Curve and its "mid-market" exchange rate

Adding ‘foreign transactions’ to the ever increasing list of things I won’t use Curve for.

The lack of transparency is alarming to say the least.

Essentially the only point of Curve for me now is to let me make contactless payment with 1 card I have that isn’t contactless. And I understand when it expires they will issue a contactless one…


At least Curve’s marketing is honest for once - the rates are indeed ridiculous.


The spelling of “colossal” is also ridiculous. Unless it’s on purpose, but I don’t see why they would do that.


I have used Curve, Starling and Nationwide cards abroad at the same time. While Starling and Nationwide’s conversation rate where very similar, Curve was always the most expensive to use!


Similarly, I have invested in Curve, am a metal customer and have believed the myth. When I first got Curve, I checked a few rates and they were either average or better, a few were great.

But, stupidly, I haven’t checked any recently as I trusted their practices would continue in the same, original vein.

So, I would really like to hear an official, comprehensive response from Curve about this.

I have talked it up, recommended to friends etc…

But unless the there’s a brilliant solution to this, I’ll be leaving.


yep ive made easily over 100 fx purchases so if now im finding out rather than getting a saving similar or better than revolut and other competitors (im a curve metal user/investor) turns out ive been paying for the privilege to pay more :confused:

So today it happened again, I made a 200 USD transaction at 19:07 with my underlying card being HUF, they charged me 66050 HUF, which equals a rate around 330. The mid market rate was around 323, which is the same in Currency Layer that Curve is using according to them:

It is not weekend yet, and my foreign spending is below 500 GBP in the last 30 days rolling window.
So nothing justifies any extra added fees, which means they are applying an approximately 2% spread on this transaction. That is just ridiculous.
The proof is there, I don’t know what else I can say and how are they still getting away with it.
I’ll try to reach out to some magazines and newspapers, maybe they will find it interesting that this fintech “startup” started ripping off their customers like hell lately.


Yes I had been doing some on the fly comparisons with my starling card when I was in france and also the USA earlier this year. I had noticed that every time, starling came out top rate wise. I just put it down to fluctuating rates. I didn’t have the time to look at historical chart data.
I’m glad to see others here have confirmed what I have suspected.

I’m really disappointed not to hear any official response about this. Really scandalous since I believed as a metal membership member I would have access to the best rates possible, not a sneaky 2% on top or more than starling where I don’t pay anything extra for those rates.

I was left with a really bitter taste as a traveller after the sudden price hike with lounge key, Curve’s metal ‘benefits’ are more like ice now, about to crack!


Thank you for bringing this to our attention! We’re investigating now and will write you an update ASAP

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basically same situation as me, i think theres a system error where i got classed as a curve blue user even though im a paying metal customer (im assuming you are too), i tried having a read of the terms and conditions when Connie mentioned it earlier and saw that curve blue customers pay a 2% surcharge on more than £15,000 rolling annual spend. I think this is what is happening or maybe we are just getting scrood. can you calculate and see if it calculates to 2% surcharge on your transaction?


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Nothing here speaks to your admission that Curve fiddle rates to hide fees.

I am a blue user, and these are my limits:
604 / 5000 GBP last 30 days - no indication how much of this needed currency conversion
4646 / 10000 GBP last 365 days
What I think is clearly happening is that despite what is written in their terms, and see my previously posted picture also, they are counting every spending against the window for the foreign exchange fees.

So this info is clearly misleading:
It is definitely not clarified that in the first column the explicit explanation of “spend” in this context is not the same as in the second column. You can call this “clever” phrasing, but this is actually called false advertising, misleading of customers. Because without explicitely stating it, it is natural that one reads it as the 500 GBP monthly limit is for spending where currency conversion occurs, and not just all transactions under one hood, especially when it is clearly written there as the explanation of “spend” in this context.
Otherwise I obviously wouldn’t use Curve for my local transactions if I’m “burning” away my limits and then end up paying 2% on currency conversion fees.

@Marie what is Curve’s standpoint on this?

I don’t think they apply a markup.

My experience is that Curve’s exchange rate is fixed in the morning. Whenever there is a major change in the rate during the day this morning rate will cause you a major deterioration vs the real time market rate. Today the USD/HUF was approx. 330 till 7:30 in the morning, then gradually dropped to 322 by 16:00 when you made your FX purchase.

They know they are in breach of their promise. Open a ticket with their support. First you will receive a panel answer about market rates and high street banks, but if you continue claiming they will refund some pounds onto your curve cash card.

Better to stop using Curve for FX. I did so.


I’m so glad this was brought up! I was considering upgrading to Metal (currently on Blue). Also, I had a USD transaction go through my Curve card and the FX seemed a bit high so I too did some digging and realised there might have been a markup - the transaction amount was very small so I didn’t query it but I probably should have!

ive been reviewing the transactions and the rate is 2+% higher so your case might be in volatility but end of the day we are being marked up regardless and my ticket has been ignored regarding it

When I’m able to travel abroad again I think I shall leave my Curve card at home in a drawer and take my Revolut & Starling cards away with me. Starling don’t add a mark up at weekends either. Once bitten, twice shy!!


Actually the £15,000 is the annual FX limit for Black:

Curve Black customers: Unlimited free currency conversion (subject to fair use of £15,000 a year, beyond which we may charge 2% of the amount of the transaction as currency conversion fees).

Or from the terms:

Fee-free currency conversion (up to a spend of £15,000 per annum - subject to fair use), beyond which we may charge 2% of the amount of the transaction over the Standard Exchange Rate as currency conversion fees)

Metal is £60,000 annual, from the terms:

Fee-Free currency conversion (up to a spend of £60,000 per annum - subject to fair use), beyond which we may charge 2% of the amount of the transaction over the Standard Exchange Rate as currency conversion fees)

The FX limit for Blue is much lower (£500 per month), from the terms:

Up to a spend of £500 per rolling 30-day period - no currency conversion fees will be charged and the transaction will be made at the Standard Exchange Rate, if there is any spend beyond this Curve may charge 2% of the amount of the transaction over the Standard Exchange Rate as currency conversion fee

One thing to note is with Curve what you see when the transaction happens is what you get.
Both Starling and Monzo will show one rate when the transaction occurs, and then retroactively update the rate once it settles (some days later). In my experience the rate ends up worse 100% of the time, even though theoretically it could get better.

That being said, there’s definitely something funky happening with Curve rates lately. I’m just blaming the volatility in the markets and the closure of FX providers in the UK. I’ve been tracking Curve’s rates over 2 years of usage and they’ve generally been pretty stellar so far.

Gathering the conversations: Our Exchange Rate Display Issue