LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021
Santander Bank is an international financial institution founded in 2009 and its corporate headquarters are located in Boston, Massachusetts. The financial services company serves customers located in Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, and Washington DC. The company offers two MasterCard credit card choices for customers with unique benefits and rates.
- Santander reward points
- Digital banking
- Financial education resources
Santander Reward Points
Both credit card offers from Santander reward points on eligible everyday purchases to cardholders. With the Sphere credit card, cardholders with accounts in good standing can earn one point for every dollar spent with no earning cap or annual fee. With the Bravo card, cardholders may be able to triple earned points with eligible gas, grocery, and dining purchases and earn one point for everything else. Earned points are able to be redeemed for cash back, statement credit, travel perks, and gift cards. Additional features and benefits for these credit cards include Identity Theft Resolution Services, EMV chip security technology, fraud safeguards, and extended warranty protection.
Santander provides both online and mobile banking services for its customers. Cardholders with online accounts can view their statements electronically, transfer funds, and set up recurring bill payments. Customers are able to deposit their checks from anywhere using the company's app on their mobile device. Money that is deposited into a customer's account is guaranteed protection from fraudulent unauthorized purchase activity. Customers can also opt to receive text or email alerts to help them make timely credit card payments and avoid excess interest fees.
Financial Education Resources
Santander provides numerous financial articles for consumers on its corporate website. Information is divided by three categories so consumers can find material that better suits their unique situation. Consumers can find articles with tips and resources regarding saving money, mastering debt, and getting the most out of life. The company also offers various other lending products and services.
- High APR rates
- Additional fees
- Service limitations
High APR Rates
A zero percent introductory APR promotion is available for 18 to 24 months, depending on credit card selection. After that, APR rates range from 15.99 to 22.99 percent on purchases and balance transfers and Cash Advance APR rates are 24.99 percent. Customers will not want to miss a payment or they will be assessed a 30.49 percent APR charge, which is a remarkably high amount compared to typical industry standards.
Cardholders will be charged a $49 annual fee unless they maintain a checking account with the company and late and returned payments can cost up to $35. Balance transfer fees are assessed at the greater number of $10 or three percent of the total transaction amount. There is a three percent charge for foreign transactions. Cash advance fees that are not counted as balance transfers will be assessed a fee of the greater amount between $10 or five percent of the total transaction amount. Consumers may also be charged a $1.50 minimum finance charge per billing cycle if any interest accrues on their account.
No grace period is available from Santander for balance transfers.The financial services company only has branches in 11 states and customers must reside in a service area location in order to qualify for credit card approval. No customer service contact information is provided on the corporate website if customers have specific questions or issues that need to be resolved. There is no live chat option either.
Customers must also be over 18 years old and pass undisclosed credit history eligibility requirements. Santander does not disclose specific details on what rewards are available for point redemption. Cardholders may have to acquire a large number of points to redeem a valuable perk and there are no details on point values for reward items.
The Bottom Line
Santander's credit card offers are best suited for consumers with excellent credit who already have a banking relationship with the company. The available credit cards are designed to offer points on eligible purchases and points can be redeemed for rewards such as travel perks, cash back, merchandise, and more. Additional benefits such as fraud protection, extended warranties, and identity theft resolution services are provided from MasterCard. Santander also offers various other loan products, digital banking services, and free financial education resources.
However, APR rates and other additional interest charges are considerably high when compared to other similar marketplace offerings. Additional service limitations may apply as well. Customers must reside in an available service area in order to obtain a credit card from the company and Santander only has branches in 11 states. Customers with all credit history types may want to consider marketplace offerings from industry competitors that feature lower rates and greater perks.
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