I am fairly new bunq and therefore also Together, so please forgive me if I do something wrong here.
There have been lots of discussions over the last hours and days about the changes made by bunq. I contacted the support with my concerns and they suggested I should open an idea discussion. I thought about the changes that were made during the automatic transition from GreenCard to SuperGreen. And I thought about why these changes upset me.
After some time I realized that it was not the price increase of 9€, which of course does not make me smile, but oh well.
What upset me was that my math does not work out anymore. To clarify, let me explain why I chose to go Premium two weeks ago. When I heard about bunq and GreenCard, I did some calculations on whether it is worth to join Premium and GreenCard. I assumed it would cost me 1€ to plant a tree on my own (e.g. through donations). bunq would plant two trees per 100€ I spend on something for the cost of 99€ per year. So instead of purchasing GreenCard, I could just donate 100€ and plant 100 trees. If I chose GreenCard, I would have to spend 5000€ (50€ per tree x 100 trees) over the year. This is a fairly reasonable amount, even for me, as a student.
I just looked up the costs for planting a tree over at https://edenprojects.org/, their FAQ claims that the cost for planting a tree lies between 0,10€ and 0,36€. I learned that my calculations were too optimistic in the first place. In bunq's favor let's chose 0,50€ as the price for one tree. One has to spend 10.000€ to make the investment worth. For me this is probably already out of reach, but oh well again. With yesterdays changes these two trees get reduced to one. I understand that one can use all cards to account to that goal, but here in Germany basically all of the other cards are useless since either all of them are accepted, or none is. Therefore I only get to plant half as much trees as before, so I now have to spend 20.000€ a year, which is just absurd. To me SuperGreen is just not worth it. I want to have trees planted and was excited that a bank could support me in doing that. But it is way more effective to just give that money directly to the Eden Project. I am still happy to see that bunq tries to plant 50% more trees with this change and I think this change is being very welcomed by the dutch community (I think?), but for people like me this seems like its not worth it anymore.
So, what now?
What I Expect
This change came two weeks after I purchased both Premium and GreenCard. The claim was that the combination of both gets me two trees per 100€. This was changed yesterday, cutting the amount of trees in half. I am not a lawyer or even remotely familiar with these things, but this does not feel exactly legal. I mean, I don't get to decide that I pay only 4€ for premium now, do I?
It is fine to introduce SuperGreen. It is fine to upgade me to that plan, since I don't have to pay anything extra for a year. But still you cut your service in half.
Dumb analogy time: I order 4 apples from you and you give me 2 bananas. "2 bananas are worth the same as 4 apples." Well that may be, but I don't care for these bananas, I wanted apples.
Therefore I expect to get back the two trees per 100€, at least for that year I paid for them. I am not sure how people who actually use multiple cards should get trees then, maybe they are just lucky. Means more trees right?
What I Wish For
So after that year, I would like to see that you keep the two trees. If that is not possible, ok. I get that. Another idea would be that all expenses account into that planting tree goal. I would be fine with 1 tree per 100€, if really any transaction would count. Paying my rent? 6 trees. Hell yeah. I know there is a lot to think about, like having two bunq accounts and indefinitely sending money between these two. In the end this means more trees, but I also want you to stay in business. Again, just an idea.
Sorry for this long text, just wanted to let my thoughts out. I’d love to hear your feedback (and math corrections!).
Stay safe everyone.