Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Should you get the new Tandem Money credit card – with NO FX fees and 0.5% cashback?

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

How does the idea of a free credit card which has NO foreign exchange fees and pays you 0.5% cashback on all your spending sound?

Tempting, I imagine, which is why we thought we would take a closer look at a new card product today even though it has nothing to do with ‘miles and points’.  With the closure of the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card to new applicants, there is no longer a rewards card out there which has 0% foreign exchange fees when you are travelling.

Step forward Tandem Money.  This is another new(ish) challenger bank which runs its business via an app instead of outlets on the high street.

Tandem Money Credit Card

Tandem’s first product was a money management app, helping users to manage their money. The app pulls data from your bank accounts and calculates your available spending money by subtracting bills from the balance. It also warns users of higher bills and finds better deals.

The reason there hasn’t been a real banking product until now is that Tandem has had some bank licence issues.

Having initially gained a banking licence in 2015, Tandem lost it in March 2017 due to House of Fraser – of all people – pulling out of agreed funding due to issues with HOF’s new Chinese owners.

However, in January 2018 Tandem Money bought Harrods Bank (yes, Harrods had its own bank with a branch inside the store) and thereby got a bank licence back.  This allows Tandem Money to launch savings accounts in the future.

Tandem credit card

Tandem Money has now launched its first real product – a credit card with no FX fees and 0.5% cashback.

The Tandem credit card is a Mastercard and offers 0.5% cashback on everyday spending in the UK and abroad.There are no FX fees when you are travelling which save you 2.99% compared to the fees on the average UK credit or debit card.

In comparison, the Lloyds Avios Rewards card is the only loyalty credit card which doesn’t charge FX fees.  With the Mastercard you earn 0.2 Avios per £1 spent and with the American Express card 1.25 Avios per £1.  The Lloyds Avios American Express card remains the best deal for spending abroad but Tandem – with 0.5% cashback – is more attractive than earning 0.2 Avios on the Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard.

Tandem also imposes no fees for cash withdrawals abroad though you do have to pay interest from the moment you take out the money.

The Tandem cashback is added to your statement each month.  It genuinely could not be easier.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest.  With interchange fees of 0.3%, to me this credit card clearly seems financially unsustainable for Tandem, although Tandem claims that the credit card is profitable, and I’m assuming that this is just a way of luring in new customers. 

Tandem Money has a fixed term savings account in the pipeline which will exploit its new banking licence (you don’t need a banking licence to issue credit cards) and will be trying to get its credit card customers to eventually move their savings to Tandem as well.

Whether or not the card is unsustainable is not your problem though!  If Tandem is willing to run up large losses then you should take advantage of them until their funding runs out as your money is not at risk.


best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – July 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points for signing up and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (110)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alan says:

    Is it fee free for outside the EU?

  • WillPS says:

    If Nationwide Select gets a mention, Natwest Reward certainly deserves one… 1% at supermarkets (11% at Sainsburys this month!) and 0.5% elsewhere, paid in to rewards which can be paid in to your account as cash on demand when you reach £5 worth.

    Combined with the current account it’s an excellent proposition.

  • Alex says:

    Rob, I know you don’t like Revolut card, but now with free credit card top up treated as purchase (used to be 1% Fee). Would you consider it again? It has been working great withdrawing cash from my IHG Premium Card.

    • Rob says:

      WeSwap is bringing in a credit card option so we might look at these together.

      • Alex says:

        Thanks Rob.

        Forgot to mention, it’s free to get the first Revolut card until Sunday 11 March.

        • palcsaky says:

          Could I use revolut to withdraw € or US$ free of charge in one of those Travelex ATMs at Heathrow T2? Does anybody know if these ATMs charge any fees or if they use the dynamic currency conversion?

        • RIccatti says:

          For above, somebody has to pay for that withdrawal, especially from prime airport location Travelex ATM..

          Why don’t you withdraw € or US$ from a normal bank at your destination. Euro withdrawals most definitely free across most EU locations/banks.

          US withdrawals always involve a fee. (only exception is your US bank ATM if you are lucky to have an account, same principle applies for Santander Gold Debit /Zero Credit issued in UK at the Santander branches/ATMs in the US Northeast.)

        • Alan says:

          Riccatti

          It used ot be free in the US at machines at Publix supermarkets. Is that no longer the case?

    • Alan says:

      Interesting, didn’t realise it had gone fee-free to top up via CC at both Revolut and credit card end (I was worried it’d appear as a purchase).

  • James123 says:

    OT

    I need to fly to HK and Beijing in April with my partner. I’ve obviously missed the £2018 for 2 BA Chinese New Year deal, what’s the best way to do it Business Class (any airline) at the moment? Are there any good deals on?

    Thanks

    • George says:

      If you’re willing to position, try AMS-LHR-HKG on BA or DUB-L(HR / GW?)-HKG on VA – I’ve had good success with sub-£1200 business fares on both when I’ve needed to travel.

    • Tony says:

      Use 75k Virgin miles for LHR-PEK return in F with Air China (you need to call virgin), then avios for PEK-HKG with CX

  • palcsaky says:

    Nationwide Select is a Visa. Mastercard has more favourable FX exchange rates.

  • Trevor says:

    We’ve had a Santander ZERO card for many years. It was withdrawn for quite some time but is now available again. No FX fees and we’ve always had great exchange rates. I can also monitor it in my banking app. Ease of use and good service overcomes 0.5% for me. They do have some decent introductory offers for new applicants [25% off in places] and I don’t work for ’em!

  • Graham says:

    I’m currently using the card while on holiday in the US and have been a customer since November. The app gives you the Sterling value straight away on overseas spend (no FAX fees). The app is also helpful for managing other bank accounts (open banking). The credit card cash back is also paid monthly rather than annually like most cards. I recommend Tandem.

  • Belfast Biscuit says:

    Anyone know why they don’t accept signups from Northern Ireland? Nothing on the web site on why. I must admit, as I spend a fair amount in the ROI I’m slightly miffed!

    • Fastbowler says:

      Belfast Biscuit- I have emailed Tandem to ask if the card is available to Northern Ireland residents.
      I will post again when they reply

      • Fastbowler says:

        Here is the email reply which I received from Tandem -hopefully this means that it will be available soon to Northern Ireland residents.

        We did not have the technology we needed to include Northern Ireland which meant us not being able to successfully identify. It would just potentially have led to a paper/post journey of certifying documents that we do not wish to put our customers through at this stage if we can avoid it.
        We have currently updated our methods which will now allow residents of Northern Ireland to apply for our credit card with the same likelihood of approval as any other UK resident. This will soon be reflected on our eligibility criteria on the website. Please keep an eye out on our website.

        • Belfast Biscuit says:

          Cheers Fastbowler – I’m definitely going to apply now!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.