Santander Bank Review: Pros, Cons, and Account Requirements

Andrew Reyes
A couple shakes the hand of a banker.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Wondering how to choose the right bank for a quality savings account? Consider Santander Bank. The full-service financial institution offers several types of bank accounts and savings options ranging from traditional savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Santander Services and Features

Santander Bank is a Spanish national bank but got its start in America when it opened branches in the Northeast in 2013. Today, the bank has 575 branches in the following nine states:

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

The bank is invested in financial education and supporting future generations. Santander has been working with colleges, universities, and research centers around the world by providing funding to empower science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students.

Checking Accounts

There are five different checking accounts to choose from. Student Value checking is designed for young adults ages 14 to 25 and comes with no monthly fees or balance requirements. The Basic Checking and Simply Right accounts are Santander Bank’s entry-level checking accounts. Basic Checking has a monthly maintenance fee of $3 per month. Simply Right checking comes with a $10 per month maintenance fee, which can be waived as long as you’re active and make just one transaction per month.

Santander Bank also provides two interest-earning checking accounts for customers with higher balances. You’ll earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.01% on your checking account balance. The monthly maintenance fees for both accounts are high — $25 for the Premier Plus account and $75 for the Select Checking account, but they can be waived as long as you maintain a combined balance of $25,000 (or receive $4,000 per month in direct deposits) or $150,000, respectively.

Savings & Money Market Accounts

To set aside money for the savings goals of your choice, you have five savings account options. As with the bank’s checking accounts, students and young adults 18 and under have their own designated no-fee savings account called Youth Savings.

Adults have a standard savings account and money market account with a monthly fee of $1 for the former and $10 for the latter. The fee on the savings account can be waived by linking a checking account and keeping a $100 average daily balance. As for the money market account, link to any Santander checking account or maintain an average daily balance of $10,000 or more to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

Santander also provides higher-tier clients with matching money market options to go with their premium checking accounts. Known as the Premier Money Market Savings account and the Select Money Market Savings account, they earn a higher interest on deposits and come with no monthly maintenance fees.

Here’s a look at the current interest rates on Santander savings accounts:

  • Santander Savings: 0.03% APY;
  • Money Market Savings: 0.10% to 0.52% APY, depending on balance;
  • Premier Plus Money Market Savings: 0.10% to 0.52% APY, depending on balance;
  • Select Money Market Savings: 0.75% interest or 0.63% APY.

CD Accounts

If you want to lock in a specific interest rate, you can open a CD with as little as $500 and select a term between three months and five years, starting at 0.60% APY.

Santander ATM Locations

The Santander Bank ATM network has 2,000 ATMs across the Northeast and Florida. Although this may be convenient for residents in areas where Santander Bank operates, it may be an issue for those who travel or need cash while outside the Santander ATM network. Santander’s out-of-network fees are $2 to $3 domestically, and $6 at international ATMs.

Santander Online Options

Regardless of the type of account you choose with Santander Bank, there are online options so you can handle your personal banking 24 hours per day. They include:

Pros and Cons of Santander

Pros

  • A large variety of account options;
  • Low-to-no monthly fees and opportunities to waive them;
  • Better interest rates than many other national banks;
  • Online platform and mobile banking app;
  • Quickly lock your debit card through the mobile app or online platform if it’s lost or stolen.

Cons

  • Higher-tier accounts come with high monthly maintenance fees;
  • Limited network of free ATMs;
  • Branches limited to the Northeast and Florida.

Is Santander Bank Right for You?

Santander Bank is ideal for you if you’re a resident of one of its highly saturated banking areas, such as the Northeast or Florida. But if you travel often or live in an area where Santander is just getting started and regularly make ATM withdrawals, the out-of-network ATM fees can add up.

As far as savings, the bank’s savings and certificates of deposit pay a competitive rate but are not the best in the market. Consider a high-yield online savings account if you want to earn the maximum interest available.

How to Open an Account With Santander

There are a couple of ways to open an account with Santander:

  • Visit a local branch: You’ll need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and two forms of ID — your government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and a second ID, such as a debit card, or utility bill. To fund the account, use cash, a check, or your bank details, including bank account and routing number, to create an electronic funds transfer (EFT) from an outside bank account.
  • Open an account online: You’ll need to provide your name, Social Security number, and email address. Fund the account by creating an EFT or by using a credit or debit card.

Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

 

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