Currently the T&C state that
In case of withdrawals or purchases over the weekend with an underlying card of a different currency of the spend, as the Forex markets are closed, we take the rate of last days the market were open (in most cases Friday at 23:59 GMT) and apply a surcharge. If there is a currency conversion and the currency of the underlying card are GBP, USD or EUR, the rate will be increased by 0.5%. In any other case, that is if either the currency of your spend or the currency of the underlying card is any our other supported currencies, the rate will be increased by up to 1.5% .
First things first, we would love to get rid of the International Weekend Fee completely, but I am aware that is not exactly possible right now.
However, I would like to raise an issue to this specific solution which favours GBP, USD, and EUR over all the other currencies. As @Curve_Marie once mentioned:
That would suggest that some of the currencies are preferred due to the fact that they attract less risk. However, I would like to pinpoint that some of the not-preferred currencies have basically no risk whatsoever or only little fluctuation risk attached and it would be extremely valuable if Curve’s policies acknowledged that.
I would like to provide examples of few currencies that fit these requirements (especially Euro-pegged currencies):
- Danish krone - The krone is pegged to the euro via the ERM II, the European Union’s exchange rate mechanism (de facto overall fluctuations around 0.5%).
- Bulgarian lev - The Bulgarian lev is pegged to the euro through a currency board (no fluctuations). This also applies to some other, less relevant currencies mentioned here.
Considering this, using BGN<>EUR should not have a fee at all (it basically is the same currency), while other pairs, such as BGN<>USD/GBP or DKK<>EUR should have them reduced. I have only mentioned the most obvious cases here, but the truth is that this situation could be in use with many other currencies as well. This time I’d like to use my own home example, PLN<>EUR exchange rate. As you can see, the weekend fluctuations are usually somewhere within the 0.2%-0.3% mark, while Curve charges 1.5% on all purchases.
To show you why this is that important, I’d like to imagine a made-up situation. Let’s assume I pay 200 EUR during my weekend purchases on holidays abroad between 10th and 13th May (dates set specifically because Euro got more expensive after the weekend). Here’s an overview of the costs with various payment methods:
|Method of payment||amount in PLN|
|live FX rate on Friday||859.20 PLN|
|live FX rate on Monday||860.96 PLN|
|Paid by Revolut (weekend rates)||863.50 PLN|
|Paid by Curve (weekend rates)||872.09 PLN|
That example clearly shows how Curve makes ~2.5 EUR per weekend on my spending even when my spending currency goes up (Curve’s profits get even higher when it goes gown). Another major difference between Curve and Revolut is that Curve doesn’t let me buy foreign currency in advance, so I can’t take the risk myself.
There’s a few different aproaches to this problem, some of them already mentioned in a linked post:
However, these were never implemented and I can assume for a good reason.
I suggest expanding the list of low-fee currencies Revolut-style. A quite important thing to notice is also that some (if not most) of the fluctuation risk for Curve is balanced by having users making opposite conversions during the same weekends, so it’s not like Curve needs to settle all foreign transactions on the market. If I pay in Euros on Saturday morning, but a few hours later an Euro-user pays in Polish złoty a similar amount, only the difference between our transactions needs to be exchanged by Curve on the regular market. That’s why I wonder if the current offering is good enough. I deem it a bit discriminatory for specific European countries (the non-euro ones, as in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Czechia, and Poland).
My main point is:
0.5% is cool as a convenience fee, but 1.5% honestly is not a fintech price.
I’d absolutely love to have this issue solved, as it would make Curve my main travel card. It would also prove that you really want to improve Curve experience in different countries.
P.S there are some edge cases where Curve makes a better offering than Revolut even now. I currently have a friend staying in Ukraine. Curve gives her better rates both during the week as well as on weekends, as Revolut seems to be a bit biased against this specific country and currency.