When and why does Curve change MCC codes?

It has happened to me that MCC 5941 was confirmed for one of my transactions by a Curve associate.

Knowing this MCC code I have moved this transaction to one of my credit cards, which gives me the highest cash back.
Some days later my bank has reported that the MCC code for this transaction was 5999.

In what circumstances and why does Curve change the MCC codes? Is there a mapping available? These changes cost real money loss.


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@CurveJake, @Curve_Marie, any comment on this?Apparently, you can be the only ones having the answers.


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This kind of issue could be prevented if Curve simply included the MCC in the transaction details.

Vote for it here: MCC code and/or description shown in transaction details

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This is very concerning. Why would you change the MCC?

@jph I fully agree with you, financial services should be predictable with zero errors.
I have found so far Curve fully predictable, but this issue/problem/fault has been with Curve for a month without clear explanation to the community. This is part of their core business, someone should be able to explain it.

One tip from Curve was: “Bianca here, thanks for your reply. Merchant category codes are assigned to merchants by the major credit card networks.
Please note that the merchant may have a different code with Visa than with Mastercard.”

But in my case both Curve card and underlying credit card are Mastercards, so this is not the real reason. I do hope that we will know the root cause soon.

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You really need to escalate up the ladder until you get someone who knows what they are talking about.

@CurveJake @Curve_Marie - can you guess shed some insight here please?

Looking into this with our Payment Tech Team :slight_smile:

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There’s not a mapping available because it’s proprietary information.

We do sometimes map specific MCCs to a more general category. In the case you mention, we mapped MCC 5941 (Sporting goods store) to MCC 5999 (Miscellaneous retail stores). If you could share details of the cashback scheme on your credit card, we can investigate why Miscellaneous Retail does not qualify for the same cashback that Sporting goods would.

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@Curve_Marie: Thank you! I had another transaction yesterday with the same issue. It was MCC 8099 and the bank see this as 8999.

What is the rationale behind these changes, why are they needed? I think this creates unnecessary uncertainty for your users.

Banks can invent various cash back schemes and the easiest way for them is to list the MCC codes for higher cash backs. That’s the reason you could have seen the need for MCC codes visible for transactions as a new feature request (MCC code and/or description shown in transaction details).

As an example Erste Bank Hungary Max card gives 4% for various categories that you can find on the last page in the below linked document. They have collected similar MCC codes into categories and you can pick 3 categories active at the same time.

In my case MCC 5941 would have meant 4% (second group), but as MCC was changed to 5999, it suddenly became standard 1%.

As these changes mean real money for your users, it would be great if you could disclose the mechanism, conditions, etc. If this is not possible, I think the community will sooner or later reverse-engineer the mapping logic.

Thanks again for your investigation, let us know if we can help you finding a good solution for this.


How are you checking the MCC?

First, you can ask Curve :slight_smile: and you can ask your bank.
Some netbank systems can also disclose the MCC code automatically.

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Just to prove that this is not a unique whacky thing from Erste Bank, you can find similar MCC code lists provided by other banks in the below condition lists .

Raiffeisen Bank:

OTP Bank:

Budapest Bank:

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Many online banking report the MCC.

The obvious question is why? Who benefits from fiddling with the data like this?

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I could, but I would need a new field in the Curve app to specify the best MCC :slight_smile:

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Seriously, just received this answer from support:
“Currently, we do not include all of the MCC categories in our system. This is why there may be cases where the MCC for a transaction would appear to be different in comparison to what you can see with your underlying payment card issuer. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

It would be useful to know what MCCs are remapped. I’ve had some transactions in the entertainment category (7922) which didn’t get the expected 2x points on the underlying card, I wonder if this is because Curve changed the MCC to a more generic one?

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Hmmm. I don’t understand this response. We know this cannot be true as it’s a logical impossibility.

Curve, I think you can see from the above examples that this is an essential info for the users and this drives whether we win or we lose on Curve transactions.

Keeping this information as a secret would be similar to taking out a loan from the bank without knowing the interest rate. Would this be in line with your slogan: Better than a bank?

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