Applicability of underlying card insurance?


#1

Anyone know how underlying card insurances view travel charged via Curve? For instance, can I still rely on my card’s trip cancellation (or interruption, or car, or accident, etc.) insurance if the trip is charged through Curve rather than directly to the card? I realize this may differ card-to-card, but I’m wondering if anyone has relevant experiences to share?

Briefly looking at the T&C of a few of my applicable cards, they usually say something along the lines of “x% of trip has to be paid with the card for coverage to apply”. I don’t see how Curve is acting different from e.g. a travel agent in this scenario (where I pay the travel agent, and the agent pays for the underlying travel). Or am I wrong in my reasoning?


#2

@tew I think that certain Amex Plat benefits in the UK require a charge to an actual Amex card (travel delay cover for example). Similarly, anything booked under FHR (i.e. certain Amex hotel benefits) must be paid by an Amex. It really requires each person looking at the underlying policies.

On a similar vein, using Curve means you are no longer covered in the UK under s75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 (i.e. card issuer is jointly liable in the event of certain losses) and so it probably makes sense not to use Curve for larger purchases in the UK anyway: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act

@manu @city_tom @Lucas


#3

Thats a tough one.
I’ve tried to get a 100% definite statement from Lufthansa miles&more credit card service for quite some time.
Rule of thumb is, you need to pay with the card to be eligible for the insurance.
But here is where it gets tricky:
As you correctly pointed out, when you pay a travel agent and he bills you directly and does NOT process your card directly via the airline payment system (called BSP in Europe), then you have purchased a flight with the travel agent but you should still be covered.

BUT the t&c of my underlying card state, you can use a payment processor, such as PayPal and you are still covered. In this case, correctly speaking, PayPal is the merchant who charges your underlying card but you still have coverage.
So in theory, everytime you pay via a Payment Processor, you are still covered.
Now one could argue, paying via your Curve card means Curve is a payment processor and only forwards the transaction to your underlying card.
Critics could say, no, even thou Curve processes the payment within milliseconds, they are still the merchant who sold you a product.
So there is no definite answer and I’m sure it will be hard to get an answer from the banks, since they do not understand the idea of Curve.
I’d argue in a German court (and I can only speak for that), any judge would rule with that Curve acts as a payment processor, same as PayPal, in this instance.


#4

I think it’s safe to say that you won’t get a straight answer until you need to claim and it would probably depend on the adjustor reviewing your case . It’s safest to pay with the underlying card, that way there’s no disputes about insurance coverage.

I agree that Curve could be seen a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe in which case PayPal transactions appear with the prefix PayPal, followed by the merchants name. I also see the case where you might be buying a service from Curve which happens to be payment for another transaction. I guess this would be similar to a prepaid card which you loaded and then used to make a purchase.


#5

I would definitely view it as not counting as ‘paying by the card’ if you use Curve and be prepared to be uncovered. I assumed this was part of the reason Curve launched their travel insurance product.


#6

@ediflyer But exchanging your, say, Amex cover for that offered by Curve would lead to very much worse insurance benefits. Moreover, for the sort of things you care about having insurance orf s75 cover (travel, cars, large spend like kitchens and so on) the merchants generally take Amex anyway: hence, Curve’s insurance seems to be a solution for a problem that does not genuinely exist save for its creation by Curve itself.


#7

Oh absolutely - I only ever put things on it where I’m not looking for protection and personally I wouldn’t even try to argue the point with the underlying card company.


#8

This is only right if you already have an AMEX card with cover, you can’t assume this for the whole user base. The insurance is beneficial to anyone that doesn’t have cover already or has cover elsewhere that one can cancel (I cancelled e.g. my Barclays tech pack).

For transactions covered by the Curve Purchase Protection check the link.

If you want protection from your underlying card the safe way is to put the purchase on the card itself.


#9

@curve_tobias However, s75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 protection is lost in the UK if Curve is used even with the most basic of credit cards. What s75 means is that the credit card company is jointly liable with the supplier for losses between £100 and £30,000, which is very valuable in the event of problems with services or goods. So, putting any large purchase on Curve makes no sense (or even one above £100).


#10

That’s of course if you didn’t spread the payment. For example I want to pay something worth £150.00. I pay with Curve for £130.00 I then use my credit card for the remaining £20.00 and I’ll still be 100 per cent covered by my credit card via s75.


#11

You would be well advised to ensure any deposit is at least £100 paid to the credit card to prevent the card issuer trying to claim no s75 coverage because the nexus between creditor and debtor has, practically, been interrupted (they would probably fail in this claim, but you will spend months referring it to the FOS based upon examples I have seen).

But, why not just use the credit card in your example and avoid the hassle? It is not as if Curve gives you any economic benefit in a GBP domestic transaction billed to a GBP domestic card: you take risk for no reward.


#12

No as the law happens to be extremely clear on this. Even if you pay 1p of the £150.00 on a credit card* you would be covered no ifs no buts.

I think your confusing if you pay via PayPal linked to a credit card**as that wouldn’t be honoured as you have then broken the nexus between creditor and debtor.

*As long as the total amount spent is more then £100.00.
**As well as a few other examples.


#13

I agree with you, but a review of the Financial Ombudsman Service website suggests that getting creditors to accept this interpretation is not always straightforward: if more than £100 is charged, this is not a problem (even though it should not be). I am still unclear what the benefit (for a GBP transaction to a GBP credit card) the benefit of using Curve is in this case rather than just using the credit card.


#14

To be honest I agree as I see limited use in using a debit card linked to a credit card*.

*In places that don’t accept/add a surcharge to credit cards. That’s all I’ve can think of off the top of my head.

Maybe another one is it might take a few days to show on a credit card statement so a slightly longer interest free period. In saying that since you used a debit card it’s already come out of your current account balance. :man_shrugging: