New £5 fee for physical cards

Head for Points is reporting today:

As part of the move away from Wirecard, Curve has now brought in a fee if you want to receive a physical plastic card . These are:

  • Curve Blue: £4.99
  • Curve Black / Metal: No fee

Personally I support all card issuers charging fees for physical cards on subscription-free products where digital alternatives are available, because:

  • It discourages unnecessary harm to the environment, just like shops charging for plastic bags.
  • It encourages more people to use Apple Pay and Google Pay, which has a knock-on effect of encouraging more merchants to accept Apple Pay and Google Pay correctly with no transaction limits. When card terminals, running old software, erroneously reject Apple Pay and Google Pay above the transaction limit for physical contactless cards with an “insert card” message (because the card terminal fails to recognise it as a digital tokenised card), if an increasing number of consumers respond to merchants that they don’t have a physical card, then more merchants will make the effort to update the software in their card terminals to process tokenised cards correctly and avoid lost sales.

However, Curve has not yet published this new £5 fee. At https://www.curve.com/en-gb/p/blue Curve still states:

Sign up to Curve today and we’ll send you a beautiful Curve Blue card for free!

Therefore if you have friends whom you want to introduce to Curve, now is the time to do so before the £5 fee is introduced. Don’t forget to use your referral code.

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Does that cover delivery fee?

I love how difficult this will make curve to pitch to people. Imagine trying to get someone to give this a go when most people don’t want to dump money on a unknown product.

Lighten your wallet by combining all you cards? - Nope only a digital version is free. 90% of people already have all their cards on Google/Apple pay. Even more so than when curve launched.

Use a credit card as a debit card? - 90% of the time when its useful it now isn’t free

Neither me nor my friends would have even trialed curve out had the card not been free. This product does not sell itself well without having a go with it!

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Yeah I would assume it does, since it’s a free card the cost would include delivery.

At least three of the cards I use often do not support Apple Pay. Therefore Curve allows me to use Apple Pay with them, and I don’t carry the physical cards. Also iPhones have a limit of 12 Apple Pay cards, and I am already right up to that limit.

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That would then place you in the 10%. And thats why curve is great for you and me but for general foke they won’t even give this a second look as a digital only offering. My father for instance uses it all the time now but I know for a fact wouldnt have bothered with a £5 blue card charge

Sadly for a travel card
Not all country is contactless yet
I was just in Bulgaria, where i needed cash to pay for food/drink in the hut
Or in small village in the countryside
I didn’t see any ATM that was contactless

Or street seller in Turkey, Vietnam ETC

Sadly it adds further barrier to entry. Almost everyone I know has either a revolut or monzo account these days and I previously reccomended curve as an easier option for travel due to not being a seperate account. Again once you add a fee they would rather stick with what they have already.

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That is indeed a good point. In Brazil for example, nobody used contactless even though almost all card terminals supported it, and most merchants didn’t even know how to process contactless. That was until 2018 when Apple Pay was launched for cards issued in Brazil. Since then, almost all merchants now know how to accept contactless payments.

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On revolut frontpage

They charge a delivery fee
Virtual card are free
Why try something new if it cost money, and what you have is fine?

I wonder if promo codes will still pay £5 to the referrer and the referred?

With the referred having the option of keeping £5 if they stay digital, or using their referral fee to have a card delivered (either directly or indirectly).

I assume the fee will be for replacement cards surely? Curve are not going to get people to ‘try’ Curve but want £4.99 to do so…

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I would argue that revolut are better established and pitch their product specifically for travel. But I agree that having a fee makes people much less likely to try it. I’ve been seeing people with no travel card products shift towards or be recommended monzo as a result

That’s exactly what came to mind when I read this thread. The overall programme may be revisited, I know they’ve been making changes to it already, so this delivery fee may warrant another check :slight_smile:

When Revolut charge a fee for a physical card, they usually charge no fee when it expires and is renewed. I see no reason why Curve wouldn’t do the same. After all, the card’s expiry date is outside the cardholder’s control, and if the £5 fee covered a specific period (i.e. the validity period of the card), then that specific period would need to be specified in the T&Cs.

It also makes people less likely to wastefully obtain a plastic card when they don’t need one - back to my shopping bag analogy.

In my daily routine i don’t need a card
Contactless card are supported in the big store, supermarket

But for travel i won’t go without one

I personally dont mind not having an actual card of Curve as I use it only with my Samsung/Google Pay
But there are lots of ATM that dont have any contactless support (in fact here in Greece, most of them dont work contactless, but I dont withdraw cash using my curve, so I dont care that much)
And of course, there are some old POS from certain vendors that dont have up-to-date software to work correctly with the contactless and you have to use the card
So, yeah, if Curve decides to charge a fee, then it wont be the “only card to have in your wallet” anymore. I will definately need a plastic card with me

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I hope they enable Google and Samsung Pay in all countries before they start charging this fee. Hard to justify Blue outside of the UK otherwise :stuck_out_tongue:

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When Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay is enabled in a particular country, it means that at least one local card issuer is supporting it. It doesn’t mean that all merchants are suddenly supporting it, although it does put pressure on merchants to update their card terminals’ software to support it correctly without a transaction limit.

Here’s the current Google Pay map from Wikipedia:

And the current Samsung Pay map from Wikipedia:

And the current Apple Pay map from Wikipedia:

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