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Flex account, we have been ripping the ar5e out of it.


Chancer
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Banks are out to make money. They give stuff away because they think they will see a return on the outlay, not because it's actually of any real benefit to anyone. Ergo, they're not remotely interested in impoverished pensioners, people who only use the account for cheap foreign exchange, or indeed anyone without wads of dosh. They might make the occasional exception for students, but only because they're expecting them to turn into wealthy professionals at any minute (big disappointment on the way there, then). The rest of us can basically all sod off and they won't give a fig. Or anything else beginning with an 'f'.
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The Nationwide is a Building Society, not a bank so it should be run for the benefit of its members who can vote out the board members if they wish.  That apart, I'm not an impoverished pensioner, I'm a relatively well-heeled one who pays in rather more than the minimum which is required to qualify for the useless travel insurance that I can't have anyway, and who has done so for a long time.  Although I've only had my Flexaccount for a relatively short period of time (15 years or so), I had a mortgage with them (well into the 6 figures at one time) for rather longer and thus I would like to be treated with a little respect - for my loyalty if for nothing else.  Nothing wrong in telling them this even if they might not listen.  It will make me feel better, if nothing else.[:D]
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Just for interest and as an experiment I tried paying for fuel with my NW credit card at Intermache today and no problems at all.

I think then that my card is going to find itself flexing a bit more in future as if I can't have free cash withdrawals any more at least by using their credit card I can 'borrow' their money for 56 days. If enough others followed suit it potentially could cost them a tidy sum, I wonder if they've factored that into their new model ?

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 I always use my NW credit for purchases.  Almost always.  I did resort to using cash for a few months when the exchange rate was near parity (just to remind myself how much everything cost and to be extra careful).

Then, I pay everything owing on the credit card with one money transfer about one day before the balance is due.  I write myself a note in my diary so that I do not forget to pay.

But, for next month, because I shall be away, I have set up a DD to pay off the card.

Card's great, same exchange rate as the debit card and no fee for using.  Just be very careful and not use it to withdraw cash in error.  The cards are different colour blues but it is conceivable that you could mistake the two if you are in a hurry.

Happy Spending!

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[quote user="AnOther"]Just for interest and as an experiment I tried paying for fuel with my NW credit card at Intermache today and no problems at all.

I think then that my card is going to find itself flexing a bit more in future as if I can't have free cash withdrawals any more at least by using their credit card I can 'borrow' their money for 56 days. If enough others followed suit it potentially could cost them a tidy sum, I wonder if they've factored that into their new model ?


[/quote]

 

I will be flexing the NW CC from now on - good idea AnOther! 

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Looked at the new charges and the first changes that came to my attention:

  • reducing the unpaid item charge from £30 to £15

  • removing the £21.50 charge for guaranteed cheques paid when you don't have enough money available in your account

What sense do these charges make?

So, if we ex pats are in the minority and it's unfair to give us privileges, it's perfectly fair then to reduce charges for irresponsible behaviour?

And, it's OK to go ahead and write cheques when you don't have enough money to honour them?

Once again, you get penalised for being financially responsible and prudent and, not only do you not get your fingers rapped for being cavalier about money, you positively get a helping hand.

I'd like to know if the majority of NW customers are irresponsible and, by introducing these reduced charges, these people are benefiting whereas we are only the minority and therefore can be totally ignored?

I am referring to the statement, of course, that NW thinks it's fairer if more of their customers share the benefits.

Well, I've been systematically emptying our accounts and making sure we have enough euros to pay French bills for the next couple of years at least and using my credit card at every opportunity, even for small amounts in shops and restaurants.

I don't like people changing the goal posts without consultation and I think the NW should be ashamed of itself after trumpeting how it's different from banks and how it serves the interests of all its members. 

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Totally agree with all of that, Sweet17.

I think you should wear a t-shirt with some sort of slogan on it on your travels. You might get interviewed or filmed!

Even more bad news - found out today that our cave doesn't take credit cards.

Grrrrrrrrrrr
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http://corporate.visa.com/pd/consumer_services/consumer_ex_results.jsp

and

http://www.caxtonfxcard.com/comparerates.asp?dist=CAXTGENL

You can see the Visa rate and the Caxton rate for today (Visa 1.2183 and Caxton 1.2000)

When I checked last Thursday it was 1.212 (Visa) and 1.1955 (Caxton) so seems pretty good to me....

You need to read the Fees and charges section and decide which type of card you need. I went for a "EURO" card as all I want it for is to be able to draw eorus out from an ATM machine. I know you can use these type of cards to pay for Ryanair flights at a reduced admin fee, but on the euro card here everything needs to be paid in euros (not a mix of currencies). Anyway, you have the link - read on....

I am sure any other suggestions to help stop giving the Nationwide staff even bigger bonuses will be welcomed on this thread.

Edit: should also have pointed out, I "think" you may need to have a UK address for this...

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A word of support for the Nationwide here.  NW is a mutual and not a bank with shareholders (as has already been stated).  It has also been royally screwed by HM Government over the last couple of years.  It was 'obliged' (behind the scenes) to take over some of the failing financial institutions.  Having bailed them out (and so saved HMG a big chunk of taxpayers money) HMG refused to make recent changes to tax legislation retrospective (carry over of losses on merger / takeover of mutuals retrospective) - having previously promised NW that it would. So Nationwide got all the costs of taking over these institutions but were denied the benefit of their accumulated tax losses. 

So if you want to know why NW is restructuring its products look to HMG (viz Mr Brown and cronies).

Mrs R51

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I'd wager that the insurance policy will not be taken up that much anyway.  It is a pretty average/low value policy and I am sure that anyone doing anything remotely hazardous will not be covered - eg all forms of skiing.  Many will take the policy offered by the travel company as that will probably have been tailored for the holiday activity.

It beats me why NW can offer TI if £750 plus is credited each month but cannot offer free card use as an alternative.  Surely the banking software can do that sort of check automatically?  There does not seem to be much logic in offering free TI and not free card use.

I too received the standard response from NW to my online query, and will go back.

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I complained and got this (email) response ...

We are constantly striving to find the best possible ways

to deliver real value to our members.  Commission free card use abroad

has been a long standing benefit of Nationwide's FlexAccount but, even

though it has been available for more than ten years, only around a

third of our current account holders have used it each year.  Over time

we have found it has provided a huge benefit to a tiny minority of our

current account members, such as regular business travellers.  At the

same time it has benefitted others by only a modest amount and it has

not benefitted the majority of our current account members at all.  It

is simply not an equitable way to share member value. 

We have a responsibility to manage the business in the most prudent and

sustainable way for our membership as a whole and a key part of our

corporate strategy is to encourage more members to use their FlexAccount

as their main current account. 

The future introduction of 2% commission for debit card use abroad and

the £1 cash withdrawal fee also have to be seen in the context of the

charges made by our competitors. Nationwide's planned charges are still

lower than those made by the majority of our high street competitors. 

Very importantly, the changes only apply to FlexAccount customers and

not Nationwide's credit card customers.  Nationwide credit card

customers will continue to be charged a 1% fee outside Europe and no

foreign usage charges within Europe.

I do understand your concerns and I acknowledge that you are not alone

in really appreciating the existing arrangements.  I have tried to give

you the fullest possible explanation of the rationale behind the

changes.  We did not take this step lightly, but we have to put in place

benefits that are more equitable, prudent and sustainable.

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I have written to the Nationwide's Chief Executive to ensure he is personally aware of the level of anger and have asked them to reconsider.  I have suggested that "If only “a tiny minority of customers benefit from the current arrangements” why not allow them to continue to do so?  It is not beyond Nationwide to withdraw the option to new customers if you must.  Neither is it beyond you to enable existing customers to be offered a range of options e.g. to continue to benefit from the current terms or choose the 'free' travel insurance or whatever else you think is a 'useful' benefit". 

 

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Mona, I am impressed.  You're right, not much use having a moan on here.  Might make us feel better but not much achieved.

Will do as you have in the next week or so, when I have bought some ink cartridges.

Keep us posted!

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[quote user="g8vkv"]

Commission free card use abroad ... has been a long standing benefit ... (to) around a

third of (customers) and has
provided a huge benefit to a tiny minority of our

current account members, such as regular business travellers. 

[/quote]

I assume that this one third of customers (a so-called "tiny minority") are worth having as they are likely to be monied.   It is strange to drop valuable customers.  I don't think that Nationwide have done their research properly.

Also if a facility is not being used by existing customers, it strikes me that it hasn't been publicised it sufficiently by Nationwide.

What a weird way to do business.

We shall be withdrawing all our money from the account this month and next month.  MoneyCorp will be the recipients.

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[quote user="Cathy"]I assume that this one third of customers (a so-called "tiny minority") are worth having as they are likely to be monied.[/quote]I don't follow your logic. Why 'likely to be monied' when a goodly proportion will be using their Flexaccount for nothing more than receiving their pension and drawing it here in Euros and have no significant other funds with NW.

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