Santander Bank Review: Is It the Right Bank for You?

Santander Bank offers many products, but at varying rates.

Santander Bank originated in Spain but has been serving the U.S. Northeast region since 2013. As of November 2019, Santander Bank has more than 600 physical branches and 2,000 Santander ATMs available in the Northeast and Florida. Looking beyond banking, Santander supports its communities and the environment by building relationships with nonprofit organizations and encouraging ongoing research on reducing carbon emissions.

The financial institution offers an array of checking and savings accounts as well as investment options and loans. Additionally, Santander provides a digital banking platform, including a highly rated mobile app.

While Santander Bank is relatively new, it is making a concerted effort to flourish in the Northeast. Read through this Santander Bank Review of accounts, fees and features to find out if it is the best bank out there for you.

Santander Bank
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Who Is Santander Bank Best For?

Santander Bank is best for anyone looking for a traditional banking experience in the U.S.’s Northeast and Florida. Santander covers the following states:

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

If you are looking to open a new bank account or change your financial institution, it’s a good time to consider the pros and cons of banking with Santander.

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Pros and Cons of Banking With Santander Bank
ProsCons
24/7 access to your account with Santander’s mobile appComparatively low annual percentage yields (APY) and interest rates
2,000 Santander ATMs available in Northeast regionMost accounts have monthly fees
Overdraft protection offeredThere are minimums required to open an account

Compare: Best Banks of 2020

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Who May Want To Skip Santander Bank?

Customers who look for high APY and interest rates for their checking and savings accounts may want to skip Santander Bank. Although you have access to physical branches where banking can be a one-stop shop, this alone may not be enough to persuade you to open an account.

What kind of customer does Santander Bank best serve? Look below and see what fits best and worst for your type of banking needs.

Who Is Santander Bank Best For and Worst For?
Best ForWorst For
Clients who want to create a relationship with bank employees at a physical branchCustomers wanting high-APY savings accounts
Customers looking to choose from an array of debit card optionsThose looking for more than two interest-bearing checking account options
Someone who lives in the Northeast or FloridaSomeone who does not live in the Northeast or Florida

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Types of Accounts Available

Santander Bank has an array of accounts available to its customers with varying fees and features to consider. Depending on your account balance, banking expectations and financial habits, certain accounts may be worth your money more than others.

Here is a detailed list of the account types, features, fees and rates that you should consider before opening an account.

Types of Available Santander Accounts Available 
Account TypeFeaturesRatesFees
Checking AccountStudent Value Checking

Basic Checking

Simply Right Checking

These accounts do not earn interest.$0 to $10 Monthly Fee
Interest CheckingPremier Plus Checking

Select Checking

Premier Plus Checking: 0.01% APY

Select Checking: This rate will be determined by a personal banker assigned to your account

$25 to $75 Monthly Fee
Savings AccountSavings

Youth Savings

0.03% APY$0 to $1 Monthly Fee
Money Market AccountMoney Market Savings

Premier Plus Money Market Savings

Select Money Market Savings

0.93% to 1.41% APY$0 to $10 monthly fee
CDsTerms range from 3 months to 5 years1.75% to 1.80% APYThere are fees for early withdrawal of CD.
Investment (nonbank) OptionsMutual Fund

Asset Allocation

Managed Strategies

Annuities

Life Insurance

A Santander Bank financial consultant will help you consider the variable to find a suitable rate.Account maintenance fees vary.
LoansPersonal Loans

Lines of Credit

Mortgages

4% to 18.99% APR

Mortgages: 2.788% to 3.937% APR

Fees apply depending on your plan and repayment agreement.

Read: Insider Tips for How To Choose the Best Bank

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Checking

Santander Bank offers Student Value Checking, Basic Checking, Simply Right Checking, Premier Plus Checking and Select Checking. All of the checking accounts come with a debit card that is unique to each account type. Think about how the rates and features below hold up to some of the best financial institutions’ checking accounts available.

Features

  • Free paperless statements and free Mastercard debit cards
  • Mobile and online banking available

Pros

  • Student Value Checking has a $0 monthly fee.
  • Monthly fees all have options to be waived except for Basic Checking.

Cons

  • Only Santander Premier Checking and Santander Select Checking are interest-earning accounts.
  • Basic Checking’s monthly fee cannot be waived.

Learn More: 15 Best New Bank Promotions and Bonuses

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Savings Accounts

Both Santander Bank’s Youth Savings Account and Savings Account earn interest and are easily accessible on Santander’s Mobile Banking app. You can open an account online or at one of over 600 Santander branches. Take a look at the features and rates available to you from the best financial institutions’ saving accounts before investing in Santander Bank.

Features

  • Auto Save saving option available when you connect to a Santander checking account
  • Works with Apple Pay
  • No minimum balance required

Pros

  • No monthly fees for Student Value Checking
  • $1 monthly fee for Savings account, waived if a minimum of $100 is in the account

Cons

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  • Low APY rate compared to online savings accounts
  • $25 to open the account

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Money Market Account

Santander Bank offers three Money Market Account types: Money Market Savings, Premier Plus Money Market Savings and Select Money Market Savings. All account types have the possibility to earn a high APY, depending on your account balance.

Features

  • No monthly fees on both Premier Plus and Select Money Market Savings accounts
  • There is no non-Santander domestic ATM withdrawal fee for both Premier Plus and Select Money Market Savings accounts.
  • Easy access through online and mobile banking

Pros

  • Money Market Savings offers the possibility to waive the monthly service fee.
  • Free paperless and paper monthly statements

Cons

  • You need to have a balance over $10,000 before you can earn high APY rates.
  • You can only open a Premier Plus MMA and Select MMA if you have Premier Plus and/or Select Checking Accounts.

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CDs

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, are a great way to earn extra savings by growing your money with high APY rates. You can choose your CD term and fixed interest rate when starting a CD at Santander Bank.

Features

  • Terms vary from three months to five years
  • FDIC-insured

Pros

  • Competitive APY rates
  • Earned interest can go back into your CD or to another Santander account.

Cons

  • Minimum of $500 to open a CD
  • Must have a Santander checking account to open

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Individual Retirement Account

Santander Bank offers a retirement plan that you can create with a financial advisor. IRAs are not offered.

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Investment (Nonbank) Options

You can find multiple ways to invest with Santander Bank. Start by finding one of the bank’s personal financial consultants near you to begin your investment planning.

Features

  • Mutual Funds: Find or design a portfolio based on your needs and risk tolerance.
  • Asset Allocation: Discover where to allocate your assets to minimize risk.
  • Managed Strategies: For a minimum of $25,000, you have options for competitively priced managed accounts.
  • Annuities: These provide a steady stream of retirement income no matter how the market is performing.
  • Life Insurance: Refine your personal insurance strategy.

Pros

  • All featured investment types can be uniquely created with your own financial consultant.

Cons

  • Like all investment and insurance products, Santander Bank’s products are not FDIC-insured and not insured by a federal government agency.

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Loans

If you are looking to make a large purchase, start a new life adventure or refinance your home, Santander has loan opportunities and lines of credit options for you. You can apply for any of these online or in person.

Features, Pros and Cons

  • Personal Line of Credit: You can borrow $5,000 to $50,000 for any of your big life endeavors.
    • Pro: No collateral required
    • Con: No ability to receive the money in one lump sum
  • Home Equity Line of Credit: Your home can supply funds for emergencies or big life events.
    • Pro: You can reuse your line of credit when you repay it within the first 10 years.
    • Con: $50 annual fee during the draw period unless you have a Santander Select, Premier or Premier Plus account
  • Overdraft Line of Credit: You can use this money for emergencies or pay to off debts and unexpected fees.
    • Pro: Line of credit for up to $10,000
    • Con: Annual fee unless you have a Santander Select, Premier or Premier Plus account
  • Personal Loan: Borrow between $5,000 to $50,000 for any of your life events.
    • Pro: Predictable monthly payments
    • Con: You cannot reuse as you repay.
  • Mortgages: You can refinance or mortgage a new home with Santander Bank.
    • Pro: New mortgages can be paid with a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage while refinancing your mortgage could lower your monthly payments.
    • Con: Depends on what rates other financial institutions can offer you

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How To Bank With Santander Bank

Banking with Santander Bank is easy and accessible. There are four major ways to bank with Santander:

  1. Visit a Santander Bank branch using the online locator.
  2. Call a customer service representative at 877-768-1145.
  3. Email all inquires to Santander Bank.
  4. Use the mobile app or head to Santanderbank.com.

Technology

Santander offers tech-savvy customers plenty of features via online banking and its highly-rated mobile app. Both give you 24/7 access to your funds from anywhere in the world. The mobile app gives you access to your funds, allows money transfers and lets you deposit checks. Online banking can do the same things the mobile app does except deposit checks.

Related: 8 New Banking Technologies You’ll See in the Next 5 Years

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Fees

While Santander Bank has specific fees for its CDs and loans, the fees that you will most commonly deal with are the ones attached to your savings and checking accounts. However, most of these fees can be waived.

Checking:

  • Student Value Checking
    • No fee
    • No need to waive anything
  • Basic Checking
    • $3 monthly fee
    • This fee cannot be waived
  • Simply Right Checking
    • $10 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Any deposit, withdrawal, transfer or payment from this account will waive the fee.
  • Premier Plus Checking
    • $25 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: $25,000 in linked balances or $4,000 in monthly direct deposits into this account
  • Select Checking
    • $75 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: $150,000 in linked balances or specific investments with Santander Investment Services

Savings

  • Youth Savings
    • No fee
    • No need to waive anything
  • Savings
    • $1 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Either $100 balance in savings or a linked Santander checking account
  • Standard Money Market Savings
    • $10 monthly fee
    • To waive fee: Any deposit, withdrawal, transfer or payment from this account will waive the fee.
  • Premier Plus and/or Select Money Market Account
    • No fee
    • No need to waive anything

Check Out: 5 Bank Fees You Can Always Talk Your Way Out Of

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Availability of Funds

The availability of funds depends on how, when and how much you deposit into your account.

  • Same business day availability of receiving deposit
    • Cash deposit
    • Direct deposit
    • Wire transfers and electronic deposits
  • Next business day availability at the latest
    • First $200 of any check deposited
    • Checks drawn on U.S. Treasury checks and Santander accounts
  • Second business day availability at the latest
    • Remainder of all checks deposited

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Summary of Santander Bank

Santander Bank is a viable option if you prefer to do business with a brick-and-mortar bank. Consider this summary of the drawbacks and benefits of Santander Bank before investing your money.

Save for Your Future
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Drawbacks and Benefits of  Santander Bank
BenefitsDrawbacks
Digital banking readily accessibleLow APY in the savings products
Santander ATMs available in Northeast and FloridaMonthly fees
Array of account types available with overdraft protectionSome checking accounts don’t earn interest

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Rates and fees are accurate as of Dec. 16, 2019, and are subject to change. This content is not provided by Santander Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by Santander Bank.

About the Author

Jared Nigro is from Pittsburgh, which is obvious by the way he gravitates toward cheese at parties. He is a comedy writer from The Groundlings Sunday Company, Upright Citizens Brigade and has his own digital show on Comedy Central called “Broken People.” When he isn’t being funny, he’s reading books on debt and finance and listening to his favorite finance podcast, ChooseFI.