That’s not a relevant comparison though. You can’t compare “normal interest charges” to late payment fees.
A more relevant comparison is:
If you don’t take action within a few hours of making a flex purchase you are charged interest.
If you don’t take action within a few hours of making a credit car purchase you are charged nothing.
Some people are talking about what happens if you never do anything and some after what happens if you do something after a day or whatever. Which is not helping the comparison.
It’s a bit more complicated than that because your CC purchase will only be interest free if you clear the statement balance in full, or you’re on a 0% special offer. Otherwise, CC companies typically charge interest from the day the transaction is made.
I suppose the other option Monzo could have chosen was to flex on the shortest term you could afford, but I can imagine that getting complicated if the card behaves differently each time you use it.
In the real world, i imagine most people will save their flex virtual card for special purchases, and remembering to adjust the flex period immediately after the purchase ought to be easy enough.
I don’t think that’s the right comparison to be making though. Nor is it a fair one. It tilts the narrative so the Flex approach looks better, but if wanted to compare choosing your flex to paying your credit card bill it’s worth highlighting the latter can be completely automated, whereas flex can’t be.
There will always be a scenario that someone can create so that an alternative is better than Flex.
If you’re paying off large credit card bills in full each month then Flex isn’t the product for you anyway.
What Monzo should have done is put all the Flux transactions on the 0% 3 month term by default.
If customers then wanted to have a longer term (with interest), that should be an deliberate decision by them.
It seems totally fair to make counterpoints to a (arguably misleading) comparison made by a monzo representative though.
Either way: for me personally monzo flex seems very complex and very high maintenance. Having to take some action to avoid charges after every single payment is definitely too much work for me
Tapping one of the notifications to select 3 instead of 12 is incredibly tough and understandable that it’s too complex for you.
I like to keep things simple.
And free of course
Agreed, but comparisons are how you determine which products are right for you, and I don’t think skewed or misleading ones are the right way to do that.
I mean sure, paying your purchase off in full 3 days after you make it is better than missing your card bill and being hit with late payment fees, but I don’t think it’s the fairest way to compare them in that respect, because the circumstances of winding up in those situations are incredibly different.
I like Flex’s niche, and I do think it beats out your standard credit in some scenarios, but this scenario of what happens if you don’t choose a plan in mind is simply worse than what I’d get out of using my standard credit card the way I use it, however way you try to slice it, to make one appear like it’s better when it’s not really the case. I think that sort of marketing spin doctoring does Flex an injustice in my view, because it doesn’t need it, it’s a pretty good product with an interesting spin that I sort of almost love.
It might be my skim reading or dodgy memory, but I don’t recall monzo trying to spin things.
100% agree, but - personally - I couldn’t use my flex card like I use my credit card because every purchase under £30 would decline. That would be a right nuisance. This is why I’m saying that flex isn’t meant to be used in the same way as your credit card, so I don’t know how useful the comparisons are.
It’s just my opinion, but comparing not choosing not choosing a flex plan and having the ability to pay it off in full against missing your credit card bill and being charged fees reads like marketing spin to me.
The comparison is useful for determining which sort of product suits your need best. Martin Lewis did a whole episode this week focusing on comparing these sorts of things, to help folks figure out which is best for them, and when they should or shouldn’t use them. So I think that speaks to how useful comparisons are.
Personally, I’m not sure about the flex card yet, but the other way to use seems pretty pivotal to me, and would be best used as a course correction to curb a slight overspend, or reprioritise purchases to avoid paying interest anywhere. Because I could go back two weeks if I need to and shift something to credit to pay off over 2 months in a pinch to free up cash now for something else, for example.
There’s a lot of drama over “forgetting” to set your payment term.
You’ve already planned in advance to use the card to Flex a transaction, so you’re already in that mindset. Then you get notifications to remind you to do it afterwards as well. I can’t really see what more they could do.
If they defaulted you to 3 months interest free, people would complain the first payment took all their money and now they can’t feed their kids. So either way you’d get people complaining.
If you’re the forgetful type and forget to action the notifications as well. Add more reminders in your phones calendar when you’re planning to use Flex prior to going out to the shop.
There’s a list of excluded transactions, I’d imagine that is one of them
I think ultimately comparing Flex to a Credit Card is a false comparison to make - both from a “flex is better because it wouldn’t have a fee!” Perspective and generally, as the use cases are just so different.
The BNPL mech of Flex is the draw, with the bonus of S75 where relevant… but beyond that I think the comparisons fail?
Just a different product all together that fill different needs? Sure you can make it act similarly to a credit card, but its not straightforward.
Also Im dubious behind the choices for the auto 12 month on Flex; it just seems to be “because that’s what our terms say”, but they could easily make that a “set your own default”…
In any case the daily interest rate is 0.048%… if the annual interest cost of a Full Flex = £263.50 that’s about £0.70 for a day….
I wanna try it but will probably get my flex closed and monzo email lol
Excluded transactions just don’t have the ‘flex this payment’ option. If you used the flex card, I imagine it would just decline.
I’d try it if I was curious and it had a benefit to me - I can’t see you getting your account closed as a result.
Hahahhahaahahahahaha but it’s monzo init
That just adds more hassle! Let us choose our own default like almost every other option does, so this sort of thing can be automated to our preferences without the issue of forgetting even being an issue.
No one wants notification fatigue to help them remember to do something that could be automated! It’s not 2010!
I don’t think forgetting is that big an issue, but the fact it’s a manual after the fact choice means there’s scope for this to catch me out at some point. And I’d rather eliminate that non-zero completely.
Letting me choose my own default preference to automate achieves that, and that’s what we’re asking for. There’s valid issues with a manual approach, and just because it’s not something that will affect how you use it, doesn’t mean they can’t make it better for everyone else without impacting your experience of the product.
It’s feedback, and these are valid concerns and criticisms that a user shouldn’t have to work around and change how they’d normally do things to compensate. At that point, you go elsewhere.