Tandem Journey Credit Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 9th March 2020.

Great for: No fees for spending abroad
2.5 stars question mark

The Tandem Journey card could be a great choice if you’re looking for a travel card with good app-based management. The card allows users to spend abroad with no foreign transaction fees, and even make fee-free cash withdrawals abroad (the latter are best for emergencies only). Add to that a well-liked app for managing the card, and it’s a nice basic package for those who pay down their credit card balance monthly. However, the card has a higher standard APR than other travel cards, and lacks 0% periods or rewards, which makes it pale a bit versus competition.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No fees on cash withdrawals abroad
  • Well-liked app for managing the card
  • No annual fee

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Annual purchase rate (variable) 24.9%
Representative APR (variable) 24.9%
Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200

You may be offered a different credit limit or APR to that shown here as it depends on your individual circumstances. Subject to eligibility and credit assessment.

what we like

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Well-liked app for managing the card
  • No annual fee
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    24.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 2/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No fees on cash withdrawals abroad
  • Well-liked app for managing the card
  • No annual fee

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Annual purchase rate (variable) 24.9%
Representative APR (variable) 24.9%
Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200

You may be offered a different credit limit or APR to that shown here as it depends on your individual circumstances. Subject to eligibility and credit assessment.

BOTTOM LINE

The Tandem Journey card could be a great choice if you’re looking for a travel card with good app-based management. The card allows users to spend abroad with no foreign transaction fees, and even make fee-free cash withdrawals abroad (the latter are best for emergencies only). Add to that a well-liked app for managing the card, and it’s a nice basic package for those who pay down their credit card balance monthly. However, the card has a higher standard APR than other travel cards, and lacks 0% periods or rewards, which makes it pale a bit versus competition.

Credit Rating Requirement: Fair/Average

What’s great about this card

No foreign transaction fees – This card has no foreign transaction fees — that’s right, nothing. Foreign transaction fees are typically around 2.99%, but with this card you spend while abroad, comfortable in the knowledge that you are avoiding such a charge.

Fee-free cash withdrawals abroad – As part of its travel card credentials, the Tandem Journey Credit Card also has no fees for making cash withdrawals abroad. This means that you can withdraw money while on holiday and avoid any ATM fees. However, you will be charged interest from day one so this feature tends to be better saved for emergency-type situations when you need cash in a pinch.

Good account management – Tandem’s account management app tends to get well reviewed by users, and there are a few stand-out features. Firstly, you can receive instant notifications of transactions straight to your phone, meaning you can stay in complete control of your spending. Secondly, you can also take advantage of the Round Ups feature in the Tandem app which allows you to save as you spend by rounding up to the nearest pound and saving the difference. Finally, you can also freeze your card in-app if you have lost it.

Protection on purchases – This card offers you peace of mind when it comes to purchases. Anything that you buy using your card between the value of £100 and £30,000 is covered. Which means if things go wrong, you can still be refunded.

No over-limit fees – Most cards will charge you a fee for going over your credit limit, but not this one. While you will be charged a fee for late payments and failed direct debits, there is no fee for exceeding your limit. However, going over your credit limit is still not advisable as this could impact your credit score, so while it’s nice that there’s no fee, we don’t recommend that you test the feature!

Why trust me


Kate Anderson
I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What’s not so great

High APR – There is no getting away from the fact that this card has a higher-than-average APR — and depending on your individual circumstances, it could be even higher than the advertised rate. High interest rates on credit cards are never desirable, but it is worth making a note of this one if you do plan to use the card’s travel features. While you may benefit from the lack of fees on spending abroad, you still stand to be charged interest on your transactions if you don’t pay your full balance every month.

UK cash withdrawal fee – You may stand to benefit from no fees on cash withdrawals abroad, but expect to be charged for making one back home. Cash withdrawals made using the card in the UK will incur a fee of 2.5% or £2.50 (whichever is higher).

No introductory offers – If you are looking for interest-free periods on purchases or balance transfers this isn’t the card for you. It offers nothing out of the ordinary for purchases and does not allow balance transfers.

Increased eligibility criteria – Whereas the Journey card used to accept those who had previous issues with credit, it has since changed its tune. This card requires applicants to have a minimum income of £15,000 a year and states that you will be more likely to be accepted if you have a ‘good’ credit history.

How it compares

To be considered a travel credit card, allowing users to spend abroad without worrying about extra fees is a must. And the Journey card does exactly that. In addition, the card offers fee-free cash withdrawals while abroad — which isn’t something that every travel card features. That’s a nice add-on, but more as an ‘emergency’ feature for when you’re travelling and need cash in a pinch, since interest begins accruing from day one.

For those who like managing their finances via their mobile, Tandem’s app is another plus. Users tend to have a better experience with Tandem’s app versus competitors, and features like spending alerts and the ability to freeze your card from the app make it another reason to consider the Journey card.

On the other hand, you’re not going to get rewards or cashback from this credit card. That’s somewhat of a drawback, though most travel cards on the market don’t reward users for their spending. Likewise, the card lacks any 0% periods for purchases or balance transfers, which you can find with some competing travel cards. That could be advantageous if you’d like some extra time to pay down your holiday spending after you get home – something that a 0% purchases offer could help with.

Finally, the standard APR on the Journey card is notably higher than other travel cards on the market. If you are diligent about consistently paying down your balance, this may not concern you. But if you tend to carry a balance on your card — even just occasionally — the higher APR should give you pause.

What does fee-free spending abroad really mean?

It means that you needn’t worry about racking up (unnecessary!) fees for using your credit card when travelling, giving you that extra level of comfort when you are away from home.

If you are on holiday and have accidently spent your last Euro/Dollar/Rupee, there is no need to stress if you have a travel credit card in your pocket. Knowing that you can pay with your card and avoid a big additional fee means that you can relax into your travels rather than worrying about extra charges once you are back home. And for an increasing number of travellers, paying with a card is simply easier and more convenient than worrying about exchanging money and carrying around a bunch of cash that can be lost or stolen.

Something else you don’t need to worry about with a travel credit card is being hit with unreasonably high exchange rates. Finding a good exchange rate while already abroad can be hit and miss, but with a travel credit card you can spend away safe in the knowledge you will be getting a consistent and reasonable rate.

And if you really reach a pinch point with your holiday money and need a little extra cash to help things along, then knowing you have the ability to withdraw cash using your card and do so without a large fee attached to it is also a bonus. However, this should be saved for only when you really need it, as you will be charged interest from day one on any transactions you make.

A travel credit card is there to make spending while on holiday that much easier and cheaper. It can act as a safety blanket if you run out of holiday money, or as a secure form of spending if you are not a fan of carrying large amounts of cash around with you are out exploring. All in all, it can be a nifty financial tool if used correctly.

Who is this card great for?

This card is great for those who expect to use their credit card abroad or frequently make purchases on foreign websites. The lack of foreign transaction fee means that anything purchased in a foreign currency won’t carry an additional charge, and there is the added bonus of no fee attached to cash withdrawals made when outside the UK (although remember you will be charged interest from day one on this sort of transaction).

It is also suited to those who are comfortable using mobile apps for their credit card account management. To get the real benefit of features such as Autosavings and instant spending notifications you will need to download then Tandem app. So if you are not au fait with managing your account through your smartphone, this may not be the best fit for you.

Finally, this card is best for those with a ‘good’ credit score. Tandem will perform a credit assessment and ask that applicants have a minimum income of £15,000 a year, no CCJs in the past 12 months and have not been declared bankrupt in the past 12 months.

See the Best Travel Credit Cards


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