Santander Bank Review

Santander Bank logo

Santander Bank

9.0

BankBonus.com rating

Bottom Line

If you want 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.

Pros

  • Strong community
  • Wide range of products and services
  • Regular welcome bonuses

Cons

  • Regional
  • Some in-branch only services

Santander Bank logo

Learn More

at 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 nearly 500 branches and more than 2,000 ATMs serving more than 1.7 million retail and commercial clients.

The bank has quite a few divisions, including:

  • Personal Banking
  • Private Banking
  • Business Banking
  • Commercial Banking

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;

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island

Santander Checking Accounts

Santander has quite a few different accounts on offer if you’re looking for a free checking account:

  1. Simply Right Checking
  2. Student Value Checking
  3. Santander Basic Checking
  4. Santander Select Checking

Simply Right Checking

With the Simply Right Checking account, you only need $25 to open the account. You do not need to maintain a certain balance and you can waive the $10 monthly fee by completing one transaction per month such as a deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or payment.

Student Value Checking

The Student Value Checking account was created for students ages 14 to 25. There are no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. You will only need $10 to open the account

Santander Basic Checking

With the Santander Basic Checking account, you only need $25 to open the account and will have a $3 monthly maintenance fee, regardless of transactions or balance.

Santander Select Checking

The Santander Select Checking account is the only checking account the bank offers that is interest-bearing. You will need $25 to open this account and will have to pay a $25 monthly fee that can be waived if you maintain a balance of $25,000 across all Santander accounts.

Santander Savings Accounts

Santander also offers several different savings accounts to choose from:

  1. Santander Savings
  2. Santander Youth Savings
  3. Santander Certificate of Deposits
  4. Santander Money Market Savings
  5. Santander Select Money Market Savings

Santander Savings

The Santander Savings account takes $25 to open and a $1 monthly fee that will be waived if you also have a Santander checking account or by maintaining a $100 average daily balance. You do not have a minimum balance to maintain and the current interest rate is 0.03%

Santander Youth Savings

The Santander Youth Savings account is available to individuals under 18 years old and you must have a parent or legal guardian as a joint account holder. You will need $10 to open the account, and will have no monthly fees and no minium balance requirements.

Santander Certificate of Deposits

Santander now offers CDs but the rate and terms are dependent upon your location. In my search, I was seeing terms of 15 months earning a 2.50% APY which is overall a good rate.

Santander Money Market Savings

The Santander Money Market Savings Account takes $25 to open, with no minimum balance requirements and a $10 monthly fee that can be waived by opening a Santander checking account as well, or by maintaining a $10,000 average daily balance in your MMA account. The APY is dependent upon your location – though in my search I am seeing on average the account earning a 0.10% APY.

Santander Select Money Market Savings

The Santander Select Money Market Account takes $25 to open, with no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees – though this account is only open to those that also have a Santander Select Checking account – which costs $25 a month to keep open unless all of your accounts maintain a balance of at least $25,000. The APY is dependent upon your location – though in my search I am seeing on average the account earning a 0.10% APY.

Santander Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card

The Santander Ultimate Cash Back credit card comes with an introductory offer that raises the cashback to 3% for the first 12 months and an APY of 0% for the first 12 months.

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, or foreign transaction fees.

Santander Personal Loans & Mortgages

As a lender, Santander offers mortgages, including refinance options, personal loans, and lines of credit.

Personal Loans

The bank advertises rates as low at 6.99% and same-day funding. Terms range from 3 – 7 years for $5,000 to $50,000 loans

Mortgages

Santander has partnered with Rocket Mortgage to help you with your home buying.

Getting Started

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.

Promotions

Unfortunately, there are currently no active Santander Bank promotions. Check out these bonus offers instead:

BankBonusExpiresRequirements 
Citi® LogoCiti® Citi Priority Account up to $2000 January 9, 2023
  • Min Balance
U.S. Bank LogoU.S. Bank U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking $300 December 19, 2022
  • Direct Deposit
Chase Business Complete Banking℠ LogoChase Chase Business Complete Banking℠ $300 February 16, 2023
  • Min Balance
  • Card Spend (optional)
see all bonuses

Security

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.

Customer Service

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, the 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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.