Santander Zero Credit Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 8th February, 2019.

The Santander Zero Credit Card is zero by name and zero by nature, with no foreign transaction fees on purchases when made in the local currency and no cash withdrawal fees anywhere in the world.

Great for: Avoiding fees while traveling
3 stars question mark

You can use the Santander Zero Credit Card abroad and not worry about being charged fees. It offers the double benefit of no foreign transaction fee and no cash withdrawal fee both in the UK and abroad, making holiday spending with the card easy and relaxed.

Read full review >

CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cash withdrawal fees
  • Up to 3 additional cardholders

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 18.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Monthly fee £0

what we like

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cash withdrawal fees
  • Up to 3 additional cardholders
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    18.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    N/A

KEY SCORES:

  • 1/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 1/5APR

The Santander Zero Credit Card bottom line

You can use this card abroad and not worry about being charged fees. It offers the double benefit of no foreign transaction fee and no cash withdrawal fee both in the UK and abroad, making holiday spending with the card easy and relaxed.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the Santander Zero Credit Card

This is a credit card that you can use abroad without having to pay to do so. Plus, with it being part of the Santander family, this means that cardholders can benefit from cashback offers.

  • No foreign transaction fees – This is always the main selling point for a card you plan to use abroad, and the Santander Zero Credit Card does not disappoint. Cardholders will not be charged for purchases abroad as long as they make them in the local currency. The provider does warn users to make sure they select the local currency option when spending, because if they were to choose sterling they could be charged a fee by the retailer or the bank handling the conversion.
  • No cash withdrawal fees – This is an added element that not all travel credit cards include. The Santander Zero Credit Card is true to its name by charging 0% interest on cash withdrawals in the UK and abroad, meaning you would be able to use your credit card to withdraw money while on holiday and not be charged for doing so.
  • Retailer offers – As part of the Santander family, the card also has its Retailer Offers programme. If cardholders register for online or mobile banking and switch on the Retailer Offers option, they could benefit from five welcome offers of up to 25% cashback on purchases from selected retailers such as Costa, Morrisons and Vue. The welcome offers would be chosen for you and would be available for one use only. Once the welcome offers expire, you could continue to earn up to 15% cashback with as many of the offers you have selected from the programme.
  • Worth knowing – The card offers 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for one month from account opening, although balance transfers would be subject to a fee of 3%. Cardholders could also apply for three additional cards at no extra cost for a partner or family members.

Why trust me

I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What could be improved?

If you are looking for a travel card then the lack of fees will be the main draw, but you should also look at what else a card offers.

  • Introductory periods – One area where this card really falls short is its introductory interest-free periods. One month interest-free for both balance transfers and purchases is such a short amount of time it is hardly worth mentioning. While the card is mainly designed for its overseas use, it would have been nice to see slightly longer introductory periods.
  • Cashback rewards – The Retailer Offer cashback programme seems limited, with only a selection of retailers available to earn cashback from and the five welcome offers being chosen for you.

How does the Santander Zero Credit Card offer stack up?

The Santander Zero Credit Card beats some of its competitors purely by having the combination of no fees on foreign transactions and no fees on cash withdrawals. However, it is worth mentioning that some other cards on the market offer longer interest-free introductory periods and more rewarding cashback programmes alongside fee-free overseas usage.

The Santander Zero Credit Card credit score

Santander requires applicants to have a good credit record and to have not been declared bankrupt or had a county court judgement (CCJ) or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) within the last six years.

Additionally, you will need a gross annual income of £7,500 in order to apply and to have not already held a Santander Zero Credit Card.

How do you apply?

Applications can be made through the bank’s website or you can apply at your nearest Santander branch.

In the application you will need to provide your personal details, address history for the past three years, details of your yearly income and outgoings, and an email address.

You can make one balance transfer request as part of the application (balances from Santander or cahoot cards will not be accepted). Further balance transfers can be made through online banking once your application has been successful and your credit card has been activated.

Is the Santander Zero Credit Card right for you?

If you are in the market for a credit card to use while abroad then the Santander Zero Credit Card is one to consider. Unlike other travel cards, it doesn’t charge for cash withdrawals when you are away – something that typically carries a fee of around 3%. Added to that there being no fees on purchases abroad and you are looking at a card that allows you to relax with your holiday spending.

However, if you need a card that also offers introductory interest-free periods for balance transfers and purchases then it is best to look at other options. At one month interest-free this card doesn’t really compete, plus any balance transfers would be subject to a fee of 3%.

See the Best Credit Cards for Travel


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.

Advertiser Disclosure