Change underlying card currency in order to avoid exchange/withdrawal fees and limits?

Hi everyone!

I’m sorry if this question has been asked thousands of times before but a quick search didn’t reveal anything 100% fitting – and I just want to understand this properly. :wink:

I have a Curve Blue card with the typical currency exchange limit of £500/month and foreign currency ATM withdrawal limit of £200/month. The underlying Visa Debit card which I use for most of my everyday purchases with my Curve Card features unlimited fee-free spending in all currencies.

That’s why I’m wondering about this: What if I changed the currency setting of this underlying card every time I go abroad? For example, if I went to Japan and set the underlying card’s currency to JPY?

Would I be able to spend in JPY without any fees and without any limit?
And would JPY withdrawals also be considered “domestic” since they’d be in the same currency as the card currency?
Would this mean that the Fair Usage policy for domestic withdrawals (up to 10 per month) would apply and not the foreign currency withdrawal limit of £200/month?

And would it be OK to do so everytime I go abroad? Like: Is it possible to change the underlying card’s currency in the app’s settings as often as I like?
It’s just that in case of longer travels where I might spend or withdraw more than the equivalent of £500/200, the FX policy of my Visa is more attractive, but I still don’t want to carry it around all the time. :wink:

Again, sorry if this has been asked before. I’ve found parts of my questions answered in other conversations on here but nothing seemed to answer all of them in their complexity. :sweat_smile:

Hello hallelu,

Let’s get with some examples :wink: :
Your underlying card is GBP by default (as an example N26 UK which applies zero fees abroad).

  • If you setup your N26 card in GBP (on Curve app) and you pay in GBP, your N26 will be charged in GBP (zero fees as it is your home currency)
  • If you setup your N26 in GBP (on Curve app) and you pay in JPY, Curve will convert the currency and the £500/month limit applies
  • If you setup your N26 in JPY (on Curve app) and you pay in JPY, your N26 will be charged in JPY, so N26 will convert your the currency (zero fees) and Curve will NOT consider as a conversion in the £500/month limit
  • If you setup your N26 in JPY and (on Curve app) and you pay in GBP, (this is a stupid configuration but you can forget to set the good currency). So your transaction will be converted 2 times and you will see a small difference of amount on your bank statement due to conversion.

Note:

  • You should check the supported currency, the less “popular” currencies are not supported by Curve, so it will be converted in GBP by default and then in the currency of your underlying
  • Sometimes, cash withdrawal is considered as a payment (as N26 Germany), so if you use this configuration : Underlying N26 set in JPY and you withdraw in JPY, you will have no conversion fees without the N26 limit.
  • You can change your currency whenever you want (this is one of the best functionality in Curve !)
  • Curve applies conversion fees during week-end (0.5% to 3%) so it is better if your N26 is doing the conversion.

Hope it will answer your questions :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Wow! Thanks a lot!!! :star_struck:
Yep, that answered all my questions at once! Also thanks for the notes – especially the one about cash withdrawals being treated like payments. This might come in handy for me especially as my underlying card (German solarisBank card) does apply a fee for foreign currency withdrawals (just like N26). I’ll have to try this out. :wink:

1 Like

I do believe so :slight_smile: subject to your actual Curve limit, of course!

I also believe this would be the case, unless Curve considers your Curve residency as domestic :thinking: quite an interesting thing to ask actually

@Curve_Marie perhaps could clarify?

This is actually quite important in case of Japan to be honest :thinking: card acceptance can be real sketchy.

I do believe so, it’s been quoted as a workaround quite a bit on the forums!

I would like Curve to add a passthrough for all currencies they support on multi-currency cards or FX-free ones (that we could mark as such in the app!)

Sorry for the late reply and if this has been answered in the meantime - I’m limited on posts and have to wait 30 minutes to post this :slight_smile:

I believe it’s also 0.5% to 3.5% @Will as you can have the 1.5% on weekends + the 2% fee over £500 a month!

I still dont get this after looking through all related posts e.g. Card settings - a query
I have Curve blue which has a zerofx limit (though i cant seem to find it in the Terms). I live in the EU (Ireland). All my payment cards are Euro denominated. My legacy bank card would charge FX fees abroad, my N26 Black card provides unlimited free FX.
If the payment card is a Euro card how can the cards currency be changed using the “Card currency” option in the app - I mean its a Euro card and doesnt support GBP etc. directly. So are you saying the Curve card can allow me to use my legacy bank card in the UK and not be charged FX fees by changing its currency to GBP when i am there?
This would imply that Curve still has to convert GBP to Euro on my behalf and waives the fees for me?

This sounds nice but is it sustainable for Curve?
Also if i travel to UK often enough or spend enough against GBP then wouldnt it make more sense for me to just get a GBP denominated card like Monese or Revolut and use that for all purchases in GBP - then i dont need to use the Curve feature right?

Also for currencies that i cant get a denominated card for like JPY, why wouldnt i just use my N26 Black card with free unlimited FX anyway instead of using Curves currency converted feature?

Maybe i am missing it but for this case it seems like it makes more sense to just use a card that has Zero FX all the time (like N26) than trying to use a card like my backward legacy debit card behind my Curve card in order to avoid the FX fees on it.

Did i miss something?