggregates it all into one simple solution.
Is it the same as Revolut? Surely this is the question that has been on your minds? Quite rightly, this was also our first thought. However, the Curve card works on a slightly different basis, and the main difference is that there is no bank account and no need to recharge it. So Curve uses an app and a payment card that accumulates other cards, but without having to fund the account first.
Below we will describe to you some of the most important functionalities that convinced us to test this solution – these are both for payments and withdrawals in other currencies, but also for travel insurance.
Below you will also find information on how you can scrape up £10 for your whims for free, not just travel! ;)
Curve virtual wallet
As mentioned above, UK-based fintech Curve offers you an app and payment card that aggregates all other cards (including loyalty cards ). So you can plug in debit cards, credit cards, in different currencies, etc. here. This saves space in your wallet – instead of multiple cards, all you need is the one issued by Curve and the app on your phone (the app is available on Google Play and the App Store).
How does it work in practice? We add payment cards to the Curve app and select the one we want to use as the main and alternative card. What is it for? Well, because Curve offers a rather interesting-sounding service: anti-embarrassment, which can be translated as: anti-embarrassment. Yes, you will no longer have to be ashamed that you ran out of money on your card ;) For us it’s not a shame, but there are situations when there are problems with connectivity, something crashes, we exceed the limit, and then instead of switching cards, or looking for a physical card, Curve will immediately take funds from the alternative one.
And one more feature that really surprised us: transferring payments that have already taken place to other cards. For example, if we paid for purchases with a debit card, we can transfer that payment to a credit card within 30 days. So if you forgot to set up the corresponding master card, you have 30 days to undo the transaction and credit it to another account.
Of course, the prudent are always insured, so just in case, we will take an extra card of some kind anyway, so that we can withdraw money in some emergency situation, but by design, the one from Curve should be enough for both withdrawals and payments on the spot.
Now what travel tigers are waiting for the most :) Currencies.
We travel less and less with cash. We don’t even remember anymore when we last went to the exchange office (it was probably in 2019, before the trip to China…). When planning a trip, we buy many admissions to attractions online, and only take change for parking or small purchases on the road.
So far, we’ve used the card to withdraw cash locally – this is where a physical currency card has come in handy (of course, you always have to dig into the table of fees and commissions to be sure that withdrawals are free).
With the Curve card, this is made much easier. We can withdraw from an ATM with our Curve card free of charge, so there is no need to think about which card to use and which currency is best to withdraw money in. Attention! One downside should be noted here – withdrawals in Poland, at Euronet ATMs, are not free. These cards are identified as foreign so this will incur an additional commission (similar to Revolut).
Equally important, Curve offers us very good currency conversion rates, the so-called interbank exchange rates, that is, the best possible currency exchange value at any given time.
This means that we don’t have to switch between cards, look for the one in a specific currency – the system will convert the amount by itself, and from the card it will take the amount in Polish zloty at a very favorable rate, without additional currency conversions and commissions, i.e. as if we were using an ATM in Poland (the exception is payment on weekends – both Revolcie and Curve are charged a commission).
Travel insurance on the Curve card
This is the part that makes us able to pay more for the card. Travel insurance is available on the Black and Metal cards (we write about the scope of the packages below) and covers events such as delayed flight and baggage, medical events, coverage for a trip that didn’t take place, baggage insurance and even rental car insurance (the last only on Metal).
Those who travel a lot know that it is not difficult to have this type of incident. We were repeatedly delayed by planes or luggage, and then we used the insurance we had with our credit card or the airline. Currently, such insurance is just with the service and card offered by Curve.
Of course, we count on not having the opportunity to see how this insurance works, but just knowing that it’s there, that if anything happens we have financial support, makes traveling less stressful.
Especially since the insurance even includes reimbursement for travel if for some reason we can’t fly (of course, it must be a legitimate reason, such as a certificate from a doctor, not our perception).
Other functionalities of the Curve card
Above we described the most relevant aspects from our point of view. It is worth noting, however, that with Curve we can enjoy 1% cashback at selected merchants and service providers (the cashback is credited directly to the Curve card) for at least 30 days (this can be extended by purchasing a higher package or recommending Curve to more people).
Last but not least, you can add loyalty cards (e.g., Rossmann, Smyk, Biedronka, etc.) in the app to have everything in one place.
Curve card type and fees
Probably reading this article you are wondering how much does it cost?
As with other similar solutions, there is a card (package) that is free – this is Curve Classic, but there are also paid packages that have a much broader range of services (if only for the aforementioned insurance), or higher withdrawal and transaction limits.
You can find detailed current withdrawal limits and fees for higher packages directly in the app. Currently, the monthly fee looks as follows:
|Curve Blue||Curve Black||Curve Metal|
|EUR 0||EUR 9.99||EUR 14.99|
We won’t answer you here which card is worth choosing, as this is a very individual issue. In our case, we counted how much we spend on average per month, at least on travel insurance
The most expensive card (Metal) costs 14.99 euros per month, or about 72 zlotys (a year comes out to 860 zlotys). We paid more than 500 zlotys for the insurance alone for the upcoming trip, and we quietly spend more than 1,000 zlotys a year on insurance, so in our case it pays to take the Metal card and not worry about anything while traveling (by the way, we have much higher withdrawal and exchange limits).
And while we’re writing about cash so much here, it’s worth mentioning that you can get £10 (at the current exchange rate, that’s almost 60 zlotys) to start.
£10 for new Curve users
Of course, we’re not forcing anyone to open an account, but if you’re wondering if it’s worth it, why not be encouraged by topping up your card by £10? What do you have to do to get them?
Download the app using this link necessarily, verify your card, make your first transaction, and you will receive the promised £10.
The only catch is that it must be one or more transactions for a total value of £10 (in any currency, of course) within 14 days of registration. In fact, all you need to do is fill up some gasoline, go to a restaurant or do your usual weekly shopping even in Poland.
If you are wondering whether you will make the card transactions you are waiting for, we can now reassure you – you just need to pay with your phone, so you do not have to pay with a physical card :)
Our review of the Curve card
The Curve card, which, as it turns out, also has pretty reasonable travel insurance and great exchange rates by the way, is a great option especially if you travel a lot. It was these two aspects that made us decide to write you more about it.
The application is very user-friendly and clear, and most importantly, we have full control over our expenses with it. So if you are not intimidated by such forms of payment, and are looking for cheap (or even free) solutions on the go, then maybe Curve is a good option for you?
The entry was written in cooperation with the Curve brand, however, the above is completely our personal opinion and the card in good conscience we recommend :)