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 The card was withdrawn for new applications late last year.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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
The following offers will end soon:
- 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)
Here are the top current deals:
British Airways American Express
10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 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 offers.
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
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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
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: