With more than 575 branches spread over nine states, Santander Bank has developed into a banking leader in the Northeast region of the U.S. With a multitude of deposit accounts, along with other personal, business, and commercial banking solutions, Santander Bank is a viable banking choice for many consumers. This in-depth review will help you determine if it’s the right bank for you.

Investopedia is committed to providing our readers with unbiased product recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products, but this doesn’t affect how we rate, review, and rank them.

Pros
  • Large array of deposit accounts

  • Low initial deposit on checking account

  • Automatic savings feature

  • Waivable monthly fees

Cons
  • Average rates on savings accounts

  • Expensive overdraft fees

  • Limited number of branches and ATMs

  • Fees for out-of-network ATMs

Pros Explained

Large array of deposit accounts – If you like having options, then Santander Bank should likely satisfy you. It has several checking and savings account options depending on your needs.

Low initial deposit on checking account – Each checking account through Santander Bank requires an initial deposit, but most of them are low, with none of them more than $150.

Automatic savings feature – Customers can set up automatic transfers to their savings account to build up savings faster.

Waivable monthly fees – Most Santander bank accounts charge monthly fees, but almost all of them can be waived by meeting specific requirements, which vary with each account.

Cons Explained

Average rates on savings accounts – None of Santander’s savings accounts come with great rates, which are on par with other local brick-and-mortar banks.

Expensive overdraft fees – Be sure there are enough funds in your account to avoid running into Santander Bank’s hefty $35 overdraft fees.

Limited number of branches and ATMs – Santander Bank is only located in the Northeast region of the U.S., with 575 branches and roughly 2,000 ATMs across nine states.

Fees for out-of-network ATMs – If you end up using an ATM outside of Santander’s network, you are charged a fee by Santander Bank and possibly by the ATM owner too.

Who Is Santander Bank Best For?

Santander Bank is a good fit for customers who are looking for full-service banking along with online and mobile account managements. It may appeal even more to those who:

  • Like having a host of bank account options at their fingertips
  • Don’t mind monthly fees as long as they can be waived
  • Live in the Northeast region of the U.S.

What Does Santander Bank Offer?

Santander offers a number of different deposit accounts:

All bank accounts through Santander Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor.

Checking Accounts

There are five checking accounts available with Santander Bank.

  • Basic Checking – This is an entry-level checking account with a $3 monthly fee that can’t be waived. It has a $25 minimum opening deposit but doesn’t have an ongoing balance requirement.
  • Student Value Checking – Santander Bank’s only checking account with no monthly fee, this account is for students ages 14 to 25 and only requires a $10 minimum opening deposit. Once you turn 26, it gets converted to another checking account.
  • Simply Right Checking – This account features a $10 monthly fee that can be waived with just one transaction per month. It requires an initial $25 deposit but has no ongoing balance requirements.
  • Premier Plus Checking – This is an interest-bearing checking account that currently earns a 0.01% annual percentage yield (APY). There’s also a $25 monthly fee that can be waived by keeping a combined $25,000 in deposits or having $4,000 in direct deposits each month. You can open a Premium Plus account with a $50 initial deposit.
  • Select Checking – This top-of-the-line account also earns interest, but it’s unclear just how much. Select Checking accounts can only be opened at specific Santander branches by a Select banker. It features a steep $75 monthly fee that can be waived with $150,000 in combined deposits and select investment balances. Select Checking customers also receive a dedicated banker, along with a team of specialists for personalized banking service. It requires an initial $150 deposit.

Premier Plus Checking and Select Checking are the only checking accounts that don’t charge fees for out-of-network ATM use. Student Value Checking charges a $2 fee, while both Basic Checking and Simply Right Checking charge a $3 fee. Keep in mind that an out-of-network bank may also charge a fee for using its ATM.

Santander Bank Checking Accounts
Account Name Minimum Opening Deposit  Monthly Fee APY
Student Value Checking $10 $0 None
Basic Checking $25 $3 None 
Simply Right Checking $25 $10 None 
Premier Plus Checking $50 $25 0.01% APY
Select Checking  $150 $75 NA
(As of July 30, 2020)

Savings Accounts

There are only two choices when it comes to Santander Bank savings accounts: one for students and one for everybody else.

Santander Savings – Although it’s an interest-bearing account, Santander Bank’s main savings account only earns a 0.03% APY, which is half the national rate of 0.06%. You won’t make money from this savings account regardless of your account balance. It just can’t compete with the best savings accounts. It has no minimum balance requirements, but you do need at least a $25 initial deposit to open it. There’s also a $1 monthly fee, which is waived when paired with a checking account or an average daily balance of $100 in your savings account.

Youth Savings – Santander Bank’s other savings account is meant for individuals under 18 years old. It has no monthly fee and only a $10 opening deposit requirement.

Both savings accounts carry a $3 fee each time you use an out-of-network ATM plus any fees charged by the ATM owner.

Santander Bank Savings Accounts
Account Name  Minimum Opening Deposit Monthly Fee APY
Santander Savings $25 $1 0.03%
Youth Savings $10 $0 NA
(As of July 30, 2020)

Money Market Accounts

The highest interest rates earned at Santander Bank are reserved for its three money market accounts.

Money Market Savings – This account has no minimum balance requirement, but you do need an initial deposit of $25 to open one. It has a $10 monthly fee that can be waived with a Santander checking account or a $10,000 average daily balance in your money market account.

Premium Plus Money Market Savings – This account is the same as the previously mentioned money market account except that it has no monthly fee. It also requires a Premier Plus Checking account to open one.

Select Money Market Savings – The bank’s top-tier money market account can only be opened at specific Santander branches. It requires a Select Checking account and a $25 minimum opening deposit.

Rates on Santander Bank’s money market accounts vary based on your location. The following rates were quoted for New York City on July 30, 2020.

Santander Bank Money Market Accounts
Account Name Minimum Opening Deposit  Monthly Fee APY 
Money Market Savings $25 $10 First Six Months: Up to 0.75%
Ongoing: Up to 0.52%
Premier Plus Money Market Savings $25 $0 First Six Months: Up to 0.75%
Ongoing: Up to 0.52%
Select Money Market Savings  $25 $0 First Six Months: 0.75%
Ongoing: 0.63%
(As of July 30, 2020)

CDs

Santander offers CDs with terms from three months to five years. You’ll need to visit your local branch to get current interest rates. A $500 minimum deposit is required.

Santander customers have the option of what to do with interest earned from CDs. You can either keep it in your CD account to compound or transfer it to another bank account.

Customers are subject to early withdrawal penalties if they take out funds before their CDs reach maturity. Once they do, you can withdraw funds without a penalty or reinvest them in another CD.

Credit Card

Besides bank accounts, Santander also offers one consumer credit card. With the Santander Ultimate Cash Back credit card, customers earn cash back at rates comparable to many competing cards. The card also offers an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) offer on purchases and balance transfers. There is no annual fee, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

Other Financial Products Offered by Santander

Santander Bank offers other popular financial solutions like:

Santander Bank Customer Service

Santander Bank customer service comes mainly through phone support, available at 877-768-2265 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CST Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Saturdays. Customers can also fill out an inquiry form on Santander’s website for general questions.

In-person help is also available if you live near a local Santander Bank branch. There are currently branches in nine states:

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

How to Bank Through Santander Bank

Customers can apply for some Santander Bank accounts online. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and U.S. citizens or resident aliens with a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You will also need a credit or debit card handy to fund the new account.

Other accounts, such as Select Checking and Select Money Market Savings, require you to apply in person at specific bank branches with Select staff.

Verdict

If you happen to live in the Northeast U.S., Santander Bank provides full-service banking with a wide array of personal banking products to fit most needs. If you live outside of that area, there’s not much benefit to banking through Santander Bank.

If you’re looking for accounts that earn high-yield savings rates, you may be better off opting for an online bank instead. They are able to offer much higher rates because they have lower overhead costs.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected over 20 data points across more than 80 banks—including products available, interest rates, fees, and accessibility—to ensure that our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking need