Editorial Review

Santander Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Santander Bank offers solid options for basic checking, savings and CDs. But rates are generally low, and overdraft fees are steep.

Margarette BurnetteOctober 15, 2019

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Overall bank rating

Santander Bank, National Association
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Santander Bank has thousands of ATMs and hundreds of branches across the Northeast. It charges monthly fees for its checking and savings accounts, but those fees are easy to waive. Just watch out for low interest rates and high overdraft fees.

Pros

  • Over 2,000 ATMs and more than 600 branches across the Northeast.

  • Only $25 to open a checking account.

Cons

  • Basic checking account earns no interest.

  • Low savings account rates.

  • Steep overdraft fees.

Full review

Santander Bank, National Association Savings Account

Santander Bank, National Association Savings Account

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.03%

With $1 minimum balance

For the Santander Bank savings account, all it takes to avoid the $1 fee is to also have a Santander checking account. A $100 average daily balance also does the trick. But the savings rate is lower than the already poor national average of 0.06%. For people with at least $10,000 to deposit, Santander’s Select Money Market Savings earns a better yield.

» For higher savings rates, check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

Santander Bank, National Association Simply Right® Checking

Santander Bank, National Association Simply Right® Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$10.00

Simply Right Checking waives its $10 fee if you make one transaction every month, whether that’s a deposit, withdrawal, transfer or payment. There’s no minimum balance requirement, but you need $25 to open the account. Simply Right Checking accounts do not earn interest.

With Santander, you get access to over 2,000 ATMs, including those in many CVS Pharmacy locations. But Simply Right Checking has high fees for out-of-network ATMs and international purchases. The bank charges $3 to withdraw from domestic non-Santander ATMs. If you use a debit card at an an international ATM, the fee is $6 plus 4% of the withdrawal amount. There is one exception:  It’s free to withdraw from Santander ATMs in Mexico.

» Compare NerdWallet’s best free checking accounts

Santander Bank, National Association CD

Santander Bank, National Association CD

1.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.10%

Minimum Deposit

$500

You need just $500 to open a CD. Compare that to other banks that set the minimum at $1,000 or more. But the CDs generally earn low rates. While you can find reasonable promotional rates on some Santander term lengths, most are not competitive.

» Want to see more short-term CDs? See the best 1-year CDs this month

Banking experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

You can reach customer service representatives by phone from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, seven days a week. Other options include emailing, contacting Santander on Twitter or visiting one of its more than 600 branches. The bank also has solid mobile app ratings.

Overdraft fees

2.0

NerdWallet rating 

Santander charges $35 for overdrafts — which is typical for a big bank, according to a recent NerdWallet study — but you can be charged up to six times a day. Leaving an account with a negative balance for five consecutive business days results in an additional $35 extended overdraft fee. Not every bank charges this fee.

If you opt in for overdraft protection transfers from a linked savings account, there’s a $12 fee per day. And the bank’s overdraft line of credit has an annual fee of up to $50, plus any interest charged on overdrawn amounts. The annual charge is waived for those with premium checking accounts.

Santander Bank, National Association Savings Account

Santander Bank, National Association Savings Account

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.03%

With $1 minimum balance

For the Santander Bank savings account, all it takes to avoid the $1 fee is to also have a Santander checking account. A $100 average daily balance also does the trick. But the savings rate is lower than the already poor national average of 0.06%. For people with at least $10,000 to deposit, Santander’s Select Money Market Savings earns a better yield.

» For higher savings rates, check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

How does Santander Bank, National Association compare?

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.