Tandem Bank reintroduces its Cashback Credit Card, at a cost

via AltFi

From March Tandem will be shifting its flagship credit card to a paid ‘membership’ model, the bank announced yesterday.

After removing its Cashback Credit Card from the Tandem website in December, yesterday the card reappeared albeit with a new monthly fee.

The recurring £5.99 fee comes with additional perks for card holders, like a 1.5% instant access savings account and 0% interest on purchases, but will be compulsory for all existing Cashback Credit Card users from 9 March.

Tandem’s CEO and co-founder Ricky Knox called it an attempt for the startup to make its offerings more “sustainable” and described the membership model as a “test”.

“We want to continue to offer products and services that make a real difference to our customers,” he said in a statement.

The decision is likely to be divisive among Tandem customers, especially those who have used the credit card for free since it launched in 2018, and have been told to settle their accounts by March if they’re not willing to now pay.

“It feels like this was a misstep,” said Sarah Kocianki, Head of Research at 11FS.

“Perhaps they didn’t appreciate how popular the card would be. But to offer people rewards for free and then suddenly switch to charging people makes me think the full credit strategy hadn’t been fully thought out.”

Kocianki also questioned whether Tandem’s paid membership tier is really “superior” to the free version which is currently being offered.

The new membership includes 0% interest on all purchases, an improvement on the previous 24.5%, and seemingly without any time limitation, a 1.5% easy access savings account, free FX spending overseas, and the same 0.5% cashback as offered by Tandem’s previous card.