Why does Curve charge markups?

As Mastercard is responsible for the conversion, why is Curve charging a markup for this service?

0.5% for EUR/GBP/USD on weekends (which wouldn’t actually clear until Monday anyways, as authorizations take a few days)

1.5% for everything else that could actually make Curve more expensive than every other card I carry in my wallet :thinking:

I’m also not sure why Curve charges fair usage fees of £0.50 on ATM’s for U.K. users considering ATMs charge about 22.5p per withdrawal here.

I’m also curious as to why Curve is insistent on calling things unlimited and then slipping in fair usage fees, just say you get 15k a year of markup-free foreign spending and call it a day. Misleading your customers isn’t good for retention.


MasterCard isn’t responsible. Curve do the conversion themselves using an “interbank” rate from Currency Layer.

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Ah, makes me wonder why they aren’t using mastercard then tbh


Same reason as Revolut?

Revolut do it because you can hold and exchange between multiple currencies, where as you can only use the MasterCard rate for card payments. So if Revolut were to use the MasterCard rate for card payments, they’d have two different rates, which would be confusing. Besides, you can exchange money during the week to avoid the fee.

Curve, however, only do card payments, don’t allow you exchange ahead of time, and charge a higher markup.


Yeah that’s crazy, it feels like they just want an excuse to add a markup to it lmao

To be fair, Curve would have far less holdings in other currencies, so their exposure is higher - I can understand the desire to have a higher markup. Does make them very uncompetitive though - I rarely takey Curve card when travelling.

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The £500 a month limit is also crazy. Can’t market Curve as a travel card when you easily spend £100 a day on stuff abroad

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I couldn’t agree more with this.

0,5 currency equivalent per withdrawal seems perfectly reasonable and fair to me, though. We can’t expect to always have everything for free!

For what concerns the markup you can just go back in time later and charge another card in that currency, I believe (but I’m not sure).

I totally agree with this. There should be no £500 per month limit.

However, with respect to all the other points you’ve made, Curve operates exactly the same as using Revolut where the funding currency differs from the transaction currency, except that Curve’s mark-ups are higher.

Because MasterCard’s rates are applied a day or two after the transaction. Curve needs to finalise and fix amount in the currency of the underlying card at the time of the transaction. Therefore Curve can’t wait for MasterCard to carry out the conversion a day or two after the transaction.

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Perhaps Curve could put an authorization charge and claim it after MasterCard has finalized their rate?

Yes, or to minimise any delay, Curve could follow the logic I suggested for Revolut.