My 2019 financial reshuffle 2/2: Virgin Atlantic credit card, Curve and Founders Card

Curve and Virgin Reward+ (again)

Just after I posted the first part of my financial reshuffle, Curve launched Amex support, I applied for one of their metal cards, that came with unlimited free Amex spend (and a much higher maximum £1.4m annual spend limit), and Amex terminated Curve’s MSA, pulling Amex support from Curve.

It all happened very quickly but, having missed a few good opportunities, I decided to jump in quickly on this one, and now I’m stuck with Curve metal card that looks and feels really nice but isn’t much use to me.

New Curve metal card

I have 28 days to claim a refund so my plan is to try to get to get a much spend on it as possible within that time, to reassure myself that I won’t get stuck at an annual spend limit. Assuming that happens, I’ll keep it.

The funny thing is, metal cards are quite common among high-fee, high-income reward cards in the US, but in the UK, the only metal cards I’m aware of are the Amex Centurion, N26, Revolut and Curve. In other words, 3 out of the 4 metal cards in the UK are basically pre-paid debit cards open to anyone. How’s that for prestige?!

It’s not that easy, though. no sooner had I cancelled my Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card that Curve brought out this new product that is literally game-changing for anyone with large tax bills. Because of that, I actually re-applied for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card. Reading the fine-print carefully, I should be eligible for the current 25k miles signup bonus again. The product’s been out less than a year so I guess the possibility for churn hasn’t registered yet… I also got a higher limit second time around.

Founders Card

Speaking of pointless metal cards, I took out a  Founderscard some time ago (I don’t know why they given out cards).

Founders Card

Given how many of the best offers were restricted to the US, I wasn’t sure if I’d keep it, but I’ve recently had a lot of good value out of it:

  • Total Rewards (Caesars) Diamond Elite status was immensely valuable in Vegas and as far as I know, this is the only way to get it in the UK. I also managed to get a status match from Caesars in the UK – the benefits are relatively modest but still nice to have.
  • Stripe became a Founders Card benefit in the US and, shortly after, in the UK as well. The £15,000 in free processing from Stripe combined with the £30,000 in free processing I have in a legacy Braintree account have opened up the possibility of ditching Worldpay for a more modern solution and saving money at the same time.
  • It was time to replace my 2017 Macbook Pro and after perusing the offers on Founders Card, I realised that I could get a very good Lenovo laptop for very good price as long as I could arrange for it to be shipped to the USA and forwarded on from there. It was a bit of a debacle but I saved several hundred pounds, even after all of the extra costs involved in forwarding it.
  • I’ve had a couple of free business lounge visits, discounts at Namecheap, Moo and others. These aren’t worth a lot but still nice to have.

All in all, I have saved a lot compared to the annual fee, both in business and personal expenses. I am also really looking forward to the London event as a place to meet likeminded business owners in a relaxed setting.

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