5 Things to Know About the Santander Credit Card

For those who can qualify, the Santander Ultimate Cash Back card boasts a desirable suite of perks including a high rewards rate and a 0% APR offer — but both expire after 12 months.
Profile photo of Jae Bratton
Written by Jae Bratton
Lead Writer
Profile photo of Kenley Young
Edited by Kenley Young
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Issued by the Spanish bank Santander, the Ultimate Cash Back card offers some good perks, but two of the best ones disappear after the first year of having the card. The card’s 0% APR promotion and its bonus rewards rate of 3% cash back on all purchases expire after 12 months.

After that, the card earns a flat 1.5% cash back, which is in line with the industry standard, but it’s certainly not the best rate out there. For those who want a card with more long-term value — or who are ineligible to apply due to the card’s residency requirement — consider a different cash-back credit card.

Here’s what you need to know about the Santander Ultimate Cash Back card.

1. Card eligibility is restricted by residency

As of this writing, the Santander credit card is available only to residents of Washington, D.C., and 12 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Also, Florida applicants are limited to residents of Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward counties.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The terms and conditions for the Santander Ultimate Cash Back card state that applicants may not qualify for the card if they already have another credit card issued by Santander Bank.

2. The 3% rewards rate is excellent, but there are caveats

True to its name, the Santander Ultimate Cash Back card earns an impressive 3% cash back on purchases — but only for the first 12 months after opening the account, and only up to $20,000 in spending. After that, purchases earn an unlimited 1.5% back, a solid but unremarkable rate.

Also, unlike many other cash-back credit cards, there's no upfront sign-up bonus. Still, if you were to hit the $20,000 spending limit, you’d earn $600 in cash back in Year One, which is triple the value of the sign-up bonuses for several excellent cash-back credit cards. (You just won't get the bonus immediately, as you would with those other products.)

3. Rewards may be redeemed for cash and more

Redemption options for the Santander credit card include statement credit, gift cards, electronic certificates and merchandise.

The minimum redemption amount for all redemption options is $10.

🤓Nerdy Tip

A Santander spokesperson said that having a Santander bank account increases one’s odds of being approved for the Ultimate Cash Back card.

4. Fees are minimal

The Santander credit card is refreshingly light on fees. The card has no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, returned payment fee or cash advance fee. And while the card charges late fees up to $35, that amount is slightly less than most other cards, which charge up to $41 as of this writing.

The balance transfer fee on the Santander credit card is $10 or 3% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater.

5. Intro APR offer gives cardholders a break from interest

Another perk of the Santander card is its 0% APR promotion that pauses interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (as of this writing). However, if you and interest charges need more time apart, consider another card. It’s possible to find cards with 0% APR periods of 15, 18 and even 21 months.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Get Started
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.