Santander launches new bank account – is it any good?
Santander’s new accounts gives you up to £20 cashback a month and 4% interest rate on savings.
If you’re looking to switch your current account, then Sanatander’s new bank account may just tempt you. While there is no current account switching bonus like the ones available from many other high street banks, its cashback and linked savings are worth a look.
What does the Santander Edge account offer?
The Santander Edge current account will offer:
- 1% cashback up to £10 a month on essential grocery shopping and transport-based debit spending
- 1% cashback up to £10 a month on household bills paid via direct debit, including council tax, gas and electricity, mobile, landline, broadband and paid-for TV packages
- Free international and UK transfers
- Free use of Santander ATMs overseas
If you are looking for the best savings account too, then the new account also has access to the linked easy-access savings account, Santander Edge saver, which currently offers customers 4% interest on balances up to £4,000 and a 0.5% boost for the first 12 months from opening the account. The account can only be held in a single name.
How can I qualify for the new Santander Edge account?
To get the new Santander Edge account, you must:
- Pay a £3 monthly fee
- Pay at least £500 into the account each month
- Have two active direct debits
- Be over 18
- Live permanently in the UK
Note that the account is paper-free and can be managed online and in-app. You can see how much you can earn from the new account using its online calculator.
The account has been designed “around what we know our customers want from their bank”, said Enrique Alvarez, chief customer officer at Santander UK. “Building on our focus on cashback, we will be rewarding them for their essential spending, whether that’s the weekly supermarket shop or travelling to work, and their household bills – particularly relevant given current pressures.
“The exclusive saver also provides a preferential rate for people looking to earn interest on their easy-access savings.”
The bank has also released a new rewards programme, Santander Boosts, which provides perks such as access to prize draws, vouchers, additional cashback and discounts. You can sign up through online and mobile banking.
Is the Santander Edge account worth it?
While the account offers compelling benefits, there are others that rival its perks.
The Santander 123 current account pays 1% on council tax, mobile and home phone bills, broadband bills and Santander monthly mortgage payments; 2% on gas and electricity bills, Santander home insurance premiums and life insurance premiums; and 3% on water bills.
The cashback is capped at £5 for each cashback tier. The account also pays 1.75% interest on balances of up to £20,000 – however it is £1 more expensive at £4 a month.
Chase’s current account is also attractive. The digital bank offers 1% cashback on all spending for the first 12 months as well as access to a linked savings account with a return of 2.1%. Importantly, the account is free.
Finally, Halifax’s Reward account offers you the option of one of four monthly rewards:
- £5 in your account
- A cinema ticket
- Three digital magazines
- 2 digital movie rentals
To qualify you must spend £500 per month and keep over £5,000 in your account for each day of the month. Additionally you must pay in £1,500 per month (this will save you the monthly fee) and keep your balance at £0 or above. The account offers up to 15% monthly cashback on selected merchants, and the amount varies.
So, what’s the verdict? Lets recap:
Max cashback per year
Yearly interest on £1,000
Fees per year
Annual return after fees
£40 (via linked savings account with 4% interest)
£17.5 (via monthly interest of 1.75%)
Chase Current Account
1% on all purchases for the first year
£21 (via linked savings account with 2.1%)
£21 + cashback
Browse and activate offers on the Cashback Extras section of the app
£36 (free if you pay in £1,500 each month)
If we look at it like that, the Santander Edge account looks the best value for the highest reward – assuming you spend enough to max out the cashback rewards. The Chase current account gives it a run for its money thanks to its zero fees and generous 1% cashback over the first 12 months.