Anyone else less than enthused about the changes to a subscription model?

subscription

#1

So I applied for curve black with the expectation it delivers higher limits, etc and it does and it’s great. But subscription model? For a one time manufacture and issue of a metal card?! What?

I pay £450 a year. I get unlimited airport lounge access, centurion lounge access, additional cards for free, membership rewards, concierge and membership deals.

I pay £140 a year. I get 2 free airport lounge visits and discounted access after that for me and guests. Additional card for free, membership rewards, global assist, travel insurance and other deals.

Yes amex isn’t taken everywhere, but it’s less of an issue than it used to be.

I like the concept of curve for allowing me to benefit from the MasterCard use of amex but would I pay £13 (revolut as an example) a month (£156 a year) for a metal veneered card and next to no extra benefits to what I already get with my current card providers?

I can only think the majority of people for this change are literally trying to impress their friends with a metal card. So instead of useful beneficial features being developed, we’ve got “metal cards and subscription model” taking up valuable development time.

No Apple pay, Google pay, Fitbit pay, etc yet
No amex integration beyond a select few in a beta test
No integration with concur, expensify, etc (these two actually don’t even feature on the product road map).

Metal card should be in the “nice to have” column but instead its landed in the “must have”. I’d love a unique looking card but not at the detriment of useful features.

It just seems like it’s going the wrong way in my book plus the additional fear my £50 “one time fee” will become a free tier account when I fail to agree to the new terms and conditions that will come with any subscription model if they don’t grandfather existing curve black holders into the scheme for free.

Thoughts?


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#2

I agree and share your concerns. I don’t have a problem with a subscription model if the benefits tangibly outweigh the subscription price, like even a 500 dollar amex metal card does, however paying for a vanity metal card with an insurance package of dubious value and little else is certainly not worth it for me


#3

I think it makes sense for Curve to compete with what I would call “premium” bank accounts. I’m talking about the range of bank accounts that cost between £13 and £20 a month, offer EU/World-wide travel insurance, household gadget/mobile phone insurance and national/EU roadside assistance. Examples are Nationwide FlexPlus, Lloyds Platinum, etc…

That is the product they’re most likely targeting, and in my mind, the product they should target. The fact they might add lounge passes is a way to distinguish themselves. If that is the case then it makes sense to me, just like it makes sense to me currently to pay for Nationwide FlexPlus. Would I buy Curve Metal? Probably not, because some lounge passes are not enough for me to take it over the FlexPlus account.


#4

With that, curve would be locking themselves to the UK market. Those legacy UK banks you mentioned are only interested in competing in the UK market, that’s why they charge those ridiculous prices for what they offer


#5

I do agree with you. A one off fee for the benefits of curve is still acceptable. But a monthly subscription, for benefits that would have likely already been provided by my underlying credit cards, does not tick my box.

Do agree, am curious on how the black cards would be ported over. I would not want a monthly subscription


#6

I must admit, I mostly want a metal card to show off, and I’d pay a reasonable fee for it - it’ll still be cheaper than other metal things people buy to show off (ie. jewellery). But I’m probably not going to pay a high subscription fee that also includes insurance etc. when I already have it from elsewhere. In fact, adding travel insurance is actually negative value, as making any claims gets more complicated when you have more than one insurer you can claim from.

I’ll reserve judgment until they actually announce pricing/packages though. Maybe they’ll come up with something that’s worthwhile.


#7

I think Curve needs to find a model that will have long term financial success for their company. Charging a one time fee has worked to gain them customers, but where their business model involves long term expenses (credit card processing fees), that’s not going to be sustainable.

Curve should be able to make revenue from their share of the processing fees when the Curve card is used, but I don’t believe it would cover the costs of processing our bank issued cards. I think the only other thing Curve has is customer transactional data which could be sold or used, depending on what’s permitted by countries, regulatory agencies and their TOS. In any case, the shortfall probably needs to be covered by an ongoing monthly fee. Curve could also profit from holding balances for Amex cards, but it most likely won’t amount to enough to cover costs.

In any case, we’ll see what gets rolled out and what is done with existing cardholders.


#8

That’s a fair point, and I would possibly pay a subscription fee. I guess the issue is if the subscription fee is high enough to cover services (eg. insurance) that I and many others already get from their existing accounts. Surely the people for whom Curve provides the most value are those with several cards (inc amex), and thus the most likely to have insurance, lounge access etc from other sources.

As you say, let’s see what actually gets rolled out.


#9

For sure. I think that also helps to reduce Curve’s costs in providing these services since I would probably default to using my Amex for insurance claims or lounge access. I think Curve attracts those who are quite financially savvy which helps justify your point that services probably already exist.

As another example, Revolut offers concierge service. I probably wouldn’t use their concierge since I have that through my Amex cards and I know that Amex has extensive concierge experience and don’t outsource it.

I think Metal or a subscription based Black would have to offer enough value to me before I would consider paying for it. As an example, if Amex limits are too low to make the fee worthwhile, I’ll just return to paying with my Amex card where it’s accepted and will use another card whenever it isn’t. The incremental return won’t justify the fees involved.


#10

I paid for the benefits of the Black card, accepting the one off charge.
I should be clear and say now that I would not pay a monthly or yearly sum for benefits I could not enjoy.
I am in my senior years, have done all the travelling I wanted to do, I’ve a comfortable home with the gizmos I craved and now all I need is my Crave Black to help me manage my money.
I don’t enjoy the best of health so my concern is the costs of medical care.
I don’t remember getting the impression that a subscription tier was to be introduced, if it is then I will hope that mine, and others like me, will have the terms and conditions we signed up to ring fenced and protected in order that we can continue to enjoy a classy service.


#11

Although we don’t know for certain yet, everything does hint towards the fact that Black will remain as in, no changes (if anything only extras such as Amex allowance). The subscription tier will be its own entity.

I don’t think you have to worry much if you like your Curve Black as is.


#12

That’s the reason I’m paying for N26-metal. N26-black is 10 euros/month, metal is 16, and in addition to the metal card you also get WeWork membership ($50/month value if you use it).


#13

Yeah, I’m tempted by N26 (and Revolut) metal, but I just cant justify the cost, especially since I’d be giving up credit card rewards to use it as well. At least with curve I could keep getting those.


#14

For people who want a metal card for vanity (nothing wrong with that) and don’t care about the possible services offered with it, a subscription doesn’t make much sense. A one off fee to cover the manufacturing of the card would be much more sensible


#16

Does the Metal card come with an unlimited annual limit? I’m currently on black but I’ve spent the £50k so its no use to me until the end of my year (in April).


#17

Yeah the annual limit would be the deciding factor for quite a few people.


#20

Compared to Nationwide FlexPlus, which costs £13/month, this is really poor value.


#21

Are there hidden threads? The thread Marie has merged with gives me an error that I don’t have permission.


#22

The feedback from the Beta Testers is gathered in a closed group :slight_smile: We are building, breaking, and fixing things, preparing for the big launch :smile:


#23

@Curve_Marie When is the big launch?

Also, what will happen to the annual limits as finding the £3750 a day\£50k a year very restrictive?