There’s a guy I work with who, I don’t think he’d mind me saying, is obsessed with credit cards- he has around 8 of them! Why is he so into credit cards? Well, he tells me it’s “all about the points”. Originally from Hong Kong, he regularly flies back to visit family and so it’s no surprise that one of his most frequently used cards is his Virgin Atlantic Reward Card which allows him to accrue air miles, saving him hundreds of pounds each year!
Like most people, however, every month my colleague’s biggest expenses are his mortgage and bills. Recently, he told me he’s found a way to pay both his mortgage (overpayments) and his council tax using his credit card. He explained his mortgage lender doesn’t actually allow for overpayments via credit card but does accept debit card payments and so he has found a workaround: linking his Virgin Atlantic card to his Curve debit card.
What is Curve?
Curve is similar to a prepaid card, except you don’t have a card balance that you top-up. Curve call themselves a new breed of “smart card”. It is not a bank account, rather transactions are processed via the Curve debit card and the funds are immediately debited from whatever card you have chosen to sync with Curve, including credit cards. Note that, currently, Curve is not compatible with American Express.
Making mortgage overpayments by card
I could (and might) write a separate post on this topic. My colleague’s declaration that he was able to make overpayments using his Curve card set me on a little research into which of the big mortgage lenders accept overpayments, and the answer is: not many! I was pleasantly surprised when I called up Santander and they confirmed they accept overpayments via both debit and credit card (not including Amex).
I previously wrote about my experience using a 0% interest credit card. When I buy my next property, I am considering mortgaging with Santander and taking out another 0% credit card to make a lump sum overpayment of around £10,000. According to MSE’s Mortgage Overpayment Calculator, this would save me £13,400 in mortgage interest and I’d pay off my mortgage 1 year and 3 months quicker. I would then have to work hard to pay off the credit card during the 0% interest period or do a balance transfer at the end of the 0% term.
Convert GBP to USD before Brexit
Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the E.U by 31st October. At the time of writing, with just over two months left until this Article 50 deadline, there appears to have been very little progress made on negotiating a deal. This, teamed with the extra resources Johnson has put into preparing for “no-deal”, is making me think Britain leaving the E.U without a deal is highly likely.
Ever since the referendum, the pound has slowly been falling in value but, one thing’s for sure, if we crash out of Europe then the pound will be at an all-time low! That’s why I’m considering converting a substantial portion of my savings into US dollars. How to do so without incurring an FX fee? Well, I heard Revolut allows you to transfer your balance between different currencies for free up to £5,000 per month.
Get paid a day early
Monzo has introduced a new feature whereby you can receive your salary a day early. How does this work? It relates to the Bacs, the bank transfer method used by businesses to pay their employees. Monzo claim, with Bacs bank transfers, they are able to identify the payment and be confident it will clear into your bank account the day before the payment actually arrives. As such, Monzo are allowing their users to opt-in to receiving their cash a day early, essentially loaning the money for 24 hours.
So there you have it- Curve, Revolut and Monzo- three Fintech companies that collectively have a lot of cool features for saving and making money.
Money Tips Blog’s content is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered financial advice and you should always do your own research before making any investment decision.