Santander Bank Review: Is It The Best Bank For You?

GOBanking Rates Score

Quick take: Santander Bank is one of the largest Spanish banks and offers online banking services in the United States, with limited branches in the United States. If you’re comfortable doing most of your banking using a mobile banking app and debit card, Santander may be a good option. Learn more about the bank and whether its services are right for you.

  • APY
  • Advantages
  • Some products
  • Customer service

How did we calculate this?

For an overview of Santander Bank, consider its main strengths and weaknesses.

Advantages

  • Checking and savings accounts, credit cards and personal loans available
  • Four current account options
  • Monthly service fees waived on accounts
  • Prequalify for a personal loan without affecting your credit

The inconvenients

  • Limited presence in branch
  • CDs cannot be opened online

Santander Bank Overview

Santander Bank offers online banking services in the United States. There are limited branches on the East Coast. Santander Bank’s customers are primarily concentrated in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

No matter where you are, you can access ATMs when you need them, with no fees assessed by Santander. Additionally, Santander will reimburse certain account holders for up to $30 per month of fees charged by other banks when you use their ATMs.

Main characteristics

Santander Bank got a GOBankingRates score of 4.6 out of 5. Here’s how:

APY

Santander Bank’s annual percentage returns aren’t groundbreaking, but they do help you grow your balances. Standard money market accounts earn rates of % at % APY, depending on your balance.

CDs may be your best bet for maximizing the interest you can earn. An APY of 0% for CDs with a term of 15 months is possible if you can save your funds for that long.

Advantages

The biggest advantage of banking with Santander is its ease if you are comfortable with online banking. The mobile banking app lets you manage almost everything from monitoring your accounts to making mobile check deposits all in one place, 24/7.

You can also set up bill payments or use Zelle to send and receive money from friends and family at no cost.

Some products

If you want to bank with Santander, you have several account options to choose from.

There are three main checking account options: Select, Simply Right and Basic, all of which require a minimum deposit of $25 to open. Santander also offers a Student Value checking account with an opening deposit of $10. The Select Chequing Account offers free ATM withdrawals worldwide and up to $30 in ATM fee refunds.

Learn more about each account option:

Account Monthly fee Ways to waive fees Interest
Basic verification $3 None Nope
Simply correct verification $10 At least one transaction of any kind per month Nope
Select Verification $25 Maintain a combined monthly balance of $25,000 or more Yes
Student Value Verification $0 N / A Nope

Santander’s savings account is free if you have a linked checking account or an average monthly balance of at least $100. Otherwise, you will pay a monthly maintenance fee of $1. It offers an APY of %.

Besides the savings account, you can opt for a higher interest rate with one of Santander’s two money market accounts. As with the savings account, linking it to a Santander current account will help you avoid monthly maintenance fees.

To lock in a guaranteed interest rate for a specified period of time, you can open a Santander CD with at least $500. However, CDs can only be opened at a branch, which can be a problem if you don’t live near one of the few branches available.

Customer service

To contact Santander customer service, call 1-877-768-2265 anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST, seven days a week. You can also log into your account to contact customer service, or do through the mobile app.

How Santander Bank stands out

Santander Bank’s limited offerings for online banking aren’t the strongest or most innovative, but they do offer solid banking options. Your best bet is to open and link a checking and savings or money market account to boost your combined balances and avoid the bank’s monthly maintenance fees.

Using the mobile app to monitor and manage your accounts is simple, thanks to the user-friendly design and the many options available.

Santander Bank Comparable Options

To compare banks before choosing, consider the following alternatives.

Santander Bank v Ally Bank

By comparing two versions of online banking, you will find that Ally Bank performs better with higher returns on your balances. Ally pays higher interest rates on your balances, with an APY of 0% on his savings account.

However, if you live in an area with Santander bank branches, the physical presence may outweigh Ally Bank’s higher yields.

Santander Bank v Capital One Bank

It is worth comparing Santander Bank to Capital One Bank as they both focus on online banking with a limited number of branches. Capital One branches are known as cafes, places where you can manage your banking needs, hold meetings or just hang out.

Capital One Bank accounts are ahead of Santander when it comes to fees. Accounts are almost completely free. However, the bank’s account offerings are reduced – Santander has more account options, including money market accounts.

How to register

To open an account with Santander Bank, you can visit a local branch or apply online. You will need to provide government-issued photo ID and second proof of identity, such as a utility bill, debit card, or credit card. In addition, your social security number and permanent address are required.

Once your request is approved, you will need to fund the account by transferring funds using an external account number and routing number.

Who is Santander Bank best suited for?

Santander Bank is best for someone looking for a simple, no-frills banking experience. Savings rates are not the highest. So if your goal is to have a low-cost checking account and a savings account to hold a small amount of money for emergencies, Santander could be the bank for you.

To get the most out of banking with Santander, you’ll need to feel comfortable doing most of your banking using the mobile app. Otherwise, the branches available may be too few and far between for your convenience.

Final take

Santander Bank’s presence in the United States is primarily online. The bank offers a variety of checking and savings options to choose from.

As long as you keep your account active with recurring transactions each month, you should be able to avoid monthly service fees with Simply Right verification. You can then add a savings or money market account with no monthly fees as long as they are linked to your checking.

FAQs

  • Is Santander Bank a good bank?
    • Santander is a reputable bank originating from Spain. It offers online banking services to customers in the United States and branches in parts of the East Coast.
  • Is Santander part of Wells Fargo?
  • Is Santander linked to NatWest?
    • Santander bought NatWest and is now its parent company.
  • Is Santander better than Bank of America?
    • Santander may be better than Bank of America if you’re looking for a low-cost online banking experience.
    • However, Bank of America has a strong local presence with branches across the country. Also, Bank of America offers more bank account, loan, and credit card options than Santander Bank.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise specified, prices are updated periodically. All other account information is accurate as of June 21, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Santander Bank. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, evaluations or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by Santander Bank.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with a degree in international business and journalism from American University. In addition to writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design, and architecture. His work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates Open Skies magazine and more.

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