Credit cards are as much a part of everyday transactions as cash used to be. This is not only due to the access to credit, but also the convenience of not having to carry cash anymore. Although still considered a risky means of transaction, it does offer a few more safety features than cash. More than a transaction instrument, a credit card also grants access to specific perks and benefits. Institutions are under a lot of pressure to package their cards favorably in order to remain relevant. The Santander UK Credit Cards provide options for a number of different needs. This review takes a look to determine whether it meets the criteria and how it compares to its peers.
A credit card selection with only a handful of rivals is the one offered by Wells Fargo.
About Santander UK
From the distant shores of Spain comes this fairly new addition to the UK banking scene. Established in London in the mid-1900’s, the bank has managed to capture quite a large customer base which has added significantly to its balance sheet. This is a tough feat considering the wealth of British banks that occupy the London streets. The head office is still based in Santander, Spain, where it was founded in the mid-1800’s.
Credit Card Safety Tips to Ensure Happy Spending
Credit card fraud is not unique to high-crime areas. This kind of fraud is probably the easiest to perpetrate and can be done by anyone who has access to certain information on the card.
Opt For Cards That Provide More Security
This is not only an option but a necessity. This means taking some extra time to do a bit of research. At the minimum, the card should have a chip which makes use of a pin. Other features include notifications and maximum spend limits.
Report Unusual Transactions Immediately
When the very first strange transaction comes through, it’s important to contact the fraud line to ensure the card is blocked. This protects the consumer from any further purchases made on the card. It is also a means for the authorities to track the perpetrator should the card be used again.
Take Out Insurance If Available
Some cards already have a policy built into their product that provides the customer with cover should they be the victims of fraud. If not, it’s worth it to do a bit of investigation to find out which insurance agencies offer this.
Know Who Is On the Other End of the Line
There are many ways to gain access to the information on a credit card. One way that perpetrators use to gain information is through a telephone call, by pretending to be a service provider. They will verify just enough information to keep the customer happy but will ask information that will make it easy for them to duplicate the card or to use the information for online purchases.
Never Let Your Card Out of Your Sight
Whether at a clothing store or restaurant, a card skimmer can be used anywhere. It’s often difficult to figure out where the skimming took place and it only takes a few moments to do. Look out for extra devices that the card is swiped through. Better yet, ask the bank for a contactless card which is a great alternative.
Keep the 3 Digits on the Back a Secret
There is no reason to divulge this information to just anyone. Make sure that the person who requests this information is a trusted individual. Also, keep an eye on anyone who handles the card to ensure they don’t write the number down.
Keep it Locked Up When Not In Use
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a credit card out of the wallet. When this happens, instead of placing it in a dresser drawer, lock it away in the safe. Anyone who has access to the house and decides to rummage will have access to the card.
Avoid Taking the Card to Places Where You May Have to Leave Your Wallet Behind
This means swimming at a public pool or going to the beach. A stolen wallet or handbag is a treasure trove for fraudsters as they have everything they need at their fingertips.
Santander UK Credit Cards Product Offerings
All In One Credit Card
With a low monthly fee of only £3, it’s no wonder this is a favorite among customers. Furthermore, the card features an extensive list of benefits.
- Customers pay 0% on balance transfers for 43 months of account opening. There is also no balance transfer fee.
- There is 0% interest on purchases for 6 months from the date of account opening.
- Furthermore, customers enjoy 0.5% cashback on all of their purchases. There are also no limits or caps.
- Customers don’t pay any foreign transaction fees should they make purchases abroad using the local currency.
- There is also the opportunity earn additional cashback from selected retailers.
- Finally, customers who have a 123 Current Account also stand the chance to earn a monthly fee refund.
Everyday Credit Card
Customers who wish to benefit from a simple credit card with low fees will find this ideal.
- The card provides 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 30 months from the date of account opening.
- There is a balance transfer fee of 2.75% or £5 minimum.
- Furthermore, customers enjoy retail offers that could earn them cashback on their purchases.
A simple card for those who love to travel. Furthermore, customers benefit from a number of fee discounts.
- Customers don’t have to worry about foreign transactions fees when overseas. This is when they make purchases in the local currency.
- There is also no cash withdrawal fee anywhere in the world.
- Furthermore, customers don’t pay a monthly fee.
- Finally, retailer offers allow customers to earn cashback on some of their purchases.
World Elite Mastercard
For those who prefer a card that’s a little more sophisticated, this is the one. The card is available to Santander Select and Private customers, which makes it a little more exclusive.
- There is a monthly charge of £15.
- Customers enjoy unlimited airport lounge access at over 800 lounges.
- Furthermore, there is also access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.
- The card provides customers with a 40% online discount with Santander Travel Insurance.
- Also, there is access to the Mastercard Concierge service.
- Customers don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees when they use to local currency option while traveling abroad.
- On top of all the other benefits, the card also offers 0.5% cashback on purchases. The maximum spend is £3,000.
- Finally, there is 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months from the date the account was opened. There is also no balance transfer fee payable during this period.
Santander UK also offers a range of current accounts and we recently did a review.
What We Like About the Santander UK Credit Cards
This is a fresh range of cards that provide consumers with access to instant credit and convenient payments. Consumers have simple choices to make, which can make wading through all the options a little easier.
We’re also happy with the pricing model. The cards are affordable and with the 0% interest options, it also boosts cash flow. When the interest does kick in, the rates are in line with other card offerings on the market.
What We Don’t Like About the Santander UK Credit Cards
From an absolute high of reviewing the Santander UK current accounts, it’s only natural to be a little underwhelmed by this range. This is where the banks usually pull out all stops and dazzle customers with a card for every need. What customers are left with instead, is a range that could do with a serious revamp.
The selections are limited to basic, basic, basic, and elite. A range of four cards doesn't really provide customers with too much choice, except when it comes to fees and interest. There is very little thought or creativity that went into this range. Our fear is that the lack of exciting credit card products will prompt consumers to look for a more substantial range elsewhere. It is never a good sign to us when a product range forces clients to look beyond their current institution.
Of the four cards on offer, only three are really true contenders as the last is reserved for Santander Select and Private clients. This leaves a massive gap in the market which we don’t think will be filled with the three remaining cards.
A bank that only recently introduced credit cards to their product range, is Ally Bank.
Critical Reviews Rating Santander UK Credit Cards – 4 of 10
When we look at a credit range like this one, the very first thing that comes to mind is that the bank obviously wants to minimize risk. This could mean that there is not enough liquidity to fund the cards, which is a warning sign. If this is not the case, then the range is simply just lazy. With all the great benefits offered by other institutions, the best these cards have to offer is the 0% interest offer. The only card that offers lounge access is only available to the bank’s top clients.
What we would like to see is a range that offers a bit more variety, such as unique memberships and access to specific events or locations, travel benefits, and more. Until this happens, the maximum rate we can give these cards is a slow four.
Another bank that had to face the gallows, but for a different product, was Wells Fargo. Discover which product let them down.