Virgin Atlantic Credit Card e-money cash advance

I’m in the process of cancelling my card and don’t want to use it again unless that causes issues with the glacially slow closure process. I’m just reporting what others have said if you take a look on the forum. I’m surprised by this and suggested what you have. Since Curve seem unable or unwilling to provide any information everyone is in the dark. They must know if MasterCard transactions are being charged for now.

To be honest I don’t see any advantage of putting standard UK transactions though Curve. OK with a few retailers with Curve Metal you get cashback but I can beat that by using, for the moment anyway, my Amazon branded card which gives 1.5% back rather than 1% via Curve. And I don’t have to pay £150 a year for the pleasure of doing so.

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this sentence shows that you still do not understand why you are being charged a fee, and why you will not get a refund even after complaining to the financial ombudsman.
Mastercard has nothing to do with this. Curve has nothing to do with this. Virgin charges you fees based on the terms of the contract you have with them, even though they used to be lenient about it.

Er, actually it shows you’re not reading my posts correctly, even the one the clarifies the situation.

Of course I’m not trying to complain to MasterCard or Curve. My complaint is to Virgin since they applied the fees.

The impact for Curve is that it makes it financially uneconomic to use Curve Fronted which is why I am cancelling the card. Even if Curve Metal was free it still would not make sense to pay a 5% fee and debit interest at the higher cash advance rate to use it with Virgin.

What do I get from Curve for £150 now (assuming the MasterCard issuers universally in the UK are not charging debit interest in which case it’s even worse)? One percent cashback on a limited range of retailers and no foreign currency fees on weekdays. I can get the former on all transactions with Chase and the latter all the time with 0.25% cashback with Barclays MasterCard. Where’s the benefit? Perhaps you could advise me with your financial expertise?

I can confirm there are still a few credit cards in the UK that do not charge a fee for fronted as I have one of them. Obviously debit cards won’t charge a fee either.
I’m not advising that you keep paying for metal if you can’t profit from it anymore, I’m just saying the fees from virgin are in line with their terms and are highly unlikely to be reimbursed. They’re not charging fees because the transaction was from curve, they’re charging fee because of the MCC of that transaction (most likely paying a credit card or ATM withdrawal?) which obviously is not something lenders want people to use a credit card for and that’s why they charge fees.

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They will return the fees in the circumstances I outlined. First, I spoke to their Customer Services and was assured the fees had nothing to do with Virgin. Second, I used Curve’s Go Back in Time so the transactions were reversed. There are wider issues that Virgin apparently said fees would be charged more than a year ago and then didn’t implement them for 11 months or so and apparently relied on email to advise then of the new conditions. They don’t have my email address so I got no notification.

There are indeed, for the moment, some cards which still accept Curve Fronted. I have two at least. However, the situation is far too uncertain to gamble that there might or might not be charges especially when Curve themselves are unwilling to offer any assistance. As such I think it’s the end of Curve Fronted, and if MasterCard issuers are now all charging debit interest on all and any transactions including normal purchases, that’s the end of Curve in the UK. I’m glad I didn’t invest…

At first, people were just panicking and assuming it was an all transactions and created multiple threads about the same topic. But in reality the fees were applied only on fronted transactions.

The only different experience suggesting a fee an all transactions seems to be this one which was just reported 13h ago in another thread:

Now I don’t even know where to answer because people should have stuck on the first thread about this topic, which is this one, so I am ignoring all the others. There was no need to open new threads even if the card is different, if the issue is the same.
Anyway, if Curve sends the right MCC for a normal purchase to the HSBC UK credit card and they still charge a fee, then it is HSBC that has to be confronted. They need to be asked which MCC they are receiving for the transactions they are charging fees on and why they feel entitled to do so. Of course also Curve should confirm they are sending the right MCC.

It is not a Curve problem in any way, meaning that of course commercially speaking it becomes a problem if people have no more interest in using Curve because of the fees, but Curve can do little to nothing about it.
As of now, all of my credit cards (I have 4) work just fine with Curve.
Only one of them charges interests but only based on the e-money MCC. For normal purchases it is fine just like the other 3.
I understand that for UK credit cards it might be different, but still, it has to do with them, not Curve.

Thanks for quoting me on this thread.
Great that Curve is working for you just fine.
I agree, the interest was not charged by Curve but it was the MCC they passed along that caused such charge. However their support team do not respond and chasing them is not worth my time.
While you are right that Curve can’t do anything about it, what they can do is pass on the correct merchant category and a have responsive support team because using their card adds no benefit to me other than being able to mask my card for online transactions. It’s also not my responsibility to be constantly on top of this as I am a user/customer and don’t work for Curve.

No, wait, if Curve did pass a wrong MCC (meaning that, if you used directly your credit card without Curve for the very same purchase you would get the right MCC and would not have extra charges), then Curve can and must do something about it, it’s basically their fault. It’s your credit card conditions but it’s Curve mistakenly triggering them.
Different story for Curve fronted or even general e-money transactions that don’t require fronted. For those, Curve can do nothing.

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Like you I am (was?) a beta tester. Using the same underlying card. These interest charges only started happening recently (circa this year). Due to this, I am using Curve less and less.

Make no mistake, this is a CURVE problem and here is why:-

Curve are charging with one MCC and not refunding with the same information.

Refunding with different information has resulted in Virgins ability to say the charge stands.

The simply solution is for curve to refund with matching Information.

Virgin will still argue the fee but the argument is substantially weakened if the initial charge and refund is completed same day. If you leave it a week to do the refund then it is a valid charge.

We just all need to move on from the subject and clearly @Curve_Joel has no interest in responding or to getting it resolved.

As it stands, being an investor, I can’t ever see me getting my investment back and I actually want it back.

The business is not the business I first invested in and has focused on expansion in the USA over getting it right in its primary market.

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I don’t see the complaint here. The issue’s been around for ages. It’s in the T&C’s of your cards.

Curve fronted only works in specific situations. Cash is what you’ll get slugged for if you use a cc to pay off another cc, bc they want to stop manufactured spending.

I got slugged £300 in fees working out a way around this… got there in the end, but it’s a complete baller to pull off

The issue, I suppose, might have been around for ages but until July it didn’t affect Virgin cards - with a decent reward programme which made Curve Fronted worthwhile. It now impacts on NatWest and HSBC cards and Curve Fronted has long been blocked by Barclaycard for payments.

A 5% fee means that there are going to be very few (any?) instances where it makes sense to use the facility. I might have got a 1.5% return for a spend on Virgin Atlantic but that is massively wiped out by a 5% fee and then a cash advance debit interest rate currently at 24.9%.

As a result I’ve cancelled my Curve Metal card as the figures don’t add up especially with the other issues in using Curve.

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I got charged a fee and intrest from virgin for using my card on paypal!!

You used it on PayPal without Curve right? Did you send money to someone else or was it a normal purchase? If it was a purchase, on what website? Did you split the amount using the “Buy now, pay later” option offered by PayPal?

It was direct from credit card, NOT via curve, and i sent money using friends and family.

Then the charge is perfectly normal, since you did an e-money transaction and not a purchase.
If anything, this just proves it has nothing to do with Curve (nor PayPal).

Yes, Curve can become less appealing for some customers because of this, but one should just get over it instead of keep complaining here (I am not referring to you, @BigTull)

I have got over it. My account closed today, with a refund hopefully on the way.

I’m still interested how this pans out however from a FinTech perspective as Customer Service is nonexistent or fails to follow through with promised updates and the product is devalued both internally and externally. New insurance documentation now shows that hire care hire is inadequate for example, and who knows if a mobile phone is covered if you’re not on holiday? Curve seem to ignored difficult questions. It’s becoming a very good example of how not to run a company, let alone one dealing with money.


What got me is i hane used virgin countless times like this and all of a sudden fees were applied, they told me i was informed but i have nothing from them in my email thats why i was protesting about it.

Hi Paul.ell,
Thanks for all your updates.
Have you had any response from Curve?
I have had the same issue wiith using Curve Fronted and Virgin Atlantic CC to purchase premium bonds. There seems no way to get in contact with Curve cusmtomer services in any meaningful way.

Curve banned premium bond purchasing ages ago so you’ve breached terms and conditions. This is why you have a cash mcc code