Santander Bravo Credit Card review September 2018 | finder.com

Bravo® Credit Card review – September 2018

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Earn 1x points on everyday spending, and get 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on balance transfers.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want excellent rewards in everyday-spending categories.
  • Pick something else if you want 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers. Try a different card such as the Santander® Ultimate Cash Back® Credit Card.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
Product NameBravo® Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.24% to 24.24% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 18 billing cycles (then 17.24% to 24.24% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.24% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Minimum Interest$1.5
Late Payment Fee$35
Returned Payment Fee$35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The Bravo® Credit Card is most attractive for its rewards. You’ll earn 3x points on supermarket, restaurant and gas station purchases, with a cap of 15,000 points per calendar quarter. That’s a much higher cap than most other cards offer.

With such good rewards, of course, you’ll pay an annual fee of $49 starting the second year. Because of that, this card is probably a good pick only if you have a high volume of spending in everyday purchases.

The perks

  • INTRO APR:
    0% on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles. For a card that offers 0% intro APR and rewards, try the Sphere® Credit Card.
  • REWARDS:

    Earn up to 3x points.

    Here are the points you’ll earn from the Bravo® Credit Card:

    • 3x points on supermarket, gas station and restaurant purchases. Up to 15,000 points per calendar quarter.
    • 1x points on all other purchases.
      You can earn 1x points on up to $5,000 in spending each quarter. That’s an impressive given that other cards cap your bonus-point spending at around $1,500 to $2,000. Just remember the card’s annual fee may eat into your earnings.
  • SIGNUP BONUS:

    $100 cash back.

    Earn $100 cash back via statement credit after you spend $1,000 on new net retail purchases in your first 90 days of opening your account.

You’ll also like…

  • $49 annual fee for the first year. When you open your card, you’ll pay $0 annual fee for the first year.

Other benefits

  • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
  • Get a Debit Mastercard from Santander Bank.
  • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
  • Instant Card Hold. If you think you’ve lost your card, call Santander to place a temporary hold on it. This will block most transactions on your card.

Compare rewards credit cards

Name Product Welcome Bonus Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
1.5 points
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
1 points
16.74% variable
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
1 points
16.74% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
2 points
16.74% variable
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
Earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
14.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
15,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
Earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Earn 150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1% cash back
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$0
Snag a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Earn 200 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1% cash back
14.74% to 25.74% variable
$95
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Earn 150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    Starting the second year, you’ll pay an annual fee of $49.
    This fee is waived if you have a Santander Select or Santander Premier Plus Checking account. These are Santander’s upper-tier checking accounts, and they come with high monthly fees.

  • Potentially high APR.

    If you have a weaker credit history, you may be given an interest rate up to 24.24% variable. That’s high, considering the average APR is around 16%.

  • Penalty APR.

    Santander may apply a penalty APR of 31.74% variable to your account if you:

  • Miss a payment.
  • Pay late.
  • Make a payment that is returned.The penalty APR applies until you make six consecutive on-time payments. A penalty APR is never fun, and it increases the consequences of slipping up on payments. There are plenty of banks that don’t charge penalty APRs.

How does credit card interest work?

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Bravo® Credit Card, you must be at least 18 years old. The card is available only to customers in these states:

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Information you’ll need

  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Your residential status.
  • Your annual income, source of income and employment information.
  • Your Social Security number.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for this card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.
What’s a good credit score?

How to apply for the Bravo® Credit Card

1. Go to the Santander website and click Apply Now.
2. Select your state from the dropdown menu and enter your ZIP code.
3. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

Typically, a credit card provider will make a decision on your application within 10 days. In some cases, your application may be approved immediately.

If there are issues with your application, you may need to wait up to a few weeks to hear back.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your bill online at the Santander website, where you can enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 21 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $35 per infraction.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, call Santander at 877-768-2265.

Bottom line

If you spend a lot on everyday purchases, the Bravo® Credit Card may be a great pick. It offers a strong 3x points on supermarket, gas station and restaurant purchases, and its bonus-point cap is high.

If you’re looking for a great balance transfer promotion, the Bravo® Credit Card delivers: It offers 0% APR for 18 billing cycles.

However, if you want to compare your options before deciding on a particular card, visit our guide to rewards credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

Images: santanderbank.com

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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