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Santander Bank’s new Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card offers a respectable 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, and doesn’t charge any fees for ownership, foreign transactions, cash advances or returned payments. Where it flips the script on other cash-back cards is that it can also double as a balance transfer card.
The Ultimate Cash Back card offers an introductory 3 percent APR for 12 months for balance transfers made within 90 days of opening an account — and there are no balance transfer fees. Other balance transfer cards typically offer 0 percent APR for a set period of time, but they also charge a fee of 3 percent to 5 percent of your transferred balance.
Note: Some of the offers below may have expired or are no longer available:
|Card||Intro balance transfer offer||Rewards|
|Santander Ultimate Cash Back||3% APR for 12 months; no transfer fee||1.5% cash back|
|Chase Slate||0% APR for 15 months; no fee||None|
|Citi Diamond Preferred||0% APR for 21 months; 3% fee||None|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||0% APR for 15 months;$5 or 5% fee||1.5% cash back|
Should I get this card?
If you don’t already have a cash-back card, and you want a simple-to-understand, no-fee card, then Santander’s fee-free 1.5 percent rewards structure is a compelling offer. If you’re looking for a balance transfer card, make sure you do the math first to make sure the deal works for you.
Transfer $5,000 in debt to the Santander Ultimate Cash Back card, and you’d pay $79 in interest at the introductory 3 percent interest rate, assuming you paid off the debt within 12 months.
That’s considerably cheaper than some other options.
If you use a balance transfer card that gives a longer 15-month introductory period at 0 percent APR, but charges 5 percent of the amount you’re transferring, that would cost you $250.
Once you’ve ditched the debt on a card you acquired solely for the balance transfer offer, there may not be a compelling reason to continue to use that card. But canceling a credit card can negatively impact your overall credit score.
Where the Santander card shines is in its long-term usefulness. It’s both a good balance transfer card and a decent rewards card.
Before you apply
If the terms of this card appeal to you, there are a few things to keep in mind before you apply. Although you do not need to have a bank account with Santander, you do have to live in a state where the bank has a retail footprint. Eligible states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
You also have to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number and be able to prove you have some type of income.
This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.
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