Our bottom line
Santander’s Everyday Card stacks up really well against the competition. 18 months of 0% interest on balance transfers is not at the very top end of the scale, but this comes without a fee on balance transfers. The three months of 0% interest on purchases is a bit shorter than some competing cards, but it’s still nice to get that 0% purchase period. As a sweetener, there are cashback awards available from companies like Costa Coffee, Subway, and Morrisons through Santander’s free ‘Retailer Offers’ service, available through online and mobile banking.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the Santander Everyday Card
The Santander Everyday Credit Card is all about the balance transfer. It offers few other perks or extra benefits, but keeps things simple training the spotlight on its star attraction, and there’s a lot to be said for that.
- 0% intro balance transfer offer – This is what this card is all about. Transfer your existing credit card balance and you will pay zero interest for the first 18 months. If that doesn’t interest you, find another card. But if it does, read on, because this might just tickle your fancy.
- Interest savings – It is hard to overstate the benefits of shifting credit card debt to a 0% deal. If you maintained a £5,000 balance at an APR of 20.9% and could only afford to make the minimum 2.5% payment each month, you would pay a punitive £875 in interest a year, around £73 a month. Switch to an interest-free credit card and you pay… nothing! Instead, you can use the money to pay off your debt. Note: after 18 months the APR leaps to 20.9%, but with a little discipline you might even be debt-free by then.
- Fee-free transfer – Other balance transfer cards offer longer 0% introductory rates but most charge a fee ranging from 1% to 3%, which would cost between £50 and £150 on a £5,000 balance. The Santander Everyday Credit Card doesn’t do this. There is no fee on any balances transferred during the full introductory period. After 18 months, you will pay a standard APR of 20.9%.
- 0% intro APR on purchases – As well as a 0% balance transfer rate, Santander Everyday also offers interest-free purchases for the first three months. However, you really focus on paying down your balance, rather than running up new debt on the card. You could always take out another card, one that offers a lengthier introductory rate on purchases, to avoid getting the two muddled up.
- Other benefits – There is no annual fee, so that’s another saving for you, right there. As with most cards, you also get up to 56 days interest-free credit on purchases (but not cash withdrawals), provided you pay your balance in full and on time each month. The minimum credit limit is £500, the maximum is subject to status. Additionally, the account allows up to three additional cardholders (you will, of course, be responsible for the usage and payments on the extra cards).
- Worth knowing – You can’t apply for the Everyday Credit Card if you already hold another Santander balance transfer credit card (if unsure, these credit cards are coloured red). Nor can you transfer balances from other Santander or Cahoot credit cards, or from any loans or current accounts. The minimum balance transfer is £100 and the maximum must not exceed 95% of your available credit limit.
What could be improved
I feel it is a bit harsh criticising the Santander Everyday Credit Card for what it doesn’t do, because no card can do everything. This one keeps things simple and in a complicated world, you have to admire that. However, there’s always something to grumble about, so…
- 0% intro APR on purchases – Its 0% interest-free period on new purchases lasts a measly three months. I would have preferred either a longer introductory rate or none at all. Having said that, I would recommend you stick to the task in hand, paying off that balance. Building up a purchase balance at a double-digit APR can wipe out the benefits of that 0% balance transfer rate.
- Overseas usage – Using a credit card overseas can be expensive and this applies to Santander Everyday. It charges a non-sterling transaction fee of 2.95%, or 3% on cash withdrawals, with a minimum £3 charge. Next time you go on holiday, I would advise packing one of the growing number of credit cards with zero charges on foreign usage.
These are minor gripes. Santander Everyday is an excellent way to refinance existing credit card debt, especially if you think you can pay it off within the 18 months because if you can, then why pay a transfer fee at all? If tempted to use the card for purchases as well, remember you will start racking up interest at 20.9% after three months.
How does Santander Everyday’s balance transfer offer stack up?
If you look at the best buy tables, you will find 0% balance transfer cards running for considerably longer. However, do you really need almost three years to clear your balance? If you can pay it down in 18 months instead, then you can escape the transfer fee applied by most cards. Santander Everyday isn’t the only fee-free balance transfer card, but we think it is one of the best.
There’s another benefit. Some cards only allow interest-free balance transfers in the first 30 or 60 days. With Santander Everyday, there is no balance transfer fee during the 18-month introductory period.
The Santander Everyday credit score
Credit card companies are obliged to give their headline offer to at least 51% of all applicants, but the remainder may be given a less attractive deal, or be turned away altogether, depending on their credit record.
Applicants must be permanent UK residents aged 18 years or over, earning at least £7,500 before tax. They must also have a UK address and a three-year address history.
Santander will apply credit checks as part of its application process and you will need a good credit record and have not been declared bankrupt, had a CCJ or an IVA within the last six years. The credit check will also determine the size of your credit limit.
How to apply
It’s worth assembling all the information you are likely to need before making your application, whether online or in person in a bank branch.
You will need to provide your name, address and personal details like gender, date of birth and nationality. Also, keep your passport or driving licence number handy to verify your identity, and a bank statement or utility bill as proof of address.
You must also confirm your employment status, and supply details of your yearly income and outgoings. Gather your bank account details as you will need to set up a direct debit to make your monthly payment.
Is the Santander Everyday card a good option for you?
If you want to bring your existing credit card debt under control, Santander Everyday is an excellent fee-free way of doing it. Especially if you think you can clear the full debt in the 18-month introductory period. If you don’t have any existing credit card debt, you can seek out a card offering other benefits. Maybe one with a lengthy 0% introductory APR on purchases, or generous cashback and reward points.
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