Experiences with Metal in EU non-UK countries

Hello, all.

I’m considering the upgrade to Metal this month. However, I’m unsure if they now issue local BINs, as Metal cards in the past (and present?) all had UK BINs.

So I’m wondering about your experiences using an UK BIN in a non-UK country inside Europe. My specific case is Spain, but I don’t want to narrow down the pool too much. I’ve heard that some merchants will (illegally in the EU) refuse foreign cards or that you’ll get asked to convert currency when making a purchase.

So before I splurge 15€/month on something that I may not be able to use comfortably, I’d like to hear your experiences :smiley:

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This won’t happen at a point of sale, only online.

This is a huge problem, particularly in Spain. When you use a UK-issued card, including Curve and Revolut, card terminals of many Spanish merchants, ranging from independent restaurants to supermarkets like Mercadona, encourage you to transact in GBP, converted from EUR at a poor rate or with a huge markup. You always have the choice of paying in EUR, but it’s often not the default option. Paying contactlessly, e.g. Apple Pay, can prevent this malpractice, although some card terminals disingenuously allow the merchant to change the currency and amount after you have authenticated the transaction contactlessly. I haven’t yet tested whether this can happen with Apple Pay, as Curve didn’t support Apple Pay when I was last in Spain so I used my German debit cards directly.

If I get the choice it’s not too bad, then. More annoying than anything.

Hopefully the EU sorts out the rejection of the card in online purchases at some point, because that’s truly ridiculous.

Yes, and if you’re Spanish, then you can strongly admonish the merchant about their disingenuous malpractice much more effectively than a foreigner could.

Article 5(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/302 states:

A trader shall not, within the range of means of payment accepted by the trader, apply, for reasons related to a customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment, the location of the payment account, the place of establishment of the payment service provider or the place of issue of the payment instrument within the Union, different conditions for a payment transaction, where:

a) the payment transaction is made through an electronic transaction by credit transfer, direct debit or a card-based payment instrument within the same payment brand and category;

b) authentication requirements are fulfilled pursuant to Directive (EU) 2015/2366; and

c) the payment transactions are in a currency that the trader accepts.

Well, yes, but as usual what the law says and what’s actually done doesn’t have to correlate, unless they start enforcing that hard (especially on the likes of Apple) :stuck_out_tongue:

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There are cases where it can work in your favour without requiring any enforcement by a public authority. For example, if you owe money for goods or services already supplied or you have some other debt, and the merchant refuses your card based on its country of issue, then you would have a valid defence against non-payment of the debt in that the merchant is in breach of the regulation.

Hi @Nelthorim, I live in Czechia and I have a Metal (Investor) Card. It works fine, both the card itself and Gpay. When using physical card in some ATMs and at some retailers I get offered currency conversion to GBP so I need to be cautious to always decline it and then I get CZK transaction all the way to underlying CZK cards. I never got offered DCC while using GPay.
A good thing is that I got a local contact number to AXA insurance. I am even considering cancelling my local Mastercard Gold since the insurance I get with it is by all means worse.
Also Curve Cash cashback works OK, I used DM Drogerie, Lidl, Tesco, Uber, Amazon and Booking.com and these work in all countries where I was shopping at them (Austria, Germany, Cyprus).
At some point I will have my metal card reissued from business world to personal world elite so I can have free Mastercard Lounge at the airport.
I did not test Curve Fronted yet.

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Neither Business nor Personal Curve Metal offer free lounge access. Offered is access with a discount.

I can confirm that I’ve always been asked to select the currency when using Curve in Spain, including Mercadona :slight_smile:

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Annoying, but I can live with it, I guess.

I recently asked support if a reissuing of the card would be possible when they start issuing country-specific cards for Metal. Waiting for an answer.

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@jayeshr, have you tried using Apple Pay or Google Pay? The reason I ask is that Spanish card terminals often allow the merchant to change the currency and amount after a contactless transaction is authenticated.

That’s a good question, let us know what they say!

No unfortunately just the physical card. I’m surprised they’re allowed to change currency/amount after the transaction has been authenticated. Is this because of tips? I know in the US you always get charged the amount on the bill first, and once you tip them they re-charge you the whole amount and refund the original transaction.

I meant Mastercard lounges, VIE would be for free, not sure about PRG/BTS.

No, it’s nothing to do with tips. After you contactlessly authorise the EUR amount displayed on the card terminal, a message pops up on the card terminal (which by this time is often back under the merchant’s control), asking whether you would like to pay a GBP amount (including a large commission for the merchant) or the original EUR amount that you authorised. The merchant can then select the GBP amount in order to receive the commission (or a share of it) from the merchant’s bank.

Google pay isn’t possible for curve customers resident in the EU.

Ah I see what you mean. Honestly I usually just tell them upfront to select EUR cause I know it may ask them (sometimes it doesn’t and processes with the local currency by default). In other cases if they handover the terminal to me I keep it until it gives me the option to select local/GBP and then hand it back.

Sorry but it works fine for me in Denmark
EU country

That’s interesting. I thought it was an issue for all cards issued to EU countries, maybe it’s just an issue for cards issued to Spain or is it a problem only for me?! When I add my card I get the following message.

It’s based on the BIN of your card (which stores information, among other things, about the country where it was issued).

Cards with Spanish BIN (5539 6339) are not GPay/Samsung Pay enabled.

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