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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  The card was withdrawn for new applications late last year.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)

  • Mike says:

    I did a short city break to Tirana as a 160 TP run in November for £230ish.
    Thoroughly enjoyed it, the city is a bit crazy but the food is good and cheap and the city has enough to see for a few days, in particular the communist bunkers which are now museums telling the story of that era.

  • Roy says:

    OT Anyone else find that Heathrow Rewards points from Heathrow Express app purchases no longer post since the app was redesigned?

  • Gerry says:

    Hi Rob.
    Very timely mention of Tirana, Albania as I’m in the early stages of booking a weekend trip in late 2020 at the moment (was going to give Emyr a shout). I have been to the Albanian Riviera -yes there is one – before and the Greek/Roman site at Butrint and the old town of Girocaster are very quiet. People very welcoming. It was very obvious that German businesses are investing a lot of money in Albania too.

  • James says:


    Are there any sweet spots for BA redemption in terms of reducing the tax cost? I just had a look at three trips and their Tax all from Inverness in First:

    Kuala Lumpur (£550.79),
    Mexico City (£538.65)
    Johannesburg (£502.71).

    So there is obviously some variance in the tax depending on your destination. Just wondering if anyone knows if there are low tax destinations out there? Thanks

    • ChrisC says:

      Very little of that is actual proper government imposed tax as INV departures are exempt from APD. There may be some proper taxes at the destination though..

      The variation is due to a combination of (a) airport fees at the destination and (b) the BA carrier surcharges. Neither of which are taxes,

      Look at the fare breakdown to see where the variation is.

      Go somewhere you actually want to visit not somewhere with lower airline fees on a reward flight.

      • James says:

        Thanks for your reply. I will go somewhere I want to go, I’m just in a position where I am Points Rich – Cash Poor, so in the same way that it’s handy to know that a night in a Marriott will cost 5,000 Bonvoy Points in Franschhoek but 70,000 in Paris, it’d be good to know if there are any destinations that make the overall holiday less expensive (Taxes, Fees & Charges-wise). If such a destination exists and I fancy a trip to it I’d probably go there rather than a desirable but trickier to afford destination. Thanks.

        • Steve says:

          As well as HKG and Rio, consider routes served by these as hubs. Ie single to Hong Kong, return Hong Kong to X then single Hong Kong to home. CX out of LON is cheaper than BA, and even cheaper ex EU.

          241 wont work though. Obvs

    • Dave says:

      Have a look at Hong Kong and Rio.

  • Shoestring says: is coming up with some low prices for Central London & elsewhere with code 30OFF – just Friday & Sundays until 5th April (?) – worth trying others though

    eg £20.99 London Central Tower Bridge

  • Craig says:

    OT: Is now official that Gold Priority Rewards are no longer at the RFS rate? I tried to book one yesterday and was told its double the “full” miles cost.

    • Rob says:

      Don’t think so. The last one I booked a couple of weeks ago went through at the old rate. It is a major downgrade for Golds if this does become policy.

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      Had the same problem last week! It’s a disaster and looks to be the normal rate now

  • Shoestring says:

    1. Nectar – 300 points
    As a thank you for being a Nectar member here’s 300 points.
    Ends in 11 days

    you just load it to your card/ accept offer

    2. Nectar – Ebay
    You’ve activated the Nectar bonus offer.
    Up to 300 base points plus 3x bonus points on items over 5 GBP.
    Expires:31 Jan 2020, 11:59 PM GMT

    3. Nectar – Avanti West Coast
    +500 points
    Make the most of January with Avanti West Coast and Nectar with 500 points on your next booking.
    Ends Fri 31 Jan

    now, is this Edinburgh Waverly/ Haymarket?

    • sloth says:

      dont have 1 or 2 myself…#3 yes correct rout but dont forget to book the ticket for your child not yourself

      • sloth says:

        …route! and also make sure you book the Avanti train and not scotrail

        • C says:

          I have ‘500 points when you use the Esso app for the first time’ on mine. I have already used the Esso app previously for the Tesco clubcard first uses offer, so I wonder if it will work for a first use now that Esso is with nectar? Data points welcomed!

    • avstar says:

      check the T&C for min spend reqs, killed this for me

  • Shoestring says:

    Co-Op offers back on Halifax cards – Cashyback Extras – (which usually means same on all cards in the LBG

    my son got 10% – ker-ching £30 off my council tax – but my wife & I only got 5% so the strategy here is to leave those until next time & we should get 10%

    • AndyK says:

      Haven’t had Co-Op offer for 2 years now just Waitrose. So annoying

      • Shoestring says:

        I take it you never actually use the card in Co-Op? That would be enough to stop them giving you offers – they’re trying to recruit new customers, not reward existing

        • AndyK says:

          Hypothetically if I do not use the card in Co-op but other supermarkets I am that new customer to be recruited.