If you’re looking for a financial institution to open a bank account with, there’s a lot to choose from today.
While online banks are all the rage now, international and regional banks still have something to offer.
With Santander Bank being both an international and a regional bank in the US, they have many account options worth checking out.
What is Santander Bank?
Santander Bank is a subsidiary of Santander Group – a Spanish financial services.
The Spanish mother company was founded in 1857, making it over 160 years old. In the US, however, Santander Bank was previously called Sovereign Bank, founded in 1902.
In its current format, Santander Bank US is based in Boston, Massachusets, and services the Northeast and Florida.
It has some 650 retail banking locations and more than 2,000 ATMs. Its current deposits amount to $57.5 billion.
The bank has quite a few divisions, including:
Within the personal banking division, we can find a wide range of financial products and services, making this bank a full-service bank.
Santander Bank Availability
It’s important to note that, as we mentioned earlier, the bank only services a handful of states, including;
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- New York
Santander Bank Features
With Santander being a community bank here in the US, they tend to have a community-focused approach, which comes through in many things they do.
- Cafe + Co-Working Space: One Santander feature that you do not see many banks offering is the Work Cafe – a cafe, free co-working spaces, and banking all rolled into one. Santander customers can also book meeting rooms for free.
- Beverage Discounts: You get a 30% discount on select beverages when using your Santander credit card or debit card.
- Educational Resources: Another important and remarkable feature of Santander Bank is Prosper and Thrive. Think of this as an educational center that offers resources designed to help you prosper and thrive. These resources include a crash course on saving, advice on managing debt, and other essential topics, like budgeting and online safety.
- Member FDIC: Santander Bank is also a Member FDIC, so your money is insured up to the allowable limits. Of course, you also get internet and mobile banking with a mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices.
- In-Network ATMs: You can use over 2,000 network ATMs free of charge and some non-Santander ATMs (e.g., CVS ATMs).
Santander Checking Accounts
Santander has quite a few different accounts on offer if you’re looking for a free checking account.
There are four checking accounts to choose from:
- Simply Right Checking
- Student Value Checking
- Santander Basic Checking
- Santander Select Checking
The minimum opening deposit ranges from $10 for the student account to $25 for all other accounts.
None of the accounts earn interest except for the Santander Select Checking account, which comes with the Santander Select World Debit Mastercard.
All other accounts get the standard Santander Debit Mastercard.
Santander Savings Accounts
Santander also offers four different savings accounts to choose from:
- Santander Savings
- Santander Youth Savings
- Santander Money Market Savings
- Santander Select Money Market Savings
All of these accounts earn interest, with the MMAs offering more competitive rates. The minimum balance requirement amount ranges from $10.00 to $25.00.
It comes with free paper statements, mobile banking, and online banking, among other features.
The bank also offers Certificates of Deposit, which you can only open by visiting a local branch.
Santander Credit Cards
The Santander Ultimate Cash Back credit card comes with an introductory offer that raises the cashback to 3% and lowers the APR to 0% for the first year only.
The 3% cashback is limited to qualified purchases, up to $20,000.
The rate drops to 1.5% after you reach the limit, with no further limits. The credit card also comes with no annual service fees, maintenance fees, o foreign transaction fees.
Santander Loans and Credit
As a lender, Santander offers mortgages, including refinance options, personal loans, and lines of credit.
It’s also worth noting that the bank is listed as an Equal Housing Lender and offers homeowner’s assistance, including those unable to pay.
Santander offers a flexible pricing structure that makes its products and services quite accessible overall.
Checking Account Monthly Fees
- Simply Right Checking: $10
- Student Value Checking: $0
- Santander Basic Checking: $3
- Santander Select Checking: $25
The Basic Checking account fee can’t be waived.
Their Simply Right Checking account fee can be waived by making a minimum of one transaction per month. Any transaction posted to the account is valid.
The Select Checking fee can be waived if you maintain combined deposits of at least $25,000 across eligible accounts.
Savings Account Monthly Fees
- Santander Savings: $1
- Santander Youth Savings: $0
- Santander Money Market Savings: $10
- Santander Select Money Market Savings: $0
The Santander Savings account fee can be waived by either getting a personal Santander checking account or keeping an average daily balance of $100.
The Money Market Savings account fee can. be waived by either keeping an average daily balance of $10,000 or getting a checking account.
The Select Money Market Savings account has no monthly fee. Still, you need to open a corresponding Select Checking Account.
When it comes to overdraft fees, Santander charges $35 per item returned, up to 6 per day. Overdraft protection is slightly more cost-effective at $12, charged any day an overdraft transfer occurs.
Signing up with Santander is easy. The entire process is available online and takes all but a few minutes to complete.
Before getting started, make sure you have your SSN (Social Security Number) and your residential address. That needs to be in one of the states serviced by the bank.
You will also need to transfer money into your account, which you can do using a debit card or credit card.
Here are some of the best Santander Bank promotions going on right now:
1. Personal Checking - up to $500 bonus
Expires: July 6, 2022
Available in select states with the ability to open online, Santander Bank is offering up to a $500 welcome bonus when you open a new Santander personal checking account and set up direct deposit.
Keep in mind that you'll need to enter your information (name and email address) on the promo's landing page in order to receive your unique code, which you'll then use on the online application to enroll in the promotion.
A heads up to Florida residents that this promotion is limited to certain zips within Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Broward counties. Fortunately, the fine print says that outside of these counties, "the offer is not available for redemption online", so you may still have luck in-branch.
How to earn the bonus
The Personal Checking sign up offer requires you to set up direct deposits in order to earn the $500 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new Santander personal checking account using the link below.
- Within the first 90 days, make direct deposits totaling at least $4,000 to earn $300, $6,000 to earn $400, or $8,000 to earn $500.
- Bonus will be paid within 30 days of the initial 90 day period.
2. Business Checking - up to $550 bonus
Expires: July 6, 2022
Santander Bank has upped the ante, again offering new business checking account customers a bonus for opening a new Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account.
This time around, however, it's up to $550 as they've added a new balance tier of $15,000 to earn the maximum amount.
Like before, the balance requirement is based on an average daily balance. That means you don't necessarily need to deposit $5/10/15,000 on day one, but the longer you wait to make a deposit, the higher the deposit needs to be in order to average out. They provide more details in the fine print!
Keep in mind that, like most business accounts, you'll need to go in-branch to open. Be sure to mention the promo BUS550Q222 to enroll in the offer.
How to earn the bonus
The Business Checking sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance in order to earn the $550 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account using the promo code BUS550Q222.
- For 90 days, maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 to earn $350 bonus, $10,000 to earn $450 bonus or $15,000+ to earn $550.
- Keep your account open for at least 90 days.
- Bonus will be paid within 30 days of the meeting the requirements.
Santander has a fraud detection program that constantly monitors customer accounts for fraud and unauthorized use in security.
Should they notice anything, they will contact you straight away – so you must make sure all of your contact information is up to date at all times.
On the topic of phone calls, it’s important to note that the bank does not ask for passwords over the phone.
Santander also offers customizable alerts and Instant Card Hold. You can configure alerts to receive them via text, email, or both if you prefer.
On the other hand, Instant Card Hold lets you put a hold on your card should you lose it or misplace it.
If you’re looking for support, Santander offers a few different ways to get in touch.
The website has a straightforward and well-organized FAQ section and can help you quickly find answers to common questions.
Should you not find the answer that you’re looking for here, you can either give them a call, send them an email, or visit a branch.
Branch hours vary by location, so it’s best to check the hours of your nearest branch online.
On the other hand, Telephone is operated every day from Monday through to Sunday from 8:00 AM till 8:00 PM.
Pros & Cons
Nothing is perfect, and the same could be said of Santander Bank. While the bank does have some excellent pros, it also has some potential cons that may or may not be a deal-breaker.
- Community – Santander has built a strong sense of community, with the Work Cafe being a particularly fantastic perk to have – especially if you freelance or work remotely.
- Wide range of products and services: With Santander being a full-service bank, you can potentially build a stronger relationship with the bank and get better services and rates.
- Regional: Santander is a regional bank in the US, so you might be out of luck unless you live in the Northeast or Florida.
- In-branch services: Some products and services (like CDs) require an in-person visit to a local branch. As you know, at bank branches you might experience long queues, mainly due to social-distancing rules that might be in place.
Alternatives to Santander Bank
While Santander is a good if not great bank overall, you might want to consider alternatives. Since it offers quite a few different things, you should first figure out what Santander provides that’s important to you.
If it’s the sense of community, then another community bank or a credit union might be a better fit for you.
Your options will mainly depend on the area in which you live or work. Such financial institutions tend to offer a product and service mix similar to what Santander offers – but do expect some inevitable differences to show up.
You might also want to consider an online bank, making physical branch locations irrelevant.
By choosing this option, you’ll have to give up on face-to-face customer services; however, you’ll get better rates and lower fees in return.
Santander Bank FAQs
Is Santander Bank a good bank?
Yes. Santander bank reviews are primarily favorable. They are not BBB accredited, and while there are some complaints, the overall outlook is positive.
Is my money safe in Santander Bank?
Yes, Santander bank accounts are fully insured by the FDIC. Through this insurance, the FDIC will cover any losses you may suffer should something happen to the bank, giving you peace of mind that you won’t lose your entire savings.
Who is Santander Bank owned by?
Santander Bank is owned by Banco Santander S.A., with headquarters in Santander, Spain.
Does Santander charge a monthly fee?
Most Santander bank accounts do come with a monthly fee. However, this is relatively easy to waive in most cases.
Is Santander Bank Best for You?
If you are looking for a local, full-service community bank, then Santander might be the bank you’re looking for. They have a wide range of products and services, allowing you to build a strong relationship with them.
The bank also offers some excellent promotions and unique perks that can be especially useful if you have an online side gig or work from home but need an extra office for a change of scenery.
Santander also offers investment and private banking. As such, they’re also worth considering if you have been growing your wealth.
Such services are designed to provide a better service to the wealthy, giving you more customized options to manage your money.