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 The card was withdrawn for new applications late last year.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.
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 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.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
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
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
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
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.