Virgin Atlantic Credit Card e-money cash advance

I got an email today stating that Virgin Atlantic credit card would be making changes to cash advances.

Here are 2 points that make me a little concerned that I won’t be able to use my Curve card with Virgin as the underlying card.

  1. adding money to a prepaid card, virtual card or e-money account

  2. paying off other borrowing (like making a payment towards a loan or mortgage or using your card to pay another credit card instead of doing a Balance Transfer)

They also went on to say

This means that for some transactions you may have made in the past, like paying off a credit card bill or buying crypto currency with your Virgin Atlantic Credit Card, you could now see a Cash Advance fee on your statement and interest applied in line with the Cash Advance annual interest rate.

You also don’t earn any Virgin Points for any Cash Advance transactions.

Is this the beginning of the end of using Credit Cards as the underlying card with Curve?

Cash advance changes and zero points takes away the attractiveness of using curve.

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I got the same thing - it looks like No Curve with Virgin now following IHG, it feels like Curve is going to die very quickly.

Is this how everyone else sees this email - any transaction with Curve is a cash advance regardless of what it is

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I didn’t think Curve counted as a prepaid card, virtual card or e-money account?

I interpreted the mail as probably likely that Curve would continue to be usable with Virgin+, but that Curve Fronted to say pay off an Amex would potentially trigger cash advance charges. Be interesting to see what the impact with HMRC payments is, which is my other use case for Curve Fronted.

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Im going to ask them but its impossible to talk to them

I believe I have seen other posts that say use of the Curve card is classed as e-money.

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Please do share what you find out if you ever manage to get through! Last time I rang them it was a nightmare!

@Curve_Joel are you able to confirm if using the card is classed as e-money?

This long suggest so Bringing our e-Money services in-house

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The question should be if Virgin Atlantic Credit card classes it as e-money, which isn’t something Curve (support) will be able to tell you.

Factually Curve is indeed e-money (because for a small period of time during your transaction, the transaction amount is ‘captured’ in an e-money account, which is almost immediately used to pay the merchant), but the question is if Virgin Atlantic Credit card treats it like this.
I doubt it, since Curve sends the the original MCC of transaction to Virgin Atlantic Credit card and not the MCC for topping up an e-money account.

But to be sure of this, this question should be asked to Virgin Atlantic Credit card.

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When Lloyds updated their terms in a very similar way, it was determined that Curve transactions were not included and are absoultely fine to use with a Lloyds card.

These sorts of terms changes are generally not to stop Curve cards, rather they are to stop people using credit cards to top up the likes of virtual current accounts, cryptocurrency wallets etc.

IHG/Creation is a special case so far. I still think they were just looking for a way to thin out loss making customers from their client base.

Cash withdrawals via a Curve card though are I think still up in the air, but there’s always a risk with cash withdrawals against a credit card that you’ll be charged interest anyway.

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What’s your thoughts on the fact that they make clear reference to paying credit cards off with credit cards and not doing balance transfers?

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I assume they will use the transaction category code (which Curve pass through) to decline any transactions that are payments to credit cards, as almost every credit card provider does anyway.

Curve passes through the transaction category code of whatever the original transaction is, so your underlying card can see whether you’re paying a financial services provider or the supermarket. Pretty sure in a lot of cases Curve block you from paying credit cards with credit cards anyway.

I can’t say for sure in Virgin’s case, somebody will need to contact them to clarify (ideally that would be Curve so a proper statement can be made, like happend with Lloyds), but just saying that Lloyds went through this process about a year ago and it wasn’t really anything of concern for Curve users.

This is where I find things really muddy.

Say the scenario is that you’re using a Virgin Card to pay off an Amex bill using Curve Card as the intermediary, and you’ve got Curve Fronted turned on. That transaction is presented to Amex as a Debit Card payment (via Curve Fronted) but with a MCC passed to Virgin of Financial Services.

Right now, that’s OK - the credit-to-credit block seems to be applied in my experience by the vendor accepting the payment and Curve Fronted lets you bypass this by fronting it as a debit transaction. One assumes that will continue.

The question to me is if the MCC passed through to Virgin will be enough for them to identify the transaction as paying back a credit card and charge their cash advance fees. As the posts above have pointed out, we’re technically using the payment to momentarily fund a e-Money account, albeit to indirectly pay off a credit card.

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Yes, I believe there is an MCC code (I think either 6012 or 6051) for credit card/loan payments which would obviously be passed to the credit card and they would decline the transaction. Most credit card providers that I’m aware of already do this.

Curve fronted can’t change the T&Cs or the transaction acceptance criteria of the underlying card - hence why some credit card providers are outwardly vocal that Curve should not be advertising paying off a credit card with another credit card. I don’t think Curve Fronted changes anything apart from whether Curve block the transaction or leave it up to the vendor to decide whether to accept or block.

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Would be useful if Curve could reach out to Virgin Atlantic and confirm in the same way they did for Lloyds. A 5% surcharge on all transactions plus interest would make Curve pointless, surely it’s in their interest to clarify the implications of the new T&C’s?

@Curve_Joel can you look into this as you did with Lloyds changes?

I’ve now received cash advance fees of 5% on my Virgin card for Curve fronted transactions, which I didn’t get for the same transactions in June.

It doesn’t seem to be on MCC as not everything is being charged, but may be done from retailer name. Annoying to receive a whopping great fee, interest being charged immediately, and a need to repay a large bill immediately in cash when I’ve been using Curve exactly as designed.

Annoyed as I just paid for another year of Curve metal a few weeks back… looks like card companies are getting wise to Curve and their customers’ shenanigans. Creation cancelled the cards of Curve customers, Virgin have effectively killed Fronted, Amex banned Curve transactions, Barclaycard seem to monitor usage closely.

Are you on the free Virgin card or the paid one?

What transactions did you get a 5% charge on?

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I am on the paid card. It was a fronted transaction to pay off an Amex, the exact functionality I paid £150 for last month.

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There’s a conversation over on the Head for Points forums where a load of users, myself included are trying to make sense of the changes Virgin have implemented. It does seem that they’ve effectively killed off most of the Curve Fronted functionality by treating them as cash advances - both payments to Credit Cards and payments to HMRC, NS&I Premium Bonds, etc. Reverse engineering it all is an expensive game though.

I agree it’d be good to have some support from Curve on this as it’s a fairly major player in the UK credit card market. @Curve_Joel - hasslehurst suggested you might be able to help a few posts back?

It would be good, in fact its absolutely nessesary to have some clarification on this. I’ve made a few tentative transactions, but they dont show on my card/virgin app as having incured any fees, however, I have a large transaction to make with HMRC and am reluctant to do so.

This could be a major impact for curve, the only reason I signed up for the card was for the ability to pay HMRC etc. and collect virgin points. I realise, or assume, I can use another card provider and not incure the fees/collect points.

Curve are not looking good based on their reluctance to acknowledge issues, either this or the mobile insurance issues.

I’ve just made a payment of £10 to pay off my virgin card from my amazon card. still pending at the moment, but will update if any fees are added. IT will be a real shame as this helped me build up a TONNE of virgin miles