Yonder is a new rewards credit card in the UK you certainly won’t forget hearing about. Unlike other cards in the market, it’s offering up to 5X points on select purchases and there’s no foreign transaction fees of any kind. Yep, that’ll perk up some eyebrows!
And here’s the controversial part.
It’s also bucking a longstanding, but often frustrating trend in rewards, by ignoring airline miles entirely and replacing them with travel and dining opportunities worth up to 2.5x the standard value of other rewards programs in the process.
Yonder is new, it’s quirky and for the sake of not regurgitating everything ever written about an Amex Gold Card, I applied for the card and after playing around, I’m finding it to be the most intriguing card in my wallet.
Yonder Card: My Curiosity
I got the Yonder Card largely out of curiosity. I’d heard rave reviews about the user experience and transparency, but also about a company finally trying out a new way to issue rewards and make an app actually designed for customers from scratch.
So many cards have launched simply rinsing and repeating strategies with different marketing, and this card feels different. It’s taking a hyper-localized rewards approach, and focusing on eliminating anything people find confusing about their money or their rewards. I can press a button and chat with a real human every time, too.
Plus, Yonder has no foreign transaction fees. Shockingly, it’s the first UK rewards card of any real scale to do that. Most cards still carry horrific 2-3% fees.
After seeing Yonder’s big £20m wave of fundraising, including from investors who backed Monzo, Wise and other huge successes, it looks like the new card is about to become “a thing” while seriously taking on the Amex Gold, so I wanted to be among the first to really use it.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The US market gave up on foreign transaction fees about a decade ago. Ugh. Anyway, Yonder is finally pushing the UK market that way. You can finally earn rewards abroad, without the BS fees attached to the purchase.
Last week in New York, I purchased some new Pixel Buds Pro from the Google Store and was amazed not only to see that I wasn’t charged any forex fees, but I enjoyed a fantastic rate of exchange, with full transparency on the rate.
Earning credit card rewards from a premium UK card, without foreign exchange fees has sadly been unheard of, until now. Curve was a good roundabout foray, but this is direct and real.
I want card purchase protections and points earning abroad — and this enables that.
Yonder’s Approach To Rewards
More than most people in life, I’m living proof that airline miles and points can unlock some of the best experiences in travel, but I also tire of repeating propositions to card users, when there’s no notable innovation. Miles have been “done” already.
Also, they’re still really confusing. I’ve spent most of my life trying to change that.
Yonder is interesting because it takes a hyper local focus to offers and rewards, and also takes a “if this isn’t stupid easy, we’re not doing it” approach to using them.
The card’s focus is not on “national chain” or “international brand” offers like other major players but on actually curated opportunities with the best restaurants and hospitality businesses in a given city, like London.
Take Tayēr + Elementary — a world class bar. No, literally. It placed second on the World’s 50 Best Bar List this year. Right now, I can get 2.6 cents per point of value by using points toward my experience there. I just go in like a normal customer, pay, and then can swipe away £72 off the bill for 2,750 points.
I’m a self proclaimed food lover and I’m astounded by how local and brilliant the earn and burn opportunities are with truly top quality restaurants and bars at all price points across London.
Redemptions of points don’t require a PhD, either.
You simply find a travel experience, meal or opportunity in the Yonder App, go and enjoy your meal and tap your card, then swipe to redeem your points for the experience in the app. When you do, you’re credited in real time.
This also allows you to pay normally in a restaurant or experience without a waiter or staff member knowing you’re redeeming points. You just settle your bill and swipe to redeem your points.
It’s nice not to need to use special availability, or special redemption dates or hours. You get to feel full price, without paying for it.
The best rewards and opportunities rotate, and as they do, chances to earn up to 5X Yonder Points on dining, or burn Yonder Points at significantly higher figures than one could typically burn other credit card currencies in the UK, pop up.
Yonder partners with more boutique, unique and inspired options, such as Kip in the UK, a far more curated and luxury focused version of Airbnb. On the restaurant side, their team painstakingly select a rotating cast of fantastic offers.
I’ve found one nice surprise to the Yonder experience as well, known as “treats” in the app. Each month, new limited time member perks seem to pop up, which often cover the monthly fee alone.
Representative example: Approval subject to eligibility. Representative APR: 59.3% APR (variable), Purchase rate: 23.94% APR (variable),
Monthly fee: £15 a month, Assumed credit limit: £1200
Impact on your credit rating: You’ll need to make your minimum monthly payment on time, or it can impact your credit rating. Only borrow what you can afford to pay back.Yonder Card
Yonder Travel Coverage
There’s no airport lounge access with a Yonder Card, but you can receive some of the best trip delay and cancellation coverage offered by any card or insurance policy, just by paying with the card.
After the $#!Tshow of airline cancellations and hotel over-bookings of the summer, that’s quite a valuable thing to have. Coverage includes up to £1,000,000 in medical, £7,500 in cancellation and £500 for delays, among many others.
Annual Fees And Other Features
The Yonder Card currently offers 3 months free, plus £50 to spend at their curated welcome experiences across greater London. I used my £50 to cover most of my meal at Lina Stores, one of my favorite pasta spots.
After the intro period, the fee is £15 per month, rather than a standard annual fee that bills annually. At an annualized basis, it’s an annual fee of £180 for the year.
I’d argue that the travel protections alone are worth far more, and £50 to instantly spend helps that a lot too.
Of course, we haven’t even touched on the earning 1 Yonder Point per £ spent, or the ability to earn up to 5X points on purchases, or the 10% discounts at top retailers like Farfetch, thanks to the Mastercard World Elite perks.
You can check out the Yonder Card, here. What are your thoughts?
I don’t suppose there’s a lot of value here for those of us who don’t live in London?
I think it’s an interesting conversation. I don’t live in Central London (I’m about 45 mins outside) but I’m in town frequently enough to find real benefit. I think what’s interesting is that London is a first market. You find what works in one (and what might not) and then you take those learnings to more cities. I have no idea what their strategic plans are, but I’d expect there’s a clever model.
the card is interesting but with the monthly/annual fee that comes with the card and seemingly no additional perks to help off set that fee. some of the perks you mentioned sounds like a sign up bonus and not an annual thing. how much would you have to spend per month to break even anyway. i don’t live in the UK just found the card to be interesting but feels like the fee might kill it a bit.
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