While Tuxedo has been a name in finance for around a decade, it only recently entered the field of challenger banking. Tuxedo has similar aims to other next-gen banks, to make money accessible and easy to manage, but defines itself through its fairly unique approach.
What is Tuxedo?
Unlike other challenger banks Tuxedo doesn’t run through an app on your smartphone, instead you manage your money and account either online or through text messages. While Tuxedo doesn’t offer your average current or savings accounts, it does provide a prepaid card which it describes as “ideal” for situations both at home and abroad.
Working as a money management tool and a travelling companion, Tuxedo’s prepaid cards are a simple and effective way of staying in control of your finances.
How does Tuxedo work?
Rather than opening a brand new bank account, Tuxedo offers a prepaid card to load money onto for day-to-day spending. The benefits come from the control you have over the amounts you load on, and the competitive exchange rates when you use the card abroad.
Tuxedo works through your internet browser or through SMS messages, by sending text messages to an easy to remember number you can issue instructions to:
- Deposit or transfer money.
- Check your balance.
- Request a statement.
- Activate or deactivate your Tuxedo card.
- Report your card lost or stolen.
Using Tuxedo abroad
Tuxedo’s prepaid cards are perfect for travelling, not only can you make payments with no extra charges, Tuxedo’s currency exchange rates are incredibly competitive, and the card works almost anywhere.
Tuxedo’s pay-monthly card is a great choice for frequent travellers given its rates and fees, and its pay as you go card is a good choice for anyone looking to go away on a few weeks’ holiday.
Tuxedo fees and limits
Tuxedo offers a monthly subscription or a pay as you go card plan.
Both cards have fees and charges for certain functions, but Tuxedo tries to counter these with competitive exchange rates and fees while abroad:
- There is a purchasing payment of £9.95 for both the monthly and PAYG card, with a second card costing £4.99.
- Payments at the post office have a charge of 99p, with a limit of £250 on deposits.
- PayPoint deposits are capped at £249, with a 3% charge.
- Bank transfers are free.
- Debit card top-ups are free, credit card deposits have 3% charge. Both have a maximum payment limit of £750 per day.
The subscription based card costs £4.99 per month, but with fees and charges costing much less, with regular usage it ends up cheaper than the PAYG card.
- UK purchases are completely free with a pay monthly card, compared to the 2.95% charge on transactions on pay as you go. Overseas transactions come with a 2.95% charge for both cards.
- ATM withdrawals cost 50p. PAYG withdrawals come a with a 1.5% charge.
- Overseas ATM withdrawals cost £2.25 on both cards.
There are a number of other fees for SMS account management, alerts and administrative services, these can be found here.
Is Tuxedo safe?
Tuxedo takes security seriously; one of the benefits of not being available through an app is your Tuxedo account will not be compromised if your phone is lost or stolen, and if you do lose your card or details you can send a text, go online or call customer service to immediately deactivate your account.
Your money and card details are kept securely behind a password, and you are required to register with documentation to verify your identity.
Pros and cons of Tuxedo
- The card can be used almost anywhere in the world.
- Competitive exchange rates on transactions and withdrawals.
- You decide how much money is on your prepaid card, making it great for budgeting.
- No extra transaction fees when you spend money overseas.
- No credit checks.
- Safe and secure.
- No smartphone app.
- A number of fees and charges on even basic banking functions, especially when on a PAYG tariff.
- Must pay monthly to avoid pricey charges.
- To use mobile functions you need to memorise or carry a list of commands.
- Texts can cost £3 or more for some instructions.
Alternatives to Tuxedo
Monzo is one of the more popular branchless bank accounts available in the UK these days.
Customers are free to apply for an overdraft of up to £3,000 with their account. There are no extra charges for using your Monzo debit card overseas, plus you can withdraw up to £200 per month at foreign ATMs with no charges.
The Monzo app provides a ton of useful budgeting options to help you manage your money better.
For a monthly fee of £5, you can access premium features such as account aggregation, a credit checking service and cashback on certain purchases.
The Revolut prepaid card is one of the best to use if you’re frequently making international money transfers. In fact, you’ll pay no extra fees for making these, or for using your prepaid card overseas.
The Revolut app is stacked with budgeting features, plus you can use it to trade stocks, cryptocurrency or to buy gold.
A Revolut Premium account costs £6.99 a month and comes with overseas medical insurance. On top of that, you’ll be able to withdraw up to £400 per month at ATMs without paying a fee.
Starling Bank is another mobile-only bank, which you can manage through a mobile app. It focuses on being useful for customers who are frequently spending, sending or withdrawing money abroad.
When you switch to Starling Bank, you’ll be granted separate accounts for euros and pounds.
You’ll pay nothing to use your debit card overseas and you’ll be able to withdraw up to £300 a day overseas with no charges.
Monese is another bank account, which is easy to set up and beneficial to use overseas. It prides itself on providing some of the best rates for international money transfers. There are also some generous limits on fee-free international purchases and ATM withdrawals with a Monese debit card.
In fact, with its £14.95/month Premium account, you can make unlimited purchases and ATM withdrawals and still not be charged additional fees.
Everything is managed via the Monese smartphone app. The app also includes budgeting tools, transaction details and downloadable statements.
Tuxedo’s prepaid cards won’t be for everyone, but they are an appealing option if you are a frequent traveller or if you want to go away for a few weeks or more.
If you are looking for a mobile bank account or a savings card you might want to look elsewhere, but keep Tuxedo in mind next time you plan to go away.
Frequently asked questions
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