Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What should replace your Tandem Money credit card, which is being closed?

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Whilst it doesn’t offer any miles or points, we have recommended the Tandem Money cashback credit card on numerous occasions.  It really had everything (apart from miles):

  • no annual fee
  • no foreign exchange fees
  • 0.5% cashback on all spending
  • operates as a Mastercard so widely accepted

Unsurprisingly, since I cannot imagine any scenario under which Tandem was making money from this product, it has been pulled to new applicants.  The website also seems to imply that the clock is ticking for existing cardholders too.

Tandem cashback credit card closed

You can find out more on the Tandem website here.

My preferred Visa / Mastercard cashback product is probably now the John Lewis / Waitrose one.  This DOES have FX fees, but you also get 0.5% back on third party shopping and 1% back at John Lewis and Waitrose.  There is no fee. All rewards are paid in shopping vouchers.  There is currently a £30 sign-up bonus too.

The Aqua credit card also has 0.5% cashback – and paid in real cash – but capped at £100 per year.  It DOES NOT have FX fees.  I am not a fan of this product because it is aimed at people with credit defaults and is advertised as such.  This means that you will get a low credit limit and it isn’t necessarily one to wave around in the pub.  I know some HFP readers use it and are happy with it, however.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

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

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (158)

  • Ali Malik says:

    Hey
    Curve has emailed to say one can change retailers now 😅 will you guys cover that ?Is it just the once?
    Also what does O/T mean

    • John says:

      Off-topic.

      To clarify this is the retailers for curve cash and the email says they are giving another 3 months of it.

      I am on the old corporate curve with the “permanent” list of retailers (got about £20 this year, and discovered a loophole which I am going to keep quiet about!), so I don’t think I should accept.

    • Go says:

      How do you change the retailers?

      • 1nfrequent says:

        There’s a link in the email Curve send you about the offer. You have to click on it to upgrade the App and when you do, you can go through the retailers and re-select. Very handy timing for me as I’ve been able to stack it against my plans for the next 3 months. Looks like they’re trying to get ahead of people ditching the card now the 1.5% fee is coming in.

        1F

  • Callum says:

    While I no longer have an Aqua card as I’ve moved on to better alternatives, anyone who would “look down” on someone using one is a pathetic snob that I’d be very happy to have out of my life!

    • Callum says:

      It also DOESN’T have FX fees…

    • John says:

      +1 and who brags about their card in the pub?? Maybe the average HFP reader does? Well I’m not the average HFP reader and when I go to the pub I see most people waving Natwest or Lloyds debit cards….

      • Sandgrounder says:

        You’re never going to impress the twenty-something Instagram models with a NatWest debit card! 🙂

      • Will says:

        When I go to the pub this time of year I’m usually looked at strangely for asking to pay on 10 cards 😉

      • Rob says:

        It’s not bragging, but if your mates or work colleagues see you spending on a card aimed at bankrupts it may give them ideas.

        • Callum says:

          1. Despite your insistence, most people have never heard of Aqua – let alone know it’s targeted at people without good credit history (different to ex-bankrupts).

          2. As I said, if those people cared about my credit status then I’d want nothing to do with them. I clearly forget how vile “city types” can be given I rarely interact with them!

    • Rob says:

      Too-da-loo snowflake x

      • Callum says:

        The kind of person who thinks it’s funny to try and abuse people for “caring too much”, or whatever that stupid comment actually means, are the kind of people (for want of a better word) I happily avoid anyway – so I’m not sure where I’d be moving to?

    • Roger* says:

      While I scarcely notice a comment on my cards, I do remember a waiter at a pizza restaurant in Cape Town remarking ‘cool card!’ on seeing my Aqua caed. Not quite Rob’s ‘funky’.

    • Rob says:

      That’s not what I said. What I’m saying is that using this card will make some people believe you are an ex bankrupt and that may not be an image you want to give off.

    • ADS says:

      it would also be an opportunity to educate the snob that their prejudices may be preventing them from using the most appropriate credit card !

  • BJ says:

    What counts as a classier national newspaper?

    • Shoestring says:

      ie not the red tops

    • TripRep says:

      I’m assuming the Telegraph or Times.

      If it means what it says the Guardian shouldn’t be supporting travel industry in a climate emergency…

      • Lady London says:

        Hum. And a very worthy stance it it is, to stigmatize frequent flyers.

        It does then presumably, eliminate the possibility of the publication concerned, getting advertising revenue from all those purveyors of luxury travel that repeat each year reliably seasonally…. 🙁

  • Anna says:

    OT, I’m flying MAN-LHR-VIE this morning and have got an email saying there may delays because of the French strikes 😩. Hopefully we’ll get to LHR in time so we can make the most of any delays in the Qantas & Cathay lounges!

    • John says:

      Have a good time

    • Spurs Debs says:

      You don’t have much luck with the domestic leg of your trips! Fingers X it works out ok.

      • Anna says:

        Lol, tell me about it! I think if anything it’s going to be the LHR-VIE leg which is affected as it’s the closure of French air space which is causing loads of flights to be delayed and diverted.

        • JamesLHR says:

          VIE should be fine, taking a DET or BPK SID puts you in either Belgium or Dutch airspace and then route down through German airspace.

          Any delay will be a slot delay due to volumes going through the departure routing or rotational, but I wouldn’t think it would be that delayed.

    • Michael C says:

      That early-morning cava makes it all seem less bothersome! Have a great trip to the Xmas markets – we went this day last year, stunning!

    • Cat says:

      If you have to be delayed on your travels, I think the T3 lounges have to be among the better places Anna! Enjoy!

  • Henry says:

    Ot Thanks to Head for points we won 3 Virgin golden tickets to Shanghai on 22nd -29th Feb
    Me my wife and my 4-year-old boy who wants to go to Tokyo to see Godzilla will be heading out in economy delight seats from LHR.

    Im wondering if anybody with experience of PVG airport and immigration could offer some advice?
    Our plan is to transit through Shanghai and fly to Tokyo after our outbound flight with Virgin
    I have seen some good value business class seats on Japan airlines 787 but dont know how long to leave from landing in PVG to boarding our flight to Tokyo as its difficult work out immigration time etc.
    Also would we have to reclaim luggage or would that get put onto our flight to Tokyo automatically?
    If anybody has any experience of the JAL business class lounge also that would be great.

    Thank you in advance

    • Tom says:

      I’ve done this exact journey, Henry. Including the JAL 787 to NRT. In my experience (once, ever) the transit without Visa desk had zero queue, versus the mainstream immigration desks that were very busy. The agent was friendly enough but scrutinised my hotel booking confirmation (we stayed 24hrs) and confirmed onwards travel to a third country. Take everything you have that states ‘confirmed’ or ‘booked’ etc, printed.
      For us, no issues whatsoever. Have a fantastic trip.

      • Tom says:

        Oh, I stand to be corrected by a HFP expert, but I don’t believe your baggage will be interlined through to NRT due to Virgin Atlantic and JAL not having an interline agreement.
        As for the business lounges at NRT and PVG, I don’t recall either of them being overly remarkable.
        Service on the JAL 787 was impeccable though.

        • Henry says:

          Thank you Tom super helpful information 🙂

          • ankomonkey says:

            I also did this about a year ago. Tom is right on everything he’s said. I left 4 hours transit time and it was too much. We flew in on Virgin and out on JAL.

    • Will says:

      I’ve had about a 30-40 min queue at PVG for visa on arrival (transit) on 2 occasions. It was 18 months ago that I was last there so may have changed since then.

    • The_real_a says:

      You should transit for 144 hours using the visa exemption! Stay near the bund and take a tour walk about a bit… Great place.

  • NigelthePensioner says:

    Back to the Post Office master card then, eventually, for foreign fee free purchases. I dont feel compelled to spend “cash”back at John Lewis or Waitrose…..a supermarket tomato is, surprisingly to some, still a mass grown tomato!! Which is probably why Aldi is the preferred supermarket for the mortgage maxed outs? Rightly so…..their products are not rip offs which we are so accoustomed to in the UK dont you know!

    • Doug M says:

      I’d say on salad items Aldi is better than Waitrose.

    • RussellH says:

      There used to be a standing joke in Germany about Dutch grown Supermarket tomatoes: “There used to be just three states of water (ice, water, steam), just for any other material. But now it seems as though they have invented a fourth state of water.”

      Not that funny, but it does say something about the quality or otherwise of supermarket tomatoes these days!

  • Arthur says:

    I think you mean 3x points when using the Amex Gold card to pay for flights in a foreign currency, as both the foreign currency and the flight ticket spend triggers double points with Amex. So the points nicely balance out the Fx fee.

    • Doug M says:

      Yes and no. I’ve examples of both. Tried to clarify twice on phone with Amex and both times call centre insist it should be only two as outbound and airline don’t stack. Pointed out the lack of clarity in the T&Cs and got no meaningful response.

      • Pangolin says:

        I’ve always had 3x on non-GBP airline spend without exception. Amex chat rep also confirmed that this should be 3x.

  • paulm says:

    Just a note on Hyatt, I note the two IHG hotels in Manchester oxford road that are switching to Hyatt are now bookable for the 10th January onwards.