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Tandem review

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While other challenger bank reviews we have done previously have focused on providers of current accounts, Tandem is a different beast altogether. Rather than insisting on you opening a new current account, Tandem works with your existing account, providing a savings account that works in ‘tandem’ with your current account.

Since changing its name from Harrods Bank in 2018, Tandem now operate in an advisory function for customers, with the free app being the cornerstone of their offering. Through being a Tandem customer, you will have access to a number of fixed savings accounts and the ability to apply for a credit card too.

 Tandem app gives you easy ways to save

 Autosavings rounds up loose change and puts it aside in a savings account

 No need to open a new current account

 Two types of Credit Card available

 Three types of Fixed Savings accounts available

 Available on App Store and Google Play Store

 Ideal for those who want to start saving more money

 Does not provide any current account options

 Need a modern smartphone to use properly

 Not ideal for those looking to switch banks

 £12 late fee for credit cards

 Withdrawing cash with credit cards has a minimum charge of £2.50

Products

  • Tandem App – the free companion app will work by pairing itself with your current account and automatically transferring spare change to a new savings account
  • Fixed Savers – if you already have a lump sum you would like to put away, you can take advantage of earning interest of up to 2% AER but you can only withdraw your savings after the fixed period has come to an end
  • Credit Cards – Tandem offer two types of credit card; one for building your credit score and one for earning cashback on your purchases

Eligibility criteria

  • You must already have a current account to use the app
  • For fixed savers you need to:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have lived in the UK for at least 3 years
  • For credit cards you need to:
    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have lived in the UK for at least 3 years
    • Have a minimum income of £15k
    • Have not had a CCJ or declared bankruptcy in the last 12 months

App features

Tandem’s companion app will connect to your existing current account and give you several options of saving money on a monthly basis. This is all configured through the Autosavings feature.

Round ups will automatically take any spare change from purchases you’ve made from your current account and transfer the amount into your Tandem savings account. This can be very handy as a frequent spender, as you will quickly accumulate a lot of spare change without even noticing.

Safe to save is a feature that predicts how much you can afford to save, then automatically moves it across to your savings account. This works with your current level of spending and works without you having to do anything at all.

Regular deposit allows you to set up a weekly or monthly transfer into your savings account and adjust it whenever you need to.

Security

While the app doesn’t need to secure a new current account, it does have to secure your existing current account. It communicates with your account through a system called Trulayer, which uses bank grade encryption to access your account easily and is also FCA authorised.

As standard you will have to use a username and password to access the app, which can also be further secured via Touch ID or Face ID on iPhones.

Spending abroad

Since you don’t have to switch your current account with Tandem, the guidelines for spending abroad will be dictated by your current bank. It’s worth checking whether you have to pay any fees for foreign transactions before you fly. As ever, always ask to pay in the local currency to get the best exchange rate.

If you have a Tandem credit card you will be able to spend for free abroad, but withdrawing cash will still incur similar fees and charges.

Fees and charges

Since Tandem don’t provide a full current account, the only applicable fees and charges are from their credit cards. They include:

  • £12 charge for missed credit card payment
  • ATM withdrawals have a fee of 2.5%, with a minimum charge of £2.50

Remember that since you will still be using your existing current account, you may still have fees and charges attached to this account too. Always check with your account provider to confirm any applicable fees before you start spending.

Support

In the first instance, Tandem have a section dedicated to FAQs, where you can find answers to common questions along with input from existing customers.

If you would prefer to speak to someone, they have a contact centre that is open 8am until 10pm weekdays and until 8pm on weekends.

Summary

Overall, Tandem caters to the fundamental issue facing other challenger banks; customers not using them as their main account. By providing a companion app to assist with savings, it recognises this trend and delivers products that sit neatly on the side of your current account, rather than something to replace it completely.

In this regard, rather than being a challenger, Tandem positions itself as an accessible and useful companion to optimise your savings. If you’d rather not switch banks but would still like to save money, Tandem could be a viable alternative to other challengers.

Do you like the sound of Tandem bank’s companion app? Make sure you have an existing current account you’re happy with by browsing our list of current accounts using the link below.

Robert Bester