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Is the Tandem Money cashback credit card worth £5.99 per month?

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For a long time, our recommended credit card for overseas use was from challenger bank Tandem Money.

It was a great product.  There was no annual fee, you paid nothing in foreign exchange fees and you got 0.5% cashback on all of your spending – even your foreign spend.

This was clearly a loss leader for Tandem which couldn’t continue.  The card was withdrawn for new applications late last year.  Existing cardholders received an email yesterday explaining that they are losing it too unless they pay a fee.

From March, cardholders have two options – they can either pay a £5.99 monthly fee to retain their card, or the card will be cancelled.

For most people, it will be ‘bye bye’ to Tandem Money.

If you have a bit of cash sitting around, there MAY be something for you.

What should replace your Tandem Money card?

The £5.99 fee also allows you to open a Tandem Money savings account with a ‘top of the market’ interest rate of 1.5%.  You can invest up to £250,000 although I doubt you would want to risk more than the £85,000 that is Government-protected in case of default.

If you DO have £85,000 in cash, there is an interesting angle here:

Invested in Tandem Money at 1.5%, you would receive £1,275 gross in interest

The best alternative deal at the moment is probably Marcus at 1.35% (£1,147 of interest)

You would be paying a £72 annual fee for your Tandem Money account BUT you would be receiving £128 more of gross interest.  Knock off tax at your marginal rate and you should be roughly quits, which means that the credit card benefits are all upside.

There is one more quirk as well.  From March, the interest rate on the Tandem credit card will be 0%.  Forever.  Tandem is basically offering you a 0% loan as long as you pay your £5.99 monthly fee.

You can find out more on the Tandem Money website here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (217)

  • xcalx says:

    OT on phone with BA question can I upgrade with lloyds voucher LBA-LHR-BCN or LHR-BCN thanks BA saying one or the other not both

    • BJ says:

      Sorry your question is not quite clear. You can upgrade one pax on a return flight or 2 pax on a one way flight. If you do LBA-LHR-BCN then both sectors should be upgraded to CE, not just one.

  • Jtz says:

    OT just got my monese card yesterday and topped up 200 in coop, although they now have clear signs saying no credit card top ups…
    Went to PO next who said it has to be cash only, they weren’t sure if hey take it and I said it says PO on the back, she said she will try it and I asked to use my card to top up, and it didnt work…? Is that just this po or overall now?
    Some message came up on the card reader then it said card declined

    • mark2 says:

      Today I loaded 489.09 at a Post Office (in Tesco Extra) and 247.09 at two different Coops.
      I do this several times per week at different POs including Crown Offices and Coops.

      • EwanG says:

        thanks Mark2. Are the Co-ops paypoints? Presumably there would be no issue with an Asda paypoint then!

        • mark2 says:

          Yes the Co-ops are PayPoints, or I suppose more accurately the PayPoints are Co-ops.
          ASDA PayPoints are definitely cash only and I have had Coops where the manager refuses cards, but not lately.
          Some Tesco Extra stores have PayPoint but it is more fiddly there. I never ask to use a card; I just hold it and look expectant, a bit like our Cocker Spaniel.

          • EwanG says:

            thanks again Mark, saves me some embarrassment at the Asda!
            Trying to work out where best to go to to use the card. Local PO has a very bad rep, the handiest Co-op isn’t on the PayPoint list but others nearby (but out of the way) are. Lots of minimarket places nearby are PayPoints but in rough locations!
            I need to do some leg work at the weekend, expect that @BJ already knows the good places around my way!

          • mark2 says:

            Worth trying the Coop which is not on the list. I would be very surprised if a small shop allowed you to use a card.

          • Shoestring says:

            Texaco round our way as well

          • Jtz says:

            Thanks all for the replies, I think I need to try out other places then.

          • BJ says:

            @EwanG, I don’t frequent same places regularly since Shandwick Place co-op closed, and I don’t overplay Monese as running around shops is too much hassle for me. I tend to randomly stop at co-ops and POs we pass in the car, mostly in small towns and villages. IIRC you are in South side, furthest South I have successfully used are the co-op and PO on Clerk Street. They are also ok at East Craigs co-op and PO which we do a short detour to when using the Queensferry Crossing. The co-op on Frederick Street has always been difficult when it comes to paypoint so I just avoid it. The lady in Esso garage on Queensferry Road was happy to take card for CT but seemed to know that Monese is cash only and declined card. Will try the PO in Stockbridge in next few days.

          • BJ says:

            @Mark2m can picture you 🙂 I never bring my card out until they have already processed the payment/credit.

          • EwanG says:

            Thanks @BJ – Monese is just another option and I’m with you on that hassle of running around shops. It’s fun for a bit for Shop Small, or if I could do this at lunchtime but I’ve not worked in the city centre for the past couple of years and not much near the office.
            I’m a lot further north and west than you think, so E Craigs is a small potential detour! 😉

        • The Urbanite says:

          Asdas all definitely cash only, tried that one!

    • Charlieface says:

      Esso’s and Shell’s all take credit cards for Paypoint, but Post Office is absolutely debit card or cash only for these types of transactions, also council tax and utilities.

  • Harry T says:

    OT:
    Have used my first 241 for flights to and from Tokyo in November. Departing from Inverness saves £300!

    We are on the 777 to Tokyo – any advice on the best seats to choose in F? It’s my first time flying First. We have chosen row 2 middle seats at present so we can sit next to each other but aren’t exposed to Galley noise. All middle pairs are available to choose.

      • Stu N says:

        Main thing is to decide if you want window seats one in front of another or a middle pair; you can dine together using the buddy seats anyway.

        Personally I’d avoid 1A/1K and Row 4 as they are nearer the toilets and galley and what noise and light leakage there is (which isn’t much) will be more noticeable there, but there aren’t any bad seats in F.

    • mark2 says:

      On the few occasions when I have travelled in F we have chosen the 2nd row centre seats in 777 and A380. But some prefer the window seats.

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      WE tend to sit 2a/3a each with window seat. I don’t need to speak to him on a plane… we do enough talking as it is ! Anyway , he listens to music, I watch films and read. We will do buddy dining which is quite fun… as I can just squeeze into the cubbyhole.

    • Benj says:

      We did our first flight in First in November last year and took 2K and 3K which worked really well with the buddy dining option. The seats in the middle are not as close as the middle seats in the “old” Club World – it looks like you have to make a bit of an effort to see and speak to your neighbour.

    • BJ says:

      No bad seats IMO. We prefer window seats but dine together. I sleep most of the time on flights anyway but TYO not really good for that so it us z goid option to exoerience First service. . Contrary to others, I even like row 1 as front row always feels that little bit special on a plane. I’ve found the galley empty most of the time after main service is over so if you want to join a certain very exclusive club…

    • Tilly says:

      We had 2A and 3A on the 777 to Tokyo. We did buddy dining – nice and comfy for me in the buddy seat but I’m petite anyway. Then we just watched films and slept anyway. Nice to have the window seat and before landing we got to see Mt. Fuji from the window and got some good pics.

  • Harry T says:

    @BJ
    If I fly out of Inverness but back into Newcastle or Edinburgh, would the taxes and charges be the same as flying out of and back into Inverness, for a 241? If yes, will I be charged if I ring BA to change my booking to fly back into NCL instead of Inverness? If so, should I just cancel my seats (I can travel on other dates) and then rebook over the phone?

    • BJ says:

      If you fly back into NCL or EDI the prices will be very similar with very minor airport-specific fee differences. If you made the reservation less than 24h ago you can change return domestic sector for free otherwise it will be £35pp. You and your partner both need to return to the same airport. With a 241 you cannot return to NCL while your partner returns to EDI.

  • PaulC says:

    O/T – Currently at Manchester Airport. Our flight to Zurich is showing as delayed by 25mins, this now only gives us 25mins to get our flight to Hong Kong, I doubt our bags will make it so just want to know what Swiss’ policy on max payout on delayed baggage, how much can we bill them for essentials?

    • Shoestring says:

      Did you get ticketed through by Swiss with 50 mins’ connection time? Or did you do that yourself?

      It matters.

      • PaulC says:

        Yea I know it makes a difference that’s why I asked as we are ticketed through with 50min connection.

    • Lady London says:

      If its on Swiss you might be very lucky. Due to Swiss efficiency relatively short correspondences can be feasible in ZRH. Ask the flight crew. They might even hold the connection very slightly if they have a lot of passengers joining.

      • PaulC says:

        Yes we are ticketed through to HK, bought on the Swiss/Lufthansa 241 Business Class offer last year. First time on Swiss.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Hope you made your flight

          I’m sure you can claim essentials just like every other airline. If your bags haven’t made it hopefully they won’t be far behind on another flight/carrier.

  • Christopher Ingold says:

    I guess there is no point mentioning Fight Club anymore….

  • Alan says:

    OT Bits: when does the new VS Money limit of max points in a statement month being based on the card credit limit come into effect? I’ve still never had any notification from them but my recollection was it was sometime this month or next??

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I feel like these were targeted notes for people as you’re not really meant to cycle your credit limit on a daily basis.

      I’d be surprised if they actually overhauled their IT and it’s not just a warn them and they’ll stop type note.

      • Alan says:

        Oh interesting, from what I’d seen I thought it was across the board. Great if not!

        • AndyGWP says:

          Someone posted a link to the Virgin Card T&C’s yesterday, now including a mileage cap. Whether that’s just for new applicants though, I’m not sure. I’ve received no notification either (in statements, letters or emails), and my last statement (5th Jan) contained the full £7k of points, on a £5.5k credit limit

  • BJ says:

    @Shoestring, are you going to be on ‘Bargain Loving Brits in thd Sun’ on Ch5 at 8pm tonight? If not I guess the producers have really messed up big time 🙂