I am looking to get a credit card after having my RBS card cancelled (they didnt tell me, it just disappeared from my banking online and I found it was gone) several years ago after I cleared it and failed to use it for a while.
Having been spoiled by Monzo I was hoping to have a modern card with real time notifications etc as I have gotten used to with Monzo, initially I thought about Tandem as it was free abroad and had a little cash back but some of the stories about its legacy approaches with phone calls and paperwork make me doubt it now so I wondering if anyone had any other suggestions to look at.
I dont have a bad credit score but it isnt as high as it should be due to the lack of a credit card for several years now and I would use it abroad a bit. I would like one with a decent app and notifications like Monzo but I am not sure how common that is now.
Any suggestions would be welcome!
A modern ‘fin-tech’ with 0.5% cash back on all credit card purchases. Plus it also has an app that can aggregate all of your accounts, if you want it to.
Tandem is the only one I know of with notifications - but apart from those it’s more legacy like than an actual legacy bank.
I’ve been holding on to mine to see if anything changes. But nothing’s improved since I got it, which was when they very first released it (must be nearly a year now?)
I have an American express card that I use regularly, and get instant notifications. Admittedly, I’ve not used it abroad yet, but like you, my credit score is not the best (although not poor) and was given a 4k credit limit straight away.
I’ve only had one problem where a company tried to take money twice, but a quick phone call to amex & the problem was resolved immediately
AMEX has a decent app, instant notifications, amazing customer service, and good rewards.
I wouldn’t use it abroad, but it’s as close to Monzo as any credit card I’ve found.
Thanks for the replies so far, I kinda wish Monzo did a credit card or even Starling tbh.
Ideally I would like to use it in the USA given the risks of fraud over there (although I have never had an issue in the past tbf)
How easy is it to use AMEX in the UK now? I remember it was hellish years ago when I was younger, my folks had an AMEX and it basically became unusable given its fee’s but this was before contact less and everything else existed.
Tandem sounds great but so many say its still so legacy in use and it doesn’t have the same attention to detail as Monzo. The cashback and no international fee’s are nice though.
I can think of a handful of places that don’t take it - But it’s probably less than 1% of my spend.
Not as widely accepted as Visa/Mastercard. I personally wouldn’t dare go anywhere without also having a non-AMEX alternative available if necessary. That said, I also wouldn’t rely solely on Visa or Mastercard anyway.
For UK based users Amex will do a double conversion if if spend in a currency different than USD. Say, you spent in Japanese Yen, it will get converted from GBP to USD to JPY. At an Amex rate
I expect Starling to launch a credit card in the near future
What’s the reason for this?
I know historically it was because of high fees charged to the merchant. But aren’t interchange fees capped at 0.3% these days?
We don’t accept it where I work. Unfortunately I’m not directly involved with payments so can’t give a precise answer, but I was told it was because things get particularly difficult if we need to refund a customer who paid by AMEX.
I don’t know if it’s accurate or if I was fed a load of flannel, but either way, we’ve clear guidance to not accept any AMEX payments.
Amex also has notifications, and excellent customer service. However, it isn’t accepted everywhere, and foreign currency transactions are pretty expensive. It’s my main card, but I also have Tandem.
Greggs, BM Bargains, KFC and B&Q are the main places I shop at that don’t accept it, plus my local bus company. Most places do. Surprisingly, Poundland now accepts it, previously they were debit card only. I put about £1000-£1500 of expenditure per month through Amex, and about £50-£100 through Mastercard. You definitely can’t have Amex as your only card though.
To clarify, the Amex rate is slightly better than Visa rate, slightly worse than Mastercard, but they add a 3% margin to it. Only one 3% margin though if it is a non-USD transaction. So slightly better than a Visa for USD transactions, slightly worse than a Visa for other currencies.
+1 for Amex from me. I rarely go somewhere that doesn’t accept it.
- Good app (would love them to build it out a bit more with some features Monzo has such as merchant enrichment)
- Good support
A lot of discount retailers accept it now: Aldi, Lidl etc.
This is the one I have: https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/credit-cards/platinum-cashback-everyday-credit-card/
Shame tandem isn’t quit there with how they operate certain things.
I can also imagine Starling launching one in the future. Would be interesting to say the least.
I have Amex and I love it, but the amazing customer service eludes me.
I hate that it’s a choice between tweeting them or calling them. If they can’t offer a web chat, I wish they at least had an email. The whole thing puts me off before I even try. (I’m ‘allergic’ to phone calls as much as I am to cash).
I’m sure the service is probably great if you call… my only experience was tweeting and then waiting 2-3 days for a response
I love phone CS if it’s answered quickly.
FD and AMEX both do this really well.
The AMEX team are always really quick to sort any issues out (not that there are many), and generally very helpful.
A web chat would be nice, but when you have such good phone support, I can see why they don’t bother.
Fair enough, I guess this is why I’m reluctant to phone, I never expect it to be answered quickly.
Particularly around finance, have had such poor experiences with HSBC on the phone in the past, just to reset my internet banking.
Out of interest, in your experience, do Amex answer fairly quickly?
Yeah they do - I can’t remember being on hold for long at all after the initial security part.
It’s no first direct, who answer quicker than when you ring your Mum… but it’s still good.
As for bad experiences with other banks… 100% - They are all useless with this (Nationwide particularly bad).
But if you ever have an issue with AMEX - definitely call them.
I swear I’ve used web chat with Amex. They have that thing where it opens a secure form in a second little window to verify you.